New Britneyology

“I Am Britney Jean – Britney Spears’ Road To Las Vegas Uncut” – Review

Posted by: Karenannanina on: May 20, 2014

Anyone who has seen I Am Britney Jean should have come away with a picture of Britney Spears that is quite different from the one so many people have been brainwashed into believing. “Dead behind the eyes”, “can’t speak”, “a puppet”, “unbelievably dumb”, “can’t be bothered”, “lazy”, “not interested in her career”? Think again. The young woman we see here declares herself to be shy and modest, but she’s also fast-talking, articulate (and she knows how to use big words!), funny, self-aware, smart, determined, disciplined, energetic and professional. Seeing this makes it easy to understand why she’s a megastar. It’s a shame more people didn’t see it, and a bigger shame that so few seem to have taken any notice of it.

The documentary is an account of the 4 months Britney has available to “take on the biggest challenge of her career”. It’s made up of scenes showing the processes involved in preparing for her residency at Planet Hollywood, and the stresses, the pressures, the incredible work-rate and total commitment of everyone involved. Intercut with these vignettes are interview segments with the principal players involved in the show, such as Baz Halpin, Adam Leber and Larry Rudolph, and, of course, Britney herself.

In this account I’ll concentrate on the segments of the documentary that tell us something about Britney Spears and the people around her.

Title sequence
“What’s your favorite bubblegum?” is the opening question to Britney. “Watermelon bubblegum, man, it’s the best. It’s so good!” she replies, and the expression on her face – visibly yet politely cringing at this idiocy – says it all. But then she takes us into her confidence: “You know, I’ve always been kinda shy, since I was a little girl. It’s not something that I like, it’s just like me, it’s who I am to be modest, I really can’t help it. But it’s almost like it’s my alter ego when I get onstage, I turn into this different person. Seriously, bipolar disorder!” she laughs. And this dichotomy is at the heart of our endless fascination and puzzlement with her. Sidenote? She wouldn’t joke about bipolar disorder if she suffered from it – so that’s another thing we’ve learnt.

Shooting promo materials for the Vegas show
Britney talks fluently and fast about how she learnt, after 10 years in the business, that there were a “lot of mean things on the internet”. When she first became famous, she was naïve and “didn’t care what anybody thought of me, she was just “happy to be there”. But “you can’t control what people think”, so you shouldn’t worry about it and now she believes the naïve attitude is the one to have. Now, she says, she treasures things more. When she was younger, things happened so fast and she never “settled into the moment”. “This is all I’ve known, all my life, to have cameras following you…” she reflects. She doesn’t come over as tongue-tied and inarticulate at all. Not even slightly.

Meeting with show director Baz Halpin
“I love dramatic! Cheesy is good! Extra cheese and simplicity!” Britney laughs, discussing her vision for the show. Everyone takes notice of what she wants. She tells how she types all her ideas out studiously on the computer and sends them to the director, then they get their heads together. It’s becoming increasingly clear that her agreement is necessary with anything that is planned. Nobody makes her do things against her will.

Choreography rehearsals
Britney has new choreographers (Squared Division from Australia) and, she says, “their stuff is really hard”. The small details of perfecting a single move are shown, and how perfectly she executes it. Tough taskmasters and hard to please, Squared Division are amazed at how much choreography she can learn and retain in such a short time.

Choosing the setlist with Larry Rudolph
Larry Rudolph describes the Vegas show as a retrospective and celebration of the last 15 years. [He’s known her since she was 13.] She talks about balancing the old material the fans want with new songs to keep it fresh for herself. She and Larry link the title of the show Piece of me with the song, and clarify its significance. Larry points out that she was one of the first celebrities to be affected by the massive change in media culture. It was worse with her than with anybody, he says, and they were followed around by a convoy of “criminals” with cameras. She describes it as a dark period, but now that she’s a survivor in a new era, the song has a new meaning – portraying a super-confident superstar challenging the media to do their worst.

Announcing the Vegas show to the world
We see on video, with Larry narrating, how they announced the Vegas show with the biggest PR production he’s ever known, bringing 1300 Britney lookalikes into the desert and having them line up, holding cards above their heads to form a picture of Britney and the words “all eyes on Britney”. Britney arrives by helicopter and is loving it, but as it drops, she feels sick, her assistant helps her, and out she goes to be the trouper she is!

