I'll admit, when I first heard singer Monica was getting a reality show I thought, why?
I don't have anything against her. The girl can sing. She seems level-headed, and I love that her signature look is to slip her long legs into thigh-high boots, before this season.
But all that doesn't make her all that interesting.
So I was surprised to find I actually liked "Monica: Still Standing" (BET 10 tonght).
The show picks up the Diddy "Making the Band" approach; it follows the Atlanta-based R&B singer as she prepares to release her new CD. (Side note to BET: You've had Keyshia Cole, Frankie & Neffe, Tiny & Toya, Welcome to Dreamland, all originating from Atlanta. Time to focus on a new city.)
We learn her last work's sales were disappointing, in part because the label, J Records, advised Monica to do a CD she wasn't really behind.
Coupled with some relationship problems (a boyfriend committed suicide in front of her) and life changes (she's now in a committed relationship and has two children) this new project is a bit of a comeback and much is at stake.
I can't say that Monica is fascinating. She's strong, straightforward, opinionated. But what I liked about the show, at least from what was shown in the first episode, is it seemed to be an exploration of the creative process. We see how a singer who doesn't write her own songs gets writers to speak to her life, creating something that she can sing with power. We see how the singer and producer collaborate to make a hit and the work that goes into that. Monica is the face of the music, but everyone has something at stake in the deal.
It's a solid start.