On social media this week, mostly everyone on my timeline came together to watch and discuss “The New Edition Story,” a 3 night miniseries featured on the BET network. Anyone who was born and raised in the late 70’s/early 80’s who loved HipHop & RnB, was anxious to see how the network would present this movie to the public. As we all know, made for television movies tend to disappoint their viewers, but for once, a network got it right- the movie was a HIT!
The thoughts and feelings I had while watching this movie were so many, and it had me at the edge of my seat each night. It felt like I was at a New Edition concert with each performance scene, allowing old memories to enter my mind with every song sung. The casting of the movie was spot- on! Each character embodied the true essence of the original bandmates, and at one point, I thought Tyler Marcel Williams, who played young Bobby Brown was related to him, he resembled him that much! Not only was the casting perfect in how the band looked, but the mannerisms, the dance moves, and the singing all was so amazing; the actors took us through the bootcamp they endured preparing for this movie with every rehearsal scene. With each scene reflecting on their childhood, their teenage years, and them as grown men, one thing that remained consistent was how they stayed true to their dreams of becoming one of the best boy bands of our time.
New Edition, like so many of us were and still are colorful dreamers, and what was most impressive was how they knew what they wanted from a very young age and they aggressively pursued it. Many people have dreams brewing in their minds, but it takes special kinds of people to go after what they want without letting distractions throw them off their paths. Now as we know, or at least we all know now, the band experienced many rough moments as a group, but even if they disappeared from the musical scene for years, they always came back even stronger than before; this movie is a testament to that.
This movie resurrected my love for music, and reminds me how my heart feels when I revisit my youth through song. Those nostalgic moments made me aware that I have allowed some dreams to drift far away from me, and there is no better time than the present to grab on to them again. They say eyes are windows to the soul, but facial expressions are the side doors to your heart. The expression on Jahi Di’Allo Winston’s face, while he played young Ralph Tresvant singing “Candy Girl” in the booth in contrast to the looks Algee Smith, who played the older Ralph, gave Luke James who played Johnny Gil while singing, “Can You Stand The Rain,” expressed how serious they took their craft and how grateful they felt playing such important roles. Those looks are all too familiar to me as I know how it feels to lose yourself in song, in life, and in your passion. This movie was reminder to stay a colorful dreamer and to relentlessly pursue your dreams. Don’t let it dry up like a raisin in the sun! You too, may be the newest edition on the list of greatest people who have ever lived.
Photos courtesy of BET.com