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Parents' Guide to

Behind the Music

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Venerable music series lives again in worthy reboot.

Behind the Music Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Not so much as reboot as a continuation, this new iteration on the classic music-bio docuseries is, as always, variably enjoyable depending on how much the viewer appreciates each subject. Repackaging and adding to old Behind the Music episodes is a pretty genius concept; the show worked before, so with a little sprucing, old background details on the music makers fans know and love should shine once more, and it's fun to catch up to where these stars are now. It works, mostly, though the show retains the rags-to-riches-to-rags framing for most of its subjects that made musical biographies and the show itself something of a trope in the '90s and 2000s. The show also makes the questionable choice of framing old content as if it's a newsreel, which detracts from the emotional connection viewers might have with, say, old baby pictures and footage of fledgling stars.

But the old thrill of seeing stars unguarded still works; fans of artists like Ricky Martin and Duran Duran want to see old pictures and footage of their favorites when they were baby-faced, as well as hearing what they're up to lately, and so they shall. It's slightly depressing to realize how many of the artists in Behind the Music's catalog of 274 old episodes won't be making an appearance in the new version, having died in the interim, but reviewing a list of artists covered over the years might make some fans excited at the idea of potentially seeing more if this new version lasts. The series in itself is worth a look, even if viewers cherry-pick only the episodes that feature an artist they already like.

TV Details

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