I have been waiting on this movie since it was announced back in the summer and was happy that it came on at 8 p.m. EST because of course, my kid had some type of practice. Basketball to be exact…and she was having a hard time controlling her emotions. She missed a shot and the whole team had to run (last week, she made them all) and visibly upset, she barely ran. She had to run again and just lost it. The coach took her to the side at the end and said she was a good ball player but she has to understand that you are going to miss shots in your career. You can’t let that affect you…can’t let it get in your head. Meanwhile, I’m looking at this Rudy moment while also looking at my watch because I need to get in place with my snacks and my libations and stretch my Twitter fingers for live tweeting for The New Edition Story. Then, her daddy made her run two more laps. I barely made it home. I’m assuming McKenzie ate dinner and took a bath. But I digress.
I didn’t have super high expectations for the movie because it IS BET. I expected it to be maybe a step above the biopics Lifetime does and was just gonna be happy if the actual members, present day, weren’t in the movie, showing up in scenes, narrating. Luckily, BET went with the voice-overs and got casting mostly right. The result was a really solid movie. I loved the casting that they did..and the little boys they selected to play the young just starting out New Edition were talented and VERY likable. I hated to see them grow up in the movie honestly. And can I just say, I came away with a new respect for Ralph Tresvant? He was offered a solo career in the beginning but only agreed to sign with Maurice Starr if he could bring his boys along. This after realizing that his family really needed the money he would have garnered solo without a 5-way split. Brook Payne (their first manager) honed those boys talents..and got them together with precision in their steps and singing, training them hard like Joe Jackson trained Michael nem without the belts.
I had to go look up the real Maurice Starr because they chose “Big Worm” from Friday for the role and that long Daniel Boone wig they had him in threw me off. Like other stars of that time, Maurice raped them financially. They were from the projects and had never seen contracts or a lot of money at one time, and their mamas let them sign that deal with Maurice for $500 and a BetaMax (tape recorder). Child…at least Pebbles gave TLC Rav-4s. Or were those Suzuki Sidekicks? Those boys went on tour for six months EVERYWHERE and had the biggest hit of that time and only made $1.87 each. Yes, that’s less than $2. Brook Payne brought the checks to the mamas, and promptly got fired. He was lucky he made it out of there without getting beat up. Black mamas of that time didn’t play about their cigarettes, their change from the store from getting said cigarettes nor their money! I just knew he was going to get a good cussing out (I’m sure he did in real life) and jumped.
The mothers got together and chose a new manager. This time they went “White” but it looks like that is NOT going to make a difference because the previews from tonight’s episode (3 part series) show them getting in his behind about the money.
I learned so much about the group I have loved since Candy Girl. I did not know Ronnie Devoe was Brook Payne’s nephew and that’s how he got in the group. Solid acting and performances by all of the actors, especially the younger ones. New Edition should be proud.
But of course, I have one small gripe (you know Big Mama said start off with the positives) – the number of commercials. I don’t know, maybe it was no different than commercials during other movies but it felt like every time I got into a scene…10 commercials would come on right in the middle of it. Every five minutes, there was a commercial. I’m the sure the 3 part series is actually about 60 minutes of actual “movie” but the commericals makes it 6 hours. I swear BET is making a pretty coin from this biopic because they sold an ad spot to EVERYBODY who wanted one and could cut a check. The Country Music Channel (CMT) even had a spot asking people to turn to “Nashville” when they were done watching The New Edition Story. I give them an A for effort. Here’s hoping BET takes some of that ad money to do more biopics on our R&B icons. Looking forward to tonight’s episode. I got my snacks and drink ready..and am already stretching out my fingers….
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