Where do I begin?
There’s so much to lay a word on about the The New Edition Story that aired on BET for 3 consecutive nights this week. Not only did BET take us down memory lane musically, but they also took us on an in-depth behind the scenes ride into the lives of—Ronny, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph and Johnny. Our beloved New Edition. It was magical. It was sorrowful. It was eye-opening. It was real.
First of all—can we give a standing ovation to the cast?
Algee Smith – Ralph Tresvant
Luke James – Johnny Gill
Woody Mcclain – Bobby Brown
Bryshere Y. Gray – Michael Bivens
Keith Powers – Ronnie DeVoe
Elijah Kelley – Ricky Bell
They hit every note, sang every lyric like their life depended on it, meticulously locked down all the choreography and acted out each scene to the hilt. Bravo.
I was on Twitter going through the motions with everyone as we watched faithfully. The story was amazingly executed, from beginning to end. The timeline unfolded right before our eyes as we, the viewers, watched attentively and reminisced about where we were and sang each song as though we were in the midst of the concert or recreated video (which were all on point, may I add). We were all giddy, yet were taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. What really stood out for me was how the group handled things along the way. I feel that the one thing that could have been the group’s complete demise was their lack of communication. When they were mad, they stayed mad. There was nary a proper conversation to discuss the nonsense taking place through the revolving door of members being voted out and brought in, after each album and the Home Again tour. And unfortunately, their careers paid the price. Their vexation was tangible and shook the group down to its core. However, the one theme that stays true from beginning to end? Friendship.
There’s no denying that it was New Edition’s friendship and brotherhood that always brought them back together. They had each other’s back from jump—pre NE. Ralph turning down his solo deal. Bobby not voting to kick out Mike after the epic gob-and roll. Friendship. That was the glue that held them together. Through the good times and the turmoil. Eventually, brotherhood, respect and love won out. They came together because of their brother’s nuptials. I mean, without running the risk of sounding cliché and cheesy, the nuptials themselves were a reflection of the group’s fortitude and staying power. They’re Boston-bred and resilient. And it was after the BET 25th Silver Anniversary Special that New Edition found new ground and continued on to deliver albums and tours (with a few hiccups along the way, but hey, no one’s perfect).
New Edition followed their path. The hiatus was inevitable. Shit blew up in their faces and tempers flared. However, it was all part of their journey. If things didn’t fall the way the did, think of the Butterfly Effect and how that would have affected Boyz II Men, BBD, solo careers and more. Even though there were plenty of storms to go through, New Edition has stood the test of time. Respect.
To have a biopic about a group whose members are still alive and able to add their perspective to the project is bliss. It’s always dope to see those who are deserving receive their due props while they’re still here on this plain. Congrats to BET for putting time and effort into one of the best biopics I’ve seen. And a special shout out to New Edition. A group who still has my heart—on vinyl, cassette, CD and mp3—30 something years later. “6 strong and capable black men who can do anything.”
Man, I love that line.