About halfway through the first leg of “The New Edition Story,” fans of dance TV shows will know exactly where this is heading: “Dance Moms.” Only instead of competitive dancing girls, the moms are protecting Boston’s ultimate boy band: New Edition, which paved the way for Boyz II Men, N’SYNC, The Backstreet Boys, and New Kids On The Block.
New Edition gave the world songs like “Cool It Now” and the solo career of Bobby Brown, who had his sights on fame even as a pre-teen.
But the moms of New Edition? They had their minds on the money. These ladies rolled hard, firing the boys’ first manager, Brooke Payne, who taught them all their Jackson 5 moves and made their first hit “Candy Girl” happen.
“The New Edition Story,” BET’s three-part series, is studded with the standard cliche of the rags-to-riches music group story: Who took all the money?! Answer: The record company. Because you didn’t read the papers, Boy-Band Moms! Or at least we’re probably going to find that out in part two.
THE DANCE: It’s all pretty much adorable: As elementary schoolers, the little boys learn to dance as a group, as taught by Brooke (Wood Harris). They’re soon able to dance around microphones and deliver a killer step Brooke calls the “money slide.” In his best mentoring moment, Brooke turns away from them and closes his eyes as they work through a routine — and calls out exactly which boy is off the beat.
Later, under new management, the boys have a nerdy-cool moment when they stride through the offices of MCA Records singing a bit of “Popcorn Love.” The execs are not impressed.
Their growth into teenagers takes place onstage, as one by one the young boys’ faces fade into those of older actors. (And it may be one of the best bio-pic techniques around.) But the real dancing is yet to come, which we know from a little taste provided in the rowdy, near-shirtless opening sequence. Hold on. It’s comin’.
Can you tell which “Candy Girl” cover is original and which is from the miniseries? Let us know in the comments.