ABC, realizing it’s now possible that grandpa once owned a 45 of “Time Is on My Side,” has plopped a Mick Jagger docu into the November sweeps on Thanksgiving day. Not that it’s as weird as Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing “Little Drummer Boy” at Christmas, but American tradition and Brit upstart make for a curious mix, and the Alphabet web may well be looking at its lowest-rated primetime music special since its U2 bomb.
Documentary is overseen and partially shot by Jagger, who — with his label Virgin — has orchestrated a far-reaching setup campaign for the album “Goddess in the Doorway,” which was released Tuesday. “Being Mick” is more the work of a talented spin doctor than an auteur; this is all about making multiple generations of Americans feel warm and fuzzy about the lead singer of the Rolling Stones.
In “Being,” Jagger, known for his intense desire for privacy yet practical and aggressive business ways, is seen as a family man doting on his many children and as a hard worker flying between two continents to sing with other superstar musicians — Bono, Wyclef Jean, Pete Townshend and Lenny Kravitz.
He puts in appearances on the set of the film his company produced, “Enigma” with Kate Winslet, and introduces Prince Charles to the troops at the premiere. He smiles a lot everywhere he goes, attending parties, stopping to talk to admirers and even casting a ballot in London. And then we again see him as a family man, sharing a happy life with Jerry Hall and all those kids.
As well as Kevin MacDonald (“One Day in September”) has put this together, one wonders if looks are deceiving. This doesn’t seem to be the Mick Jagger we know (and love) from hours of listening to “Exile on Main Street,” “Sticky Fingers” and “Some Girls”; this is one mature, wealthy guy with no demons or worries.
The show features Jagger singing “God Gave Me Everything” from last week’s performance at the El Rey in Los Angeles. For the album, the song was recorded at Kravitz’s wildly designed place in Miami, and the camera takes viewers through a few rooms. If ever there was a rock star’s crib that deserved its own documentary, his is the one.