Admittedly, when I had an opportunity to review The Jack5sons: A Family Legacy I didn’t jump at the chance.
Michael was gone and I, like countless others, thought that anything Jackson 5 related without Michael was not only wrong but sacrilegious.
As you watch The Jack5ons: A Family Dynasty, airing on A&E tonight at 9PM ET/PT
these thoughts will be going through your mind: Can’t believe Michael is gone, how much you truly miss him and how could his brothers do this without him?
In the first five seconds of the first episode, the brothers address this and explain how this project was approved by Michael himself and how they want people to know the real them.
And in the first episode, filmed a little over a month before Michael’s death, there is a sense of who they are. Pass the fame and flash of the lights, there is a family there. There are children, and grandchildren, backyard barbeques, brotherly squabbles, and a matriarch as loved as she is beloved.
In the first hour you’ll learn the brother’s different personalities even though at times, the situations feel purposeful and set up. Sometimes the reactions aren’t as real as you would think they would be or strike oddly. Other times, moments feel genuine as if the camera was there at just the right second.
But viewing the first hour felt a bit like watching the Titanic–everything is fine until the iceberg hits. In this case, the iceberg is Michael’s death.
The brothers talk about Michael’s death in bite sized interviews and don’t reveal much more than the fact they loved him. Their favorite memories or how they’ll best remember him aren’t shared by the brothers. Paired with footage from the memorial, there isn’t much more there than what was seen on CNN.
However, the aftermath of his death is apparent and that’s what kicks off the second hour. While the first one was more nostalgic, the second is where the show really starts. Things get real. The brothers still have a CD of new music to put out, a concert to perform, and internal conflicts stemming from childhood still hovering over their heads.
The show is an opportunity to see the inside of the Jackson family, to go down memory lane and to develop new memories of them. Will this show squash some of the animosity some fans have for the brothers’ decisions to do a reunion without Michael? Not in the first two hours but the possibility is there to at least understand the decision, even if you don’t agree with it.
And although there wasn’t any earth scattering details there is some promise there of some really entertaining television and some water-cooler moments.