This Thanksgiving, we all have something to be thankful for. Just as you’re waking up from your post-meal nap to snag some second-plate leftovers from the fridge, Spike Lee’s Bad 25 will hit ABC’s airwaves to make it’s nationally televised debut at 9:30/8:30c. Chronicaling Michael Jackson’s 45-million-copies-sold second album and corresponding tour, I can say with full conviction that the documentary is not to be missed. Trust me, I saw it twice. For those who may not be MJ fans or perhaps need some convincing, I present you with a list of 25 Reasons You Should Be Watching Spike Lee’s Bad 25. Not completely spoiler-free, however, I urge all the purists out there to tread lightly with this list if you’d prefer to see the film without advance info!
- 1. Mariah Carey makes an LOL-worthy joke about being a fuss-causing diva when she threatens to scold Clive Davis.
- 2. The film summons nostalgia for an era when music was successfully flourishing and record sales were at their peak. Ah, those were the days.
- 3. Viewers receive a non-verbal explanation of the infamous “Smooth Criminal” dance-lean.
- 4. Martin Scorsese watches his old footage and breaks down the making of the “Bad”
- 5. Quincy Jones’ wacky 80s sweater during an interview. You’ll see what I mean.
- 6. MJ’s attorney John Branca makes an incredible Willie Mays 5-skill analogy illustrating the King of Pop’s dedication to his craft and untouchable talent as a songwriter, singer, producer, fashion icon, and dancer/entertainer.
- 7. Justin Bieber makes a few cringe-worthy, douchey interview comments that you’ll definitely read about online the next day.
- 8. Rehearsal footage of Michael working tirelessly with choreographers and dancers on set and in his hotel rooms.
- 9. Wesley Snipes’ interview footage discussing his being cast and involvement in the “Bad” short film.
- 10. Poignant commentary from journalists Danyel Smith and Nelson George, the former of which tells viewers we should all be ashamed as a society for treating MJ so badly when he was alive.
- 11. Footage of Michael creating Spanish versions of Bad-album songs, and Rubén Blades discusses coaching him in those efforts.
- 12. Still-fly model Tatiana Thumbtzen’s accounts of working with MJ on the short film for “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and her explanation for why they never locked lips.
- 13. Detailed stories and visuals behind the production techniques of each song are told by the contributing musicians, vocalists, engineers and songwriters. You’d never think Michael recorded vocals in an acoustically-sound studio bathroom, did you?
- 14. Kanye West’s colorful remarks made on “Smooth Criminal,” where he mimics MJ’s repeated questioning, “Annie, are you okay?!” Hilarious.
- 15. Confirmation from Michael’s vocal coach that he purposely made his speaking voice higher. Apparently MJ didn’t like the sound of it lower “down there.”
- 16. ?uestlove recounting watching Michael’s eventized short film premieres without social media. Instead of Twitter, he’d 3-way call with friends who would 3-way call with 2 other sets of friends, having 9 people on the call in total as they watched their TVs in awe.
- 17. An inside look at hand-written notes Michael wrote himself during the creative process; everything from feelings he wanted to convey, old films he wanted to study and shoes he needed to break-in are revealed.
- 18. Footage of Sheryl Crow’s big hair from the Bad tour, and her more current interview talking about Michael’s ability to change energy in the room wherever he went.
- 19. Not only did I cry, but the film made the guys I saw it with cry. It really is that powerful.
- 20. Michael’s “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” duet partner Siedah Garrett also describes writing “Man In The Mirror” with Glen Ballard, and footage of her first performing it for MJ is included.
- 21. LA Reid reveals what rule he learned from Michael and enforces in videos to this day. Hint: He wouldn’t let Bieber kiss a girl on-camera.
- 22. It’s explained that Whitney Houston was initially supposed to be MJ’s duet partner on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” Cue Mariah flipping out on Clive.
- 23. The doc celebrates the fifth best-selling album of all time, and its five #1 singles. And you should be celebrating too, damn it.
- 24. Chris Brown, Andre Harrell, Cee-Lo Green, Stevie Wonder and Usher contribute heart-felt interviews to the film.
- 25. It’s a Spike Lee Joint, y’all.
*Some of the items on this list may not make ABC’s on-air cut-down version, airing November 22 at 9:30/8:30c on ABC.