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"The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty": Meet the brothers

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There's been some hate surrounding "The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty" (A&E, 9 tonight), and that's a shame.

Yes, it's true Michael was the the star of The Jackson 5/Jacksons, but the brothers aren't hacks. They could all sing and dance and write; Jermaine was big enough, at one point, to be paired with Whitney Houston to help launch her career.

They just happened to have a brother who was extraordinary. That doesn't make them coat-tail riders. And don't think this reality show is all about exploiting MJ's memory; it's clear from the first episode that the show was shopped with the idea of celebrating the Jackson Five's 40th anniversary, and then tragedy struck.

Having said all that, "The Jacksons" is kind of just OK, and yet, it is still oddly interesting. In my memory, I have a childhood full of fan magazine compiled information about the J5 (Jackie's real name: Sigmund Esco) and I've watched the TV mini-series "The Jacksons: An American Dream" a gazillion times, but the truth is, I, and you too, don't know anything substantive about them. This show, produced by them, does not change that much. Yet just seeing them talk, interact, play, with their families -- well, that feels new.

Some observations:

Marlon is easy-going and the jokester. Tito, no-nonsense, but not in a Joe way; he seems to be a loving father. Jackie seems like a soft-hearted big brother. Jermaine is a Diva; missing appearances, going rogue at a whim. (He even had to be photoshopped into that picture.) More appalling, he won't kiss his wife (he actually cringes) because of her lipstick. And this is a woman who caters to him to the extent that in one scene she actually puts on his shoes.

The Jackson brothers have some really good-looking children. It's sort of startling just how lovely child after child is.

Until this show, they'd apparently never talked over the whole Jermaine leaving the group to stay with Motown incident. REALLY?! That moment was even portrayed in their mini-series, and by the description on the show, pretty accurately. It was a major split and they NEVER talked about it? As a friend said, "I guess they are just like every other family."

Joe gets some love. They admit he was stern, even hard, but the brothers are grateful, they say, they understand the challenge of raising a whole lot of kids in a poor town. Wonder if MJ came to that conclusion too.

Randy, at least in the first two episodes is nowhere to be found; it's true he's not technically a Jackson Five member but still, his kids are around and so is saintly mother Katherine. What's up with that?

How close does Janet get to this show? Voice on the phone.


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I love this show!!!

I think this show is absolutely wonderful I love the fact that we get see the different personalities that each brother has. Jackie is the oldest but he is so mild and loving and easy going everytime he cries i just want to take him and hug and tell him everything will be okay. Tito i was shocked when I saw the show for some reason I always thought he was the one who really didn't talk much but now I see he is one that i consider the glue out of the 4 he is one I would consider the leader. Jermaine he is the reality star of the show he is the one who brings the excitement to the show who likes the attention and he brings the drama to the show because he has been talked about so much my the media show he gives us that exciement in the show he is most definatley the DIVA of the 4. Marlon is laid back he goes with the flow of things but he likes to crack jokes he seems to have interest in other things besides the music industry. What I would love the most if the show would focus more on other family members like Joe and Katherine i would love to see them in a few episodes. It just goes to show us even though this is one of the most famous families in entertaiment behind clothes doors they are just like any other family who disagree but at the end of the day they will stick together and let no one come between them we caught a glimpse of of their loyality to each other during Michael's 2005 hearing during that hearing it wasn't a day that didn't go by when we didn't see one or all of his brothers and sisters and mom and dad with him going in and out court. I think it a shame the way the media has has said such harsh things about this family.

Jackson Brothers

I too am from a large family, I had 7 brothers of which I've lost 2 so far. I'm the only girl. It's so interesting to observe these brothers. What I do like about them is that they seem to stick togeter, a real bond of love of which I love, but you always have to have one that wants to be the Star, have all the Spot Light. I'm not going to be too critical because I love the Jacksons. I love how they all have kept themselves up, looking good and healthy. I will start with Tito, I love how he loves his boys, I love his (this is me style) I love the hats you wear. It's you!!! Stern but in a loving way. Jackie, warm hearted older brother, still slender and your cool sense of style, calm not easily angered. Marlon, I've watched you sense your solo career. You are fine!!!! You all are, but Marlon, I love your no nonsense attitude and your genuiness. It makes you stand out and you're not even trying to. What white shirts do for you is amazing!!!! Last but not least, Jermaine. Jermaine, I have a lot of respect for you but to make the show interesting, I guess something has to not gel. I bet I can speak for every woman who saw the show and can attest to how you looked when you kissed your wife and how appalled you were at her lipstick getting on you. She wore lipstick when you dated her and you got her to marry you, now you don't like it. It didn't look good to us as we watched you. It really didn't, so if you want to continue this behavior, you will be labeled the "Male Diva".

The Series

I not only saw it but, I recorded it as well, I feel it's too soon after the lost of michael to do this show. It seems as though they were being bullied into it. Jermaine is late in making peace with leaving his brothers, but when I saw him cry it didn't move me in the least, but when I saw tito and jackie cry, I fell apart. People need to understand that they are a family 1st and foremost; before the business. I think they still have what it takes even if micheal isn't here in the flesh he is is spirit. and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis will help supply the hits. Just so they remember to include brother randy, he counts and did well when jermaine went off on his own. Maybe they could listen to some of the songs that Micheal had pre-recorded before his untimely demise and get an idea of what kind of sound he would've suggested if he'd been alive today!! Good-Luck Guys you still have legions of fans you're not only legends but a Franchise by yourselves, no that
May god smile down on you because I'm sure Michael is!!!

With Love,

Cynthia G, Edwards

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About the blogger

Adrienne Johnson Martin would like to have her life turned into an animated cartoon. E-mail Adrienne.