Final week, Netflix dropped a cryptic trailer for its new Bob Ross documentary. “We need to present you the trailer for Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed,” the trailer proclaimed in daring white lettering over black, accompanied by ominous music. “However we will’t.”
These theatrics, paired with the movie’s provocative title, are clearly meant to stir suspicion that one of many world’s most un-problematic favorites has a sordid previous. And Netflix viewers are ready with bated breath for the documentary to launch on Wednesday: Is Bob Ross about to be canceled?
The reply, fortunately, is not any. Bob Ross: Glad Accidents, Betrayal & Greed is just not the hit piece it hinted at with a view to get your clicks. Ross comes out of the film each bit as beloved as he was stepping into, if no more so. And actually, there was no want for the advertising and marketing bait, as a result of Joshua Rofé’s documentary is fascinating and heartbreaking sufficient by itself. For these of us who’ve discovered serenity in watching the mild-mannered painter through the years, it’s painful to take heed to his son, Steve Ross, recount the methods he feels Ross’s enterprise companions, Annette and Walt Kowalski, basically screwed the painter and his household over.
The story truly broke just a few months in the past, due to Alston Ramsay’s reporting for a Daily Beast piece revealed in Might 2021. Whereas Ramsay’s article paints a nuanced image of savvy enterprise sharks ultimately stabbing one another within the again—with a number of the stabbing achieved by Ross himself—Glad Accidents locations the Kowalskis firmly within the villain function, with Ross because the harmless sufferer. The massive get, and the spine of the movie, is an interview with Ross’s son Steve. The Pleasure of Portray viewers could recall seeing younger Steve portray completely satisfied little bushes and mountains alongside his father in his occasional appearances on the present. A a lot older, grimmer Steve warns Rofé that it will likely be arduous for the filmmaker to seek out individuals prepared to talk to him. “What they did was shameful,” Steve says.
The gist of the thriller is that this: Bob Ross, Inc., which is now run by Joan Kowalski, the daughter of Ross’s former enterprise companions, owns the rights to all the pieces beneath the Bob Ross identify. The consists of reruns of The Pleasure of Portray, the Bob Ross paint provide line, and your roommate’s Bob Ross espresso mug. Not one of the earnings, in keeping with the movie, have gone to the Ross household, regardless of Ross’s deathbed intentions. That’s due to a collection of lawsuits filed by the Kowalskis shortly after Ross’s dying, one thing they apparently love to do typically. Lawsuits, that’s. We’re advised that dozens of would-be interviews for this movie turned Rofé down, or backed out on the final minute for concern of being sued.
Along with Ross’s son, those that didn’t again out embrace his first spouse and Steve’s mom, Vicky Ross; Ross’s buddy and fellow artist John Thamm; Ross’s shut buddy Dana Jester; Ross’s Pleasure of Portray director Sally Schenk; Ross’s pleasant rivals and floral painters Gary & Kathwren Jenkins; and extra. We get a crash course on Ross’s skilled rise as a painter to eventual TV star, due to his capacity to grasp “wet-on-wet” pace portray, which he realized from German painter Wilhelm “Invoice” Alexander. We additionally study a bit of one thing about who Ross was when the cameras weren’t rolling, which his son and mates say was pretty near his on-screen angle. “The Bob you see on TV is fairly rattling near his actual angle,” Steve says.
That stated, whereas Rofé exhibits you the Ross that everybody desires to see—the one who befriended foxes and nursed squirrels again to well being and introduced a smile to each aspiring painter’s face—he leaves room for an additional facet of Ross, too. “He may very well be ornery,” Ross’s director Sally Schenk admits at one level. He was additionally a “flirt,” she added. Ross’s now-iconic sultry whisper was, certainly, an try to sound horny and sensual, his son stated. Although not explicitly said, the movie not-so-subtly hints Ross cheated on his first spouse, which the Every day Beast report confirms. It’s much less cagey about Ross’s affair with Annette Kowalski—confirmed frankly by Steve, although denied by way of an end-credit be aware by Annette—which supposedly fractured the friendship between the Rosses and the Kowalskis for good.
The movie is at its finest, and likewise its most heartbreaking, when it displays on the dying of Ross’s second spouse, Jane, as a consequence of most cancers, and his personal most cancers prognosis that got here shortly after. Ross died as a consequence of issues from lymphoma in 1995; he was solely 52. His younger dying could come as a shock to many viewers, and in keeping with Steve, this isn’t an accident. He remembers his father arguing with the Kowalskis whereas he was sick. “They’re attempting to steal my identify,” he remembers his father saying.
The irritating factor about Glad Accidents is that essentially the most weird and complicated elements of the story—a rushed deathbed marriage, last-minute property adjustments, and Steve Ross’s go well with in opposition to the Kowalskis—are crammed into the movie’s remaining minutes, and introduced with out a lot helpful context. It leaves viewers with extra questions than solutions. Nonetheless, it’s each fascinating and saddening to know that the person who made such completely satisfied little bushes was surrounded by darkish clouds in his remaining years of life. You might need to suppose twice before you purchase that Bob Ross Chia pet.
https://decider.com/2021/08/23/bob-ross-happy-accidents-review-netflix-documentary/ | Glad Accidents, Betrayal And Gree’ on Netflix Overview