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Are We Asking The Right Questions? JLo Halftime Doc. Netflix

Commentary




Jennifer Lopez's new documentary is a hit! Halftime is currently streaming on Netflix. It is ranked in the Top 10 Trending Movies.


My thoughts:





The Halftime Performance


1. The actual Halftime Show is stressful for any artist. It is a career honor, a crowning achievement, and an opportunity for PRICELESS EXPOSURE! As I watched the performance unfold live at our 2020 Super Bowl Party, everyone stopped and the audience was absolutely riveted by the Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performance. It was ridiculously good and honestly, one of my favorite Halftime Shows of all time.


The peak inside of their creative process was so interesting. The decision making, messaging, stage crafting, choreography and working with the NFL.


Although, this week, much of the media reported about how Jennifer did not want to share the Halftime Show with Shakira. No kidding! It is only 12-14 minutes. These artists are used to putting together an evening's worth of entertainment. Isn't 7 minutes an absurd amount of time? I really don't think it is worth all the attention when there was SO MUCH MORE to talk about like...



Racism and Misogyny


2. The documentary showed clips from South Park and Conan O'brien's show that were incredibly racist. I was sure someone would have released a statement saying they apologized for the obviously racist and stereotypical tropes they used on the shows. That the jokes did not age well. Nope, nothing! Crickets!


The documentary draws our attention to women in the media. When a woman, and specially a woman of color, steps forward wanting more, to be heard, to go for it, the media seems to seek to destroy her. I am not sure why but they did it to: Princess Diana, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris, Oprah Winfrey, Stacey Abrams, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Meghan Markle, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Serena Williams, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, JLo and currently, Moses Ingram (from Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney Plus), to name a few! The list is insanely long actually!




Do men have to endure the same level of harassment, racism, and public humiliation for wanting successful careers? Matthew McConaughey, Bradley Cooper, Chris Evans, John Favero, George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, or Justin Timberlake? Did they enjoy a public shaming? Were they relentlessly beaten up in the media? Or, does the media save that for women of color? Who decides how far to go, how racist and harrassing to be? Why is this pattern allowed to repeat itself over and over again? Usually the answer is money, but it might also be the answer to the question, who are the decision makers?



All the JLo's


3. It was so interesting to watch Jennifer Lopez work with her Music Director and talk through the different Jennifer's.

Hip Hop JLo

Funk JLo

Latin JLo

Mamma JLo

Shoot me down but I can't fall JLo

Try to write me off but I ain't going any motherf'n where JLo

I'm still standing JLo


I thought it was great to see: the "On JLo" with the hair and make-up team vs. the "Off JLo" with a ponytail in the kitchen, the mom connecting with her kids, the person that struggles, the imperfect childhood that gave her grit, the insecure JLo and the tough JLo. We really get a glimpse of what keeps her tough and keeps her going in a brutal business.



As a Creator


4. As a creator it totally resonated with me when Jennifer said, " What is coming next, is anything coming next?" I am always hopeful that the next idea, script, project is coming. Also, with the creative world being so much more accessible today, you can make your own opportunities. They may not be JLo Opportunities, but the media is changing. Now, more people are able to get in through the side door, when the front door won’t open.



Getting Political


5. Incorporating a political message into the Halftime show was important to Lopez. Prior to Trump's presidency many people felt comfortable keeping their careers separate from their politics. But, with so much happening in the US, i.e., major immigration issues, racist policies, white supremacy on the rise, and unanswered police violence, artists began using their platforms to speak out. JLo has over 200 million followers on social media. She is a powerful business woman and influencer. It was brave and important for her to stand up.


Not only does the documentary dissect the imagery we saw in the Halftime Show, with the children in cages as a metaphor for the immigration policy problem, but it’s in front of the biggest audience in the world.


And, less that a year later, January 20, 2021 Jennifer is singing the National Anthem at Joe Biden's Presidential Inauguration adding a Latin flare.



JLo is Fit!


6. Ok, so, JLo is 50. She is doing pull-ups, lifting weights, lots of pole dancing workouts, and choreography that doesn't stop. She is FIRE! That's at any age!


Does her blinged out cup contain the fountain of youth?



Where is ARod?


7. You could tell the documentary editors had specific instructions to meticulously cut Alex Rodriguez out of EVERY scene. But, they had to address the notorious breakup at least one time. We see him for exactly one shot. That's it. Ha! If someone else was incharge of the edit, I am sure ARod would have been a much larger part of the story.


Final Thoughts


I am a production junkie and loved seeing the Halftime Show come together. I thought it was great to see the hard work that goes into a mega production. And, I loved the intercutting of Halftime Show montage.


While it is probably a great payday to have a Netflix deal. A personal documentary is invasive to make, but if you have creative control over your massaging it is probably a win. Obviously, this doc painted JLo in a great light. Her personal brand is strong and she is worth an estimated $400 Million. She is no joke!


Is all publicity, really good publicity? Did the negative, nasty press, while hurtful, keep her name in the media and help propel her to iconic status? Is that the cost of fame? I'm not sure it is the same price for everyone.




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