To be honest, I was never a bubble gum pop type of girl. Even as a kid, songs like "Candy Girl," "Cool It Now," and "Mr. Telephone Man" didn't really do it for me but as I got older the grown and sexy sounds of Bel Biv Devoe were everything. "Poison" till this day is my jam! Every time that song comes on it makes me want to put on my Cross Colours and bust a move.
When the New Edition movie was announced, I thought this will be cool, but I was less enthusiastic about it being six hours. I felt that New Edition was a good music group but did they really need a 3-day extravaganza?! Well, my misgivings were proved wrong because not only was the movie the television event of the month but it'll probably be the highlight of the year.
Watching the story of New Edition unfold from five young boys in the projects of Boston to a platinum selling super group to each of the members having their own individual success was amazing. Who didn't enjoy Ralph Tresvant's "Sensitivity," Johnny Gill's "My, My, My," Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative," in addition to hits by BBD.
After viewing the mini-series, I came to admire a few things about New Edition:
Their tenacity is admirable
They went to hell and back in the record business. From being screwed over not once but twice by managers who took advantage of their naivety to touring the country as hit makers only to return to living in the projects because everyone but them was making money from their success. With all of that, they never gave up on their dream of making it in the music industry.
New Edition is the last great male singing group of my generation
It's sad, and I feel old for saying it, but they don't make music or music groups like they used to. Record companies these days want to make a guaranteed buck, so they're not willing to invest the time and money into a music group as a solo act is a smarter investment. Not to mention music groups are famous for internal turmoil as we saw played out with New Edition.
They are the most successful male group ever!
I base this on records sold collectively and individually. No other group has had individual members have the solo success that the members of New Edition have. Bobby, Ralph, Johnny, and BBD have all had platinum selling albums.
They always put on a good show
New Edition was trained in the art of showmanship like all the greats such as Jackson 5, Temptations, and Four Tops. In the movie, we see their first manager, Brooke Payne, making them practice until they got it right even if it took being there early and staying late.
With all the non-contract reading it's a miracle they made money
The boys were elementary school kids with young, naive mothers when they first got signed. Unfortunately, no one in their lives was knowledgeable about the business of show business and the need for an attorney to help them navigate through it all. After two shady managers, NE finally signed a legitimate contract that allowed them to make enough money to move out of the projects and to enjoy the fruits of their hard work.
In the end, the New Edition Story was everything and a bag of chips! It was the story we didn't know we needed. It was one of the many stories I wish Black television would tell more of. The great news is that in a short period of time, we've had award-winning stories on the big and small screen. First, there were the amazing women behind Hidden Figures and now the New Edition Story that reminded us why we loved them so much. I hope this trend continues.