Pop Documentaries: Who’s Next?January 31, 2016
Which star needs to show us the Real Them?
You know you love them. The scandals, the indie soundtracks, the deep and meaningful close-ups in black and white. Everybody loves a juicy pop documentary to show us what it’s like navigating the bizarre parts of the entertainment biz. So – where are they, lately? We’re in no short supply of pop drama, comeback stories, rise ups, so – what gives? Why is no one telling their side of the story? Where’s For The Record, Part 2?
Let’s take a look at a few big names who should really give us an updated sneak peek behind the curtain:
Her 2008 documentary Britney: For The Record was a fresh, insightful look into the world of a pop star everyone wanted a piece of. Determined to make the most of her personal and professional comeback, Spears showed MTV cameras her dazzlingly busy life as she flitted from one event to the next, occasionally slowing down to grab a meal with friends or go shopping. Britney has done a few behind the scenes specials since, namely I Am The Femme Fatale and I Am Britney Jean, but neither were quite on the same level of examination or unpacking her life as FTR. While some might say there’s not much to inspect given she has finally achieved a sense of normality within her superstar fame but, we disagree. A life lived peacefully in the chaotic Hollywood spotlight is a rare one, and Britney’s always been an engaging storyteller. It would be just as interesting to hear about her peaceful frame of mind, as it was to hear her carefully reflect on the most chaotic time of her life. Every chapter of everyone’s story is valid.
While Beyonce did go on the promo blitz once her surprise December 2013 album release took over the planet, the sneak peeks mostly centered around her monumental Mrs Carter tour with a few brief looks at the production of the album itself. We think Beyonce should take it a step further and show us the planning phase of her most daring creative venture yet, and maybe even take us a few steps back by showing us how she founded her record label Parkwood Productions. It was revealed in a February 2013 interview with GQ, that Beyonce practically stores her entire life in a “temperature-controlled digital-storage facility” filled with videos and audio of everything she does. So really, throwing together a new documentary would take her, what, a day or two? She could probably put one together in time for the Superbowl on Sunday!
It’s actually surprising Justin hasn’t yet followed up to 2013’s docu-film Believe. Considering the catastrophic 3 years Bieber’s just had, we really can’t think of anyone else who probably has more to say about what their life has become than he does. It would be equally as intriguing to see how he and his team set about preparing his massive 2015 pop music comeback, that saw him land a string of #1 hit singles, a #1 album and rivalled only Adele for pure pop culture dominance. There had to be quite a few interesting business meetings in order to pull all that off, right? Let us see, Biebs!
Let’s be real. No documentary would be juicier than a fly-on-the-wall look at the chaos that reigned through 1D’s 2015. Imagine seeing backstage footage of the night Zayn Malik decided to leave for good. Or the panic when an October concert was suddenly cancelled just before it was due to begin? Imagine the media frenzy when Louis announced his impending fatherhood. Were lawsuits threatened when tabloid The Sun framed their break as a permanent split? And just what went down with Naughty Boy? Oh yeah, and what about the music? 1d have never been taken seriously in interviews, with reporters preferring to ask joke questions, play games or speculate rumoured romances. As a result, Harry, Louis, Niall and Liam have never had the chance to really speak for themselves, explain who they are and, even six years later, properly introduce themselves to the world. An in-depth documentary studying the construction of their million-dollar music and reviewing the massive controversy and intrigue surrounding them would be a smart way to humanise the band and actually allow their voices to be heard over all the noise for once.
She’s been absent from the immediate music scene as long as Bieber and Adele have, so there must be a story to it, right? She confused the world with her bizarre construction of eighth album Anti and, while we’re happy it was finally sprung on us last week, it’d be intriguing to find out how Anti was first pitched and how much of what many are interpreting as a “mess” or “flop” was actually intentional, or simply not understandable before the release was completed. Anti has turned out to be a rather impressive album, though a polarizing one, too. While Rihanna has secured her place in pop history, where does she stand in pop present? She should be the one to define that.
She’s practically MIA right now after a gigantic year in pop. To be honest, she needed the break. At the same time, has she ever really let her audience in? Sure, some would say because she invites fans over for cookies sometimes and writes about her past relationships for all to hear, that Taylor Swift is fully accessible. Why is she the subject of so much talk, then? How powerful is she, really? How does she write a best selling song? Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how one of music’s most transformative figures actually does it? Hell, what does Taylor Swift do on a day off? What does she wish she could do but can’t? Would there really be this many unanswerable questions about someone who was fully accessible? Despite being a household name, what makes Taylor Swift Taylor Swift is still largely a mystery. Maybe that’s part of what makes her so successful?
With her red hot debut album Aquarius and a string of hit singles under her belt, Tinashe is on her way. So it’d be the prime time to get the cameras rolling and document the rise of a brand new star. She’s one of the hardest working singers in pop right now, and has previously spoken about the hands-on approach she has to all aspects of her career. The list of stars she’s worked alongside gets longer every day so we think she’d make for a great demonstration of what it takes to get to the top of your game…and what happens once you get there.
Nobody has a tighter grip on modern music than Adele. She captivates billions of us and, no matter how you feel about her music; she is the biggest singer of our generation. We also know from her various interviews that she’s a bit of a dork, too. She’s got a wicked sense of humour and a likeable personality, as well as her unbelievable talent. We couldn’t think of a more suitable celebrity to be the subject of a good two-hour doco. While she tends to avoid controversy, we still think there’s enough about her star power to address. How would she even begin to put into words the level of success she’s achieved? Where to next? What will be left for her to achieve in ten years time? Similar to Swift, is there any mystery behind the accessibility?