TV and Movies

I Got Questions About The New Edition Story That Kicked Off Last Night on BET

Yesterday was the Black event of the month: the premiere of BET’s The New Edition Story.

A TV series about the come up and break down of Ricky Bell, Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Mike Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe and Johnny Gill? I’m in there like a wedgie!

It was no game. I had this on my Google Calendar since it was announced and I was not gonna miss it. Plus, these are the nights that Twitter was made for. To sit in the privacy of our homes, watching television and reading what people we’ve never met think about it. This is my SuperBowl.

I wasn’t even born when New Edition first came out (I’m a 1985 baby. They came out in 1983) but their music has such staying power that I don’t remember NOT knowing “Candy Girl” and “Mr. Telephone Man” even though I grew up in Nigeria. This was must-see, and thankfully, it did not disappoint.

Soooo here’s my recap, in the form of questions.

Why has Bobby Brown been shady since birth? In his first scene, Little Bobby was lying to his boys about a non-performance he had, and that he’d allow them to sing. He ain’t been right forever. Also, how did the casting directors find a boy who looked 57 at the age of 9? Bobby been old since he was born  and they found his child match. Impressive. Speaking of…

How dope was that casting? Seriously. The boys who played New Edition were incredible. I was so impressed by them that I didn’t want to see them grow up to their teenage versions. Especially Little Ralph Tresvant (played by Jahi Di’allo Winston). That young dude is going places. Not only did he really commit and had me thinking I was looking at Ralph, but he did all those vocals too, hitting them high notes like that was what he was born to do. SO GOOD.

Everything about the boys was so authentic, down to the ashy knees as they rehearsed. Those were the legit knees of pre-teens who don’t like to moisturize.

Why was Brooke Payne’s jheri curl so dry? Played by Wood Harris, who will always be Avon Barksdale (shoutout to The Wire), New Edition’s first manager didn’t have his soul gloing like he should have. Maybe he couldn’t afford products because he spent all his money investing and building the group. Look at all that sacrifice he made.

Speaking of hair…

Why were the wigs so tragic? Between Faizon Love and his George Washington ass wig, as well as Tank’s lego flat top, I was wondering what happened to the hairhat budget. Yes, I was happy to see Faizon had a job but I was too distracted by the wig. It looked like a sleeping animal and I was expecting it to wake up from its nap at any moment.

Faizon as Maurice Starr

Is there a role Monica Calhoun has had where she ain’t the Matron Saint of Struggle? I love me some Monica but seeing her in the film playing downtrodden, as Ralph’s mama, just made me wonder. Have we seen her be jovial in a movie? I asked this question and folks said she was happy in “Sister Act 2” when she was a part of the choir. And I howled to the blue-corned moon. Bless her. I’m just happy to see her working too. I root for her.

Ain’t it just right for Bobby Brown’s mama to get Brooke Payne fired? When the NE moms got mad that the boys were touring all over the world but only brought home a check for $1.87 (ouch), they decided it was time for Brooke to be gone. Brooke, who had also made 0 money while managing the boys because they all entered into a crappy record contract. I feel like he got cheated. All that work he did with them, just to be ousted and someone else waltz in and benefit from it. But it feels right that Bobby’s mama would be the catalyst. HA!

Madame Take No Shit

I loved all the mamas, doe. Lisa Nicole Carson being in the mix was everything. Yvette Nicole Brown as Mike’s mom made me smile. La La Anthony as Flo DeVoe was a good look (they shoulda let her pop Roland). I’m here for all of them

Why does New Edition still dress the EXACT SAME WAY they did in 1983? When we watched the mini versions of Ronnie, Mike, Ralph, Bobby and Ricky perform, they had on tuxedo blazers with cumberbunds. Last year, I saw New Edition in concert TWICE, and that’s what they had on too. This time, they sweated through them so they might have started in fire engine red but they looked burgundy at the end.

I took this pic at ESSENCEFest 2016.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Why is Michael Rapaport always playing sheisty characters? Has that dude ever played a character with integrity? He just ain’t trustworthy ever. Out here being the white dude who sweet talked without having a concrete thing that he was gon do. Sounding too close to real life and the maniac running this country right now.

Can Lifetime take some notes from BET about making biopics? Lawd knows. It felt so good to see a movie based on real life folks where you didn’t wanna throw your houseshoes at the TV in protest of the craptasticness.


Remember this abomination of a biopic?

Part 2 is tonight and part 3 is tomorrow. But I’ll need to watch the rerun of part 3 since it’s at the same time as Scandal’s return. You know good and damb well I ain’t missing that. So this will be my only New Edition recap.

Anywho, kudos to BET. Y’all done good.

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  1. Guest
    January 25, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Am I the only one mad at Luvvie for not being born when they came out particularly when these were my teenage crushes?! Go ‘head Luvvie with yo cute self. Just teasing but truly lamenting my age…

    • Chalkylovestoski
      January 25, 2017 at 11:10 pm

      I’m like, I want to be luvvie when I grow up, but she had to tell me she was two years younger than me. That’s just not nice.

