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Parents' Guide to

Menudo: Forever Young

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Iconic Latin boy band story is nostalgic but disturbing.

TV Max Reality TV 2022
Menudo: Forever Young English poster

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The nostalgic but troubling bilingual docuseries reveals the behind-the-scenes world of one of the biggest Latin boy bands in history. It discusses how band producer Edgardo Díaz's formula for Menudo's success raked in billions of dollars for him while overworking and underpaying its members. It also addresses how Díaz, in an effort to keep parents from interfering in the process, required the guardianship of the boys (whose ages ranged from 11 to16) be signed over to him while they were with the group, leaving them unsupervised and vulnerable. Not surprisingly, a lot of the series addresses their exposure to drugs, sexual situations, and other decidedly adult activities that resulted from this arrangement. Even more disturbing are the stories about the physical, verbal, and sexual violence band members suffered at the hands of Díaz and others, and their reluctance to report it due to fears of rejection and homophobia.

But Menudo: Forever Young also gives former band members the opportunity to share what they loved about being part of the group, including the camaraderie and the love of their fans. Menudo devotees from way back when will also appreciate the media excerpts featuring their favorite band members (including now-superstar Ricky Martin) and learning more about what they are doing today. But even if you weren't (and still aren't) a fan, the series offers a still-timely history about how the teen pop boy band formula got started, and why much of it is still in use today.

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