VH1’s ‘Behind the Music’ Is Back. Will Audiences Care?

Despite some skepticism surrounding its launch again in March, Paramount+, previously often known as CBS All Entry, has been a shocking standout in a endless flood of streaming companies, due to a gorgeous slate of properties acquired within the 2019 CBS-Viacom merger.

Except for internet hosting Paramount Photos movies and flagship applications like Survivor and The Good Fight, a lot of the platform’s hype has centered round millennial-targeted reboots and spin-offs of Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV and VH1 classics, like The Real World, iCarly, a Beavis and Butt-head movie within the works and a newly introduced Surreal Life. Their library additionally features a patchy however in style archive of iconic applications from the truth TV and music channels, together with VH1 Storytellers, True Life, and MTV Unplugged.

The streamer’s subsequent nostalgic endeavor is a reboot of the hit VH1 collection Behind the Music, which drops its first episode July 29. First airing 24 years in the past, the documentary collection gave music followers an intriguing, hour-long glimpse backstage of their favourite acts, together with revelatory interviews with the performers themselves—in the event that they had been nonetheless among the many dwelling, in fact. The collection’ govt producer and author Homosexual Rosenthal obtained the world’s largest artists to open up about their traumatic upbringings, tabloid rumors, trade beefs, monetary challenges, and profession victories. Whereas the present aimed to cowl topics who had been thought of previous their prime or retired from the trade—the present was initially pitched as an inquiry into the lives of disgraced R&B duo Milli Vanilli—it additionally started overlaying up to date artists in its later seasons.

After seven years off the air, the brand new Behind the Music affords a lot of the identical content material and storytelling as the unique—not less than within the first three episodes given to critics. When Paramount+ introduced the venture in March, it marketed new episodes that includes beforehand coated artists Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Bret Michaels, Huey Lewis and Fats Joe with “artists interviews, a inventive refresh and reimagined visible model.” Likewise, keen viewers ought to anticipate a barely modified repackaging of the unique episodes as opposed to an entire retelling and recontextualizing of the musicians’ biographies—very similar to the Remastered variations of the unique episodes that appeared on VH1 Basic.

Within the reboot’s protection, the simply digestible, chronological construction of the present is, partly, what made it so watchable. So it is sensible that the producers forewent experimenting with a format that attracted so many eyeballs within the first place. Nonetheless, the result’s nearly as satisfying as merely occurring YouTube and accessing the unique episodes the place a lot of Behind the Music might be discovered (in lieu of the collection not being accessible on streaming platforms.)

As an illustration, the primary two episodes, which profile Ricky Martin and LL Cool J, are nearly an identical to their 2011 and 2013 Remastered episodes. Notably, Martin’s unique Behind the Music documentary from 2000 was up to date to include his struggles together with his sexuality within the early phases of his solo profession and eventual coming-out in 2010. This newest version options new soundbites from the Latin pop famous person that don’t precisely add new perception on these occasions a lot as re-emphasize the vulnerability and sincerity that’s made Martin’s story so efficient.

The elements of the episode that really feel the freshest are when the writers re-examine Martin’s legacy inside the context of the brand new wave of Latin artists dominating U.S. charts like Maluma, Rosalia, Ozuna, and fellow Puerto Rican artist Unhealthy Bunny—the latter of whom seems all through the documentary to debate the influence of rising up with Martin as a nationwide determine and, at one level, even pertains to being pestered by the media about his sexual orientation.

LL Cool J’s episode can be in dialog with the present period of rap music that’s been penetrated by Black Lives Matter and different social actions lately. Competing with the angrier, overtly political sounds of Public Enemy and N.W.A, LL Cool J discovered himself at a crossroads within the late ’80s when his occasion anthems and romantic ballads did not ring a bell with hip-hop followers, leading to a unanimous booing on the Apollo that would offer inspiration for “Mama Mentioned Knock You Out.”

The brand new episode covers his resolution to make his most political assertion to this point in a freestyle concerning the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd that he posted on Instagram final summer season. In inspecting his fraught relationship with politics, the episode curiously omits “Accidental Racist,” his much-maligned duet with Brad Paisley from 2013 by which the nation singer defends the Accomplice flag as a logo of Southern delight. Because the rapper’s political insights appear to stay reasonable at finest, it could have proved extra intriguing to deal with his influence within the melodic, woman-friendly rap that’s paved the best way for artists like Drake to change into international superstars. As a substitute, we get a stilted interview from lifelong fan Eminem, whose most compelling tidbit is that the rapper as soon as gifted him the identical chains he wore within the “I’m Bad” music video.

In inspecting his fraught relationship to politics, the episode curiously omits “Unintentional Racist,” his much-maligned duet with Brad Paisley from 2013 by which the nation singer defends the Accomplice flag as a logo of Southern delight.

Of the primary three topics, viewers will maybe have essentially the most catching as much as do with Huey Lewis, who’s spoken publicly about his battle with Ménière’s illness however is clearly much less of a headline-grabbing determine in immediately’s tradition. In a brand new interview, the 71-year-old singer recounts his on-and-off struggles with the illness that impacts his listening to and, consequently, his means to sing. Not like Martin and LL Cool J’s episodes, that finish on a word of triumph and continued success, Lewis’ story is extra tragic, as he continues to hunt a remedy for his situation. His paints essentially the most multi-layered and human portrait of the singer versus inspecting him primarily as a cultural artifact.

No matter viewers could have anticipated from this reboot, the up to date collection nonetheless manages to captivate audiences primarily based on the efficiency of the artists’ tales alone, irrespective of what number of instances they’re retold. It additionally could improve demand for the unique collection to be made accessible on Paramount, because the collection’ whereabouts, outdoors of what’s accessible on YouTube, stays a thriller as ViacomCBS licenses its properties to different firms, like Netflix and the Paramount Community. However, with the brand new Behind the Music, the streamer has managed to money in on yet one more product of peak cable TV that may probably appease the identical millennial, pop culture-obsessed viewers that it used to.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/vh1s-behind-the-music-is-back-will-audiences-care?supply=articles&by way of=rss | VH1’s ‘Behind the Music’ Is Again. Will Audiences Care?


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: clarefora@interreviewed.com.

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