  2. TN Guest
    January 25, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Monica Calhoun was happy in the “Best Man” and the “Best Man Holiday”…I mean until…well, you know how THAT ended. :-/

  3. Jilliann
    January 25, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Girl you had me rolling from, in their like a wedgie, to ashy knees, and let’s not forget Matron Saint of Struggle! I loved it!! This was a nice break from The Orange One…

  4. DemiG
    January 25, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Life-long NE fan here ! I love their suits and “outfits”. Its The look is so classic, clean and well put together- no matter the color. These brothas are true artists putting an effort into giving you a complete look and show. Something you don’t see anymore.

  5. MissTish
    January 25, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Let’s h as be a nod to the other “Wire” vet, Namon’s mama, who played Bobby’s mom…In either role, she was about her money! Also, I went to the screening in NYC two months ago…It was like being back in high school! All of the “adult” NE actors, the producer, and BBD were there. Mike Bivens called Brooke up on stage and have gave him a heart-felt thank you for being the father none of them had. He got a standing ovation.????????????

    • phillygirl
      January 27, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew I recognized Namon’s mama from somewhere. It was nice to see Lisa Nicole Carson (Love Jones) back in the mix too. I loved all three parts of the movie. I wish I had the patience to DVR and watch commercial free, but I didn’t.

  6. Tanya
    January 25, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Yes, I too was rather upset and the cheap looking wigs the characters had in the show. The costumes were on point. Their hair (especially Faison Love’s) not so much. Overall I really enjoyed Part I of the series and am am so ready for Part II tonight.

  7. SanTara
    January 25, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Faison’s hair is real life. Maurice Starr wore his hair JUST like that. It was always pulled back into a struggle ponytail. It’s crazy how spot on he is to Starr. The velour sweatsuit with the semi gloss nylon shirt, all true!! A walking tragedy with a slick tongue. He was confident in it too. Always tryna holla at young women.

    Brooke had that curl but he was much more polished than how he looks in the series.

    And Bobby was always fass! You peep the gold chain he always had on?

    LOL This series is everything!! It was a great time for our city. I only wish they had shot exteriors in various Boston locations.

    • Aisha
      January 25, 2017 at 10:50 pm

      Faison came through with that sleep apnea voice, too. Breathing like he was under water. His Maurice Dollarsign Starr was true to life.

  8. Cathy
    January 25, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    That wig on Faizon had me tight!!! Ridiculous!!! Great recap. Looking forward to part 2 and 3.

  9. Anita Brown
    January 25, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Glad you are not missing Scandal

  10. NiHi
    January 25, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    I died when I saw Lil Bobby practicing in those white shorts. I am loving it so far. They did a great job casting the little kids. That little boy playing Bobby even looks devious lol. Not looking forward to seeing Bobby get kicked out the group though. I love me some Bobby Brown. Can’t nobody say nothing bad about Ms. Jenkins and Bobby Brown.

  11. Saran
    January 25, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    I am a NE SUPERFAN and my soul has been ready for this biopic. Part 1 was everything. Those little NE dudes were so on point. The casting was superb. I can’t speak for the other wigs but that ponytail wig Faizon had on is as crappy as the real Maurice Starr’s hair was back then. Trust me! LOL Just Google him. I tell no lies! LOL

  12. Nichole
    January 25, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Indeed the little BobbyBrown actor to get an Emmy or at least an NAACP award. At first I had a hard time understanding who was supposed to be who bit when they showed him, I know beyond a reasonable doubt he was playing Bobby Brown. He had all his mannerisms.

    My comments:
    Where is Roland today? Is he still telling his brother he’s not gonna be in the group?

    Ronnie was always the best dancer. He was the Marlon Jackson of NE.

    Guys don’t care for privacy, I guess. I noticed this in this biopic and Straight Outta Compton.

    $1.87? Poor TLC thought they had it bad.

    If we didn’t have a lock down on the cookout, I would say Michael Rappaport was invited. I see him with more black people than Kanye.

    Did y’all see that Nashville crossover ad? Or was that just through my cable provider? So BET and CMT are now friends? I wonder if there was a commercial for The New Edition Story over there?

    • A. K.
      January 25, 2017 at 10:48 pm

      best and CMT are both owned by Viacom, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a BET commercial on CMT.

  13. Elaine
    January 25, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Card carrying member of the fan club here…lol
    Do groups have fan clubs anymore? I’m telling my age…41. 1st concert was New Edition. Last concert was New Edition reunion.
    Loved the biopic but those commericals????

  14. Gillian
    January 25, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    This movie made me happy. The kid actors were incredible. And so was the transition from young to older NE.

    But yes, those wigs were sad.

  15. Maude Findlay
    January 27, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Best biopic I’ve seen’t in a MINUTE. I wasn’t aware of the degree of violence and infighting. Or Ricky’s addiction. #damnricky

    After all that, Ronnie’s still my fave. Team DeVoe 4 Lyfe!

    • Shay
      January 27, 2017 at 8:11 am

      Me either! My jaw was on the floor when Ricky overdosed..

  16. James
    January 27, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Is there a reason lil Bobby was always dressed much nicer than the other boys in the projects. And that lil Webay from the wire mom played his mother. No one has said anything about that.

  17. February 8, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Nix the wigs didn’t really care. The production was on point. I can’t ever remember seeing a 3 part series where the beginning to end was excellent, I think I’ve seen all 3 parts 5 times since it came on.

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  19. Jasmine Mckoy
    March 11, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Bobby said, “I don’t know bout y’all…. but I’m FAMOUS”!