Can’t Stop Watching: TLC Biopic Draws 4.5 million Viewers While Igniting Memories, Revolt TV Launches & More

by | October 22, 2013 at 4:13 PM | Black Entertainment, Can't Stop Watching

(l-r) Keke Palmer, Chilli, Drew Sidora, T-Boz and Rochelle Aytes attends the CrazySexyCool Premiere Event at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on October 15, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for VH1)

Watching “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story” last night was a like flipping through my junior high and high school yearbooks. The clothes, hairstyles and of course, the music had me singing Minnie Riperton’s “Memory Lane.” The VH1 biopic’s recreation of video shoots for hits like TLC’s “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” “Creep” or “Waterfalls” mirrored the originals (Side note: I remember when my mother told me what the reference “paddywagon” meant from “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg.” Yuck, mom! LOL).  The movie drew 4.5 million viewers, becoming VH1′s highest-ranking original movie ever, according to “Deadline Hollywood.” The cast also did a better job than some worried fans expected. KeKe Palmer, Drew Sidora and Naitia Jessica “Lil Mama” Kirkland, who portrayed Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, respectively, performed well. While all three actresses convincingly transformed for the movie, Lil Mama was a personal standout. She really channeled Left Eye – her voice, persona and physical appearance (the hairstyles, particularly). Actually all of their hairstyles were on point, from Rochelle Aytes, who starred as their former manager Perri “Pebbles” Reid, to Sidora’s T-Boz. Even Chilli’s infamous baby hairs (there’s a 3-year-old Twitter account called @ChillisBabyHair) showed up and had Twitter abuzz, with “baby hair” reportedly becoming a trending topic. All fun aside, the movie also shows that these girls had it rough and it doesn’t seem that they really enjoyed their stardom. From the beginning, when Pebbles eyed T-Boz and Left Eye, it seems that for every high, there were two low blows. In some ways, it was kind of sad. I have listed a few other highlights from the movie to support this point.

-Chilli had it bad for Grammy Award-winning songwriter-producer Dallas Austin (he’s sexy, I get it) though he continuously disrespected her by lying and cheating. At age 20 she had an abortion after he impregnated her right when TLC’s career was taking off. She regretted that decision and the couple eventually separated but not before welcoming a son in 1997.

-Most of us had heard that Pebbles, LaFace Records co-founder Antonio “L.A.” Reid’s ex-wife, shaded the trio regarding that shoddy recording contract they signed that eventually led them to file for bankruptcy. But from Twitter reactions, no one knew that she was a mix of Ike Turner and Joe Jackson in heels, as revealed in the biopic. She overworked them to hunger and near exhaustion. Essentially, she’s portrayed as a materialistic, manipulative dictator who was more concerned with being laced in the finest rather than making sure the girls were able to properly care for themselves (She eluded to suing via Twitter last week.).

-I was unaware of the extent of Left Eye’s alcoholism. It was an issue early on, seemingly fueled by the death of her strict and abusive father, and spiraled out of control. This habit fueled incidents like burning down ex-boyfriend and former NFLer Andre Rison’s mansion. She did seem to have more serenity toward the end of her life and that’s a good thing.

Chilli and T-Boz on new female artists and teaching “The Talk” co-hosts their famed dance moves

Here’s what else is poppin’…

Revolt TV is live and in full effect! I watched the debut countdown online (very convenient) and smiled, like I did with the TLC biopic, when the first video was Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 hit “Juicy.” The network’s birth was filmed on the stoop of Biggie’s childhood home. in Brooklyn. “Revolt is about changing the game,” Founder Sean “Diddy” Combs told former MTV VJ LaLa Anthony who served as the evening’s host. We shall see, Mr. Combs!  In other music news … People said it wouldn’t be done but it looks like Kanye West will wife Kim Kardashian after all. The “Yeezus” rapper surprised his girlfriend with a 15-carat diamond engagement ring on her 33rd birthday. These two seem made for each other and with 4-month-old North West, this may be the best decision for their family. Read more here. Speaking of babies and reasons to smile, you definitely want to check out Evonne and Deon Derrico’s recent visit to “The View.” This loving couple went from having four to nine children in a day when Evonne gave birth to quintuplets. They didn’t use any fertility treatment as multiples run in their family (they already have a set  of twin sons). They were completely surprised by this but have the love and support of family, friends and strangers touched by their story.  Evonne displayed a flat tummy and taut body, showing no signs of having one child let alone nine. Work it, Mrs. Derrico! Check out this beautiful family here.

On my watchlist tonight? What I’m tuning in to see and what I’ll catch up with XFINITY On Demand with…

“The Real Husbands of Hollywood”: I love the wives and female friends, like Wanda Sykes, on the show. It airs at 10 p.m. EST Tuesday on BET. [Watch here]

“Revolution”: I missed last week’s episode and want to catch up before the next. It airs at 8 p.m. EST Wednesday on NBC. [Watch here]

The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not

HOT: Oprah Winfrey visiting two graduates from her Leadership Academy for Girls who are studying at Skidmore College in New York (It’s good she’s keeping up with the young ladies.).

NOT: “Love & Hip Hop” season 4 promo (It aired repeatedly during the TLC biopic and my head hurts).

HOT: Kevin Grevioux allowing himself to follow his dream into the world of science fiction (I love that he’s staying true to himself.).

NOT: Hooters firing a Farryn Johnson, 25-year-old black woman, because she wore blond highlights in her dark-brown hair (All of those frosted and cherry-toned colors I see Hooter waitresses sporting?! Chile, please …).

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.