I felt that it was my duty to watch Behind the Music: Bobby Brown last night. After all, I devoted two whole hours to the Whitney interview, the least I could do was give Bobby an hour. I also wanted to see who would have been more alert and sober: Lil’ Wayne or Bobby Brown. But I must say, Mr. Brown surprised me. I am seriously thinking of getting a “Team Bobby” tee-shirt. Here’s why:
1. Bobby Brown was sober and alert! His eyes were clear. He sounded connected to everyday things like reality. He made sense and it made sense to him that he made sense.
2. Bobby was more sincere than Whitney. As I noted in my Whitney critiques, Whitney had been prepped within an inch of her life. She seemed almost precognizant the way she knew what Oprah would ask and what she wanted to hear; even if she didn’t, Oprah force fed her lines like she was Oprah’s five-year-old in her first school play. There were moments when the cool sophistication slipped, but there was too much time spent blaming Bobby for her addiction. More importantly, she didn’t care about singing and performing. She said that several times.
On the other hand you have Bobby, fully ready and willing to take the blame for every stupid mistake and decision he made in his life. Without Oprah force feeding him lines on how remorseful he was, and without too many references to how the public crucified him and all stood behind Whitney, he told his story sincerely. He was charming and confident, yet realized his youthful indiscretions and bad behavior. Plus, he loves singing and performing. He has a passion for it, a passion lacking in Houston.
Don’t get me wrong; I like I Look to You. It’s a solid effort from a mature woman with a good voice, but anyone with half an ear or one eye can tell the depth of passion isn’t there.
3. Bobby Brown looks heathy. OK, so he looked fat, too, but that’s beside the point. He no longer has that smoked-out skinny look. He is rumored to be on the next installment of Celebrity Fit Club, so he’s even working on that.
4. He’s touring with Heads of State, i.e., him, Johnny Gil, and Ralph Tresvant. All I can say is when are they coming to Central Florida and where can I buy the ticket? His bandmates have forgiven him for the Home Again tour, and he is still on stage being Bobby Brown, sans the drug addictions.
5. Bobby Brown inspired me. I came into this thinking I was about to see yet another trainwreck, or at the very least, a heavily-assisted but still shaky recovery. Britney and Whitney are both back physically healthy, but they have so many handlers and public relations people engineering everything they do and say, how long will the squeaky clean Stepford Wives images last this time before they explode again? Bobby Brown still has a long way to go, but he seems to be aware of that. “It’s about knowing your triggers,” he said. His is loneliness. According to Whitney, hers was Bobby, yet she is still tempted to use with no Bobby in sight. She blames him for everything, as America always thought. He takes responsibility for what he did, admitted that he had the problem, and is surrounding himself with people who care about him and want him to do well, but he is ultimately taking as much responsibility for his recovery as for his fall. Whitney’s recovery is largely credited to her mother, her daughter, and Clive Davis. Until Whitney admits this was her problem and that she needs to be responsible for her own recovery, I feel she is on shakier ground.
At the end of the day, I say, “Go Bobby. I wish you the best, hope you make it. I’ll keep you in my prayers.” And thank you for being accountable for you. That’s the sincerity I wanted, in the place I thought I was least likely to find it.