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Streaming or Skipping: HBO Max's "Menudo: Forever Young", a documentary about a popular boy band whose members were kicked out at the age of 17.

Menudo: Forever Youngis a four-part docu series directed by Angel Manuel Soto, which has become very popular in commercial jingles and Latin America and the United States. Playing in a cow car in their home country of Puerto Rico. The key to the group, started in 1977 by music producer Edgard Diaz, is for members to grow older and change from the group at the age of 17.

MENUDO: FOREVER YOUNG:Streaming or skipping.

Opening Shot:"New York City. 1983." A large crowd of preteen and teenage girls shout "I want a menudo." Outside the hotel where the boy band is staying.

Key points:In addition to a lot of archived footage, some of Diaz's business partners and much of what the group did in the first episode of the main run from 1977 to 1996. Interviews with some of the members in the early days of the group, seeing the business model that Diaz put together, and the constant changes in promotion and tours in Latin America that kept band members away from their families most of the week of the year. Let's look.

Two of the first episode interviews are with "charter members" Ricky Melendez and Johnny Lozada, who participated in 1980 just before the band exploded. Share the benefits of the band. There are also many audio recordings of Diaz who were not interviewed in the series. The focus of the episode is on how boys travel, perform and promote throughout Central and South America, including some of the more dangerous places in the region in the early 1980s, such as the war-torn El Salvador. Was it exposed?

Diaz learned from the promotion of the Latin pop group La Pandilla in the 70's, a) because the brand is more important than the individual members, they changed members over the years. b) You need to appeal to group teens and teenage girls. c) If her son is recruited to join the group, the parent must sign him the protection of his son. This allowed us to continue touring without parental intervention and without heavy supervision.

Menudo: Forever Young
Photo: HBO Max

Reminds you of what you see. Menudo: Forever Youngreminds me of Parchis: Documentary, a Spanish boy band (with one girl) ) Among them) it preceded menudo several years in the 70's and almost collapsed by 1985. Beats are similar: children who are not given too much freedom and sufficient supervision are making money for people other than themselves.

Our view: When Menudo invaded the United States in the early 80's, we were clearly not included in Menudo's demographics, but especially pre. Talking about the popularity of teens and teenage girls was inevitable. .. We didn't listen to their music, but we didn't have to. Members of the group knew they were aging out of the band, like the musical and non-fatal version of Logan's Run

. From New Kids on the Block to BTS, all the boy band stages that come later. That's why I enjoyed hearing about the early days of the band and how the Diaz business model was original (and exploitative).

The first episode shows a band that has already conquered most of Latin America, including the huge and normally isolated Mexican market, and is about to make a big break in the United States. What we wanted to see was the footage and memories of the band's first three years. They were still playing local gigs and commercial jingles in Puerto Rico. How was the life of the children at that time? Was it at least close to normal? And what was the turning point that made them move from a famous local boy band to an international megastar?

Another thing we were looking for was the opinion of Ricky Martin, the most famous member of Menudo, who was in the group from 1983 to 1989. It doesn't look like he's appearing in this documentary (although we may be wrong), but he gained a lot of fame as a kid and somehow got out of it, solo artist Proto. Timberlake, so to speak.

Still, it's a fun ride. In particular, we get hilarious commentary from people like Rosada who have been there since the very beginning of Mega Fame. Despite some criticisms of Diaz in the band's later years, it doesn't seem to be a careful story at all. And the final sale of the band name after that sale hit the skid in the 90's.

What we found in this series is that Diaz is not Lou Pearlman. Lou Pearlman is ridiculed by most of the singers in his band. A more affectionate compliment, especially from those who participated in the band itself. The grinds experienced by the boys are expressed as "well, it's the 80's / 90's" emotions, shrugging more than anything else. The refreshing part of this series is that the interviewed Menudo members appreciate the wild ride they made, even if they realized that Diaz couldn't run the band as they do today. is.

Gender and skin:None unless you count the tight outfits that band members started wearing around 1981.

Farewell Shot:As a documentary, we move on to the dark side where the members of Menudo have little or no supervision. Looking at the band and Diaz at the press conference, Alfred D. Helger, who worked with him to promote La Pandilla, said: chicken.

Sleeper Star:Rosada is not only cheerful, but also seems to have a good outlook on Menudo's growing fame and his role in it. It may be because he was one of the members who shared the profits and he was not just a salaryman.

Most pilot lines:Menudo member Raul Reyes, brother of Paul Reyes, said about when the band changed from polo shirts and jeans to lycra and spandex outfits: I'm telling you. The clothes were exactly tight to their bodies. Imagine the excitement of these tightly dressed boys making teenage girls adolescents. In these two sentences, things moved from innocence to subjectivity very quickly.

Our call:STREAMIT. Whether you remember menudo or not, menudo: Forever Youngis, as we know, a fascinating look at the group that ignited the boy band phenomenon. ..

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and technology, but he doesn't make fun of himself. He is a TV addict. His work has been published in The New York Times, Slate, Salon,,, Fast Company and more. increase. ..