I was recently looking for something different to watch rather than the usual sitcom suspects. While scrolling, I discovered This is Pop, a music documentary series streaming on Netflix. Me being me, I decided to give it a try. The series is comprehensive; it covers topics as diverse as the Auto-Tune and how Swedish pop took over the airwaves. (Come to think of it, those topics aren’t too dissimilar!)
I actually really enjoyed it. This is Pop does an incredible job of recruiting the names who were actually there, rather than distant commentary. You hear about T-Pain’s struggles with respect from the industry directly from the rapper himself. Meanwhile, Boyz II Men take us step by step through their career.
This is Pop feels like a grown-up version of Behind the Music or any number of VH1/MTV specials. The production quality is slicker and there’s less of a focus on shock-value anecdotes. Instead, the series features interviews with journalists and historians who provide valuable context for cultural trends. As a result, This is Pop manages to be fun and educational at the same time. They don’t rely too heavily on cheesy reenactments like some other documentaries do, which is nice. Each episode is well-constructed and the spotlight is truly on the artists themselves.
My rating? 4.5/5 stars.