Review: ‘Being Bobby Brown’

Bobby Brown let a camera crew follow him around for several months -- through a stretch encompassing the R&B singer's latest legal troubles -- and the result is a bad home movie crossed with an image-polishing infomercial for the show's product, which is none other than Bobby Brown. Based on the first two episodes, this latest vanity project almost makes Britney and Kevin's show look deep and revealing -- OK, almost.

Bobby Brown let a camera crew follow him around for several months — through a stretch encompassing the R&B singer’s latest legal troubles — and the result is a bad home movie crossed with an image-polishing infomercial for the show’s product, which is none other than Bobby Brown. Based on the first two episodes, this latest vanity project almost makes Britney and Kevin’s show look deep and revealing — OK, almost.

Self-consciously peddling a more wholesome (or at least less pugilistic) image, Brown goes out of his way to demonstrate that he loves his kids and relishes having sex with his wife, Whitney Houston, stressing that he missed her badly after a 33-day lovemaking hiatus due to incarceration. In short, they’re just your average couple with issues.

The family subsequently takes off for the Bahamas, where they shut down a pool for their private amusement and the guests clamor for pictures and autographs, annoying Whitney.

“I just want to be a real person!” Whitney protests in mock anger, with no trace of irony that she is saying this to the camera crew there to document her every move.

In the second episode, Bobby celebrates over not getting sent back to jail, enjoys a massage with Whitney and heads out for a ritzy dinner. Frankly, having the cameras follow him into prison would have been considerably more interesting.

It’s a long way back to “The Osbournes,” but someone really should institute a minimum requirement before a celebrity can construct a show around his shocking ability to do mundane things. (What’s more, Brown and the missus have an unappetizing preoccupation with bodily functions.)

That the show proves so humdrum is especially disappointing given Bravo’s track record with savvy looks behind the entertainment industry’s velvet curtains, from “Project Greenlight” to “Showbiz Moms and Dads.”

Instead, “Being Bobby Brown” is just a show centered on another circus oddity — a notorious figure rendered an object of curiosity thanks to his tabloid exploits and accusations of spousal abuse, determined here to demonstrate how little there is about which to be interested. While one can sympathize with that aim, milking eight episodes out of it is something else altogether.

“That’s my family. We live hard and play hard and laugh hard,” Brown says in voiceover at one point.

The Browns appear to be having a better time being themselves, such as they are, than the average viewer is apt to have watching them; “Being Bobby Brown” is tedious and doesn’t merit a return visit.

Sorry, but that’s my prerogative.

Being Bobby Brown

Bravo, Thur. June 30, 10 p.m.

Production

Produced by B2 Entertainment and Brownhouse Entertainment. Executive producers, Wandy Shelley, Frances Berwick, Andrew Cohen, Dave Serwatka; co-executive producers, Bobby Brown, Tommy Brown, J.S. Abdur-Rahim, Waleed Shamsid-Deen; directors, Stephanie Black, Kwame Nyanning, April Lundy; supervising story editor, Glenda Cox.

Crew

Camera, Ed Myers; supervising editor, John Brancaccio; music, Linda Cohen, the Elements, Jared Faber. Running time: 30 MIN.
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