I didn’t think I’d be able to go through multiple episodes of the New Edition Mini Series/Biopic this weekend but I found out each part wasn’t 2 hours as I thought. Each episode was about 1h 20 minutes so I thought I’d go for it. I’m 2 episodes in and I’ve been impressed so far. Check out the run down below
I put the 90’s over the 80’s in a lot of things (musically especially) so I never really got into New Edition. I knew Bobby Brown used to be in New Edition and I knew Bell Biv DeVoe used to be in New Edition but I wasn’t really educated on their music. Their only songs I was familiar with were Candy Girl and Can You Stand the Rain. I also thought Bobby Brown was the lead singer and left the group because he wanted to do better for him self.
As the name implies, the show charts the rise (and fall?) of New Edition. All 5 original members grew up in the Roxbury projects in Boston and as expected they were swindled by their management until Michael Bivins figured this out and by the end of part 2, they are finally starting to find financial success in addition to musical success which they already had.
I was impressed by a Number of performances. First off shout out to Wood Harris aka Avon Barksdale from the wire. It was hard to initially picture him as anything but a drug dealer but I think he plays the role of choreographer/manager very well. Same for Michael Rapaport who I didn’t think was a serious person. He also comes through. Who knew Tank could act? He plays the head of MCA records and the biggest complement I can pay him is that he does’t stick out as a musician in a field of actors. All actors who played the band members did really well in my opinion
Since the biopic aired, there has been a lot of New Edition stories over the internet and as I do, I have tried to compare what is portrayed in the show vs what happened in real life. The only gripe I sort of have is that I think some things were just rushed through. For example, you can’t tell that after Bobby Brown was kicked out of the group, they made an album which only went gold (all their other albums released in the 80’s went platinum) so they needed to shake things up. I also think the tension between Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill was down played as was Johnny’s struggle to learn to dance and Johnny struggling to fit into the group. This is just me nit picking. I’m sure some things had to be left on the cutting room floor for them to make each part under 90 minutes
Having said that though, the show did open my eyes to a few things. I had no idea Ralph Tresvant was the lead singer. The only thing I knew about Ralph Tresvant before that was Jay Z name checking him on the Remix to Missy’s One Minute Man. Michael Bivins also can’t really sing but he was very savvy. He got the group out of a sticky situation with their manager and got them signed directly to MCA who brought in Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to produce their Heartbreak Album. The show also confirms that Bobby Brown has lacked sense since the 70’s. His erratic behaviour got him kicked out of the group. From the preview of part 3, we see that Bobby’s behaviour continues. Didn’t he say Whitney really got him hooked on cocaine well he is a co-executive producer and did not object to him being depicted as a coke head before Whitney came on the scene.
All in all, the first two episodes have been good. I can’t wait to see what I find out after I see episode 3. Finding 1h 20 minutes to watch in the course of the week? well that’s another issue