Britney talks about loving Vegas and how, after all the touring she’s been doing for the last few years, it would be good for her and her family. Her earliest memories of Vegas were of going there as a little girl, going on the rides, and fantasizing about being on stage and performing for lots of people. [We see cute pix of her as a kid.]

Production meeting
This excerpt shows how the stage sets reflect Britney’s imagination. And she wants water features! Adam Leber talks about having an album to finish, and the Work Bitch video to shoot in temperatures of 115 degrees! We can begin to appreciate why the promotion for the album Britney Jean was so sketchy.

The “Work Bitch” video shoot
Britney has no proper dressing room but doesn’t seem to mind, and isn’t creating a fuss, but her dad invents a “redneck air conditioner”! “We don’t go anywhere without duck tape!” he laughs. Are there going to be real sharks in the video? “There ain’t gonna be no sharks around MY baby!” says her dad. She wanted the video to be “real editorial, real fashion, a little bit risqué,” says Adam Leber. However, we now know that she went for a final cut that wasn’t as sexual and showed less skin. As if in explanation, Britney says she loves sex but feels a little differently about it now that she’s older.

PR for the forthcoming “Britney Jean” album
Adam talks about juggling all the different elements of her life – show, album, video, PR visit to London, her family.. He says it’s a jigsaw puzzle. Here we see footage of her visit to London, excerpts from interviews and she talks about her lapses into an occasional British accent. The sound of it puts her in a good mood! We see her, with day-to-day manager Florence Tse, handwriting a letter to fans for the album notes. She talks about the fans wanting to know her in a personal way, but recognizes that she had become alienated from the public during the worst of the media mayhem. She says she wasn’t “made for this industry” because she’s so shy, and it’s not something she deals with so well.

Dancer auditions
The choreographers, director and Britney all have their own preferences, which they’re trying to reconcile. She says she loves watching people dance and could watch it all day long. She genuinely admires dancers and the inspiration they provide. Here, she says, she’s looking for the intangibles – their eyes, their vibe, their attitude. The dancers all claim to be long-term, devoted Britney fans and for them this isn’t just a well-paid gig, it’s a dream come true. (The one who’s currently suing Britney for accidentally breaking her nose – allegedly – seems to have gone off-message.)

Costumes for the Vegas show
Marco Morante, costume designer, points out that there are 7 “acts” or segments in the show and new costumes for 15 dancers plus Britney for each act. Britney describes the costume concepts created for each of her tours, saying that the Femme Fatale outfits were simple, but for Vegas she wants something “more exciting”.

Marco comments that she wanted the dress for the opening number to be more silver and is trying to “sell her on the blue”. She says to camera that, while it’s not great to be a bitch, it’s better to speak up and say what’s on your mind, “something I have a problem with”. Marco says she has a face that shows when she’s not loving something and “in the end, Britney is always gonna be the one who makes the final decision”. Again, no puppet. She then comments “When people give me their ideas, I’m always very careful about what I say. The way I was brought up, I’m very quiet and I think before I speak.”

Choosing pictures for the Britney Jean album PR campaign
Britney and Florence Tse choose are looking at pictures. “We don’t know how to work the computer!” Britney laughs. Florence replies “Every time I sit with you I have this problem!” To which Britney responds “I think I do this to people sometimes!”

Another dance rehearsal
Britney looks as slim as a rail compared to the dancers, as she does throughout the documentary. Another myth destroyed. It’s difficult to understand how the commenters on blogs regularly describe this tiny girl as “fat”, “chunky” and so on. Britney says she’s a perfectionist and wants to learn the moves for every song so well that she could do them in her sleep and doesn’t have to think about them when the show comes along.

In a moment that explains a lot about her, she then says “Being a perfectionist sucks because you’re really hard on yourself as it is, and you have instructors who are very detail-oriented already and it’s a lot of pressure. But I have that motivation in rehearsals to make it the best every time. That’s why I do what I do.”

First visit to the soundstage
Britney is both nervous and excited. This brings everything more to life, she says. She’s given a tour of the facilities, which include a fire trough and a three-story tree from which she is to bungee. She’s unfazed by everything. The choreographers remark that, while the dance studio was a safe haven for Britney, she’s now surrounded by production workers and every move is scrutinized by director Baz Halpin. Adam Leber says he has no concerns that Britney won’t be ready in time, but is worried that the production won’t be ready. Britney exits past Florence and Jamie Spears (who really does seem to be fully committed to B’s career) making a loud farting sound – she really is a dork, just as she told us all those years ago!

Emergency schedule meeting
The various management teams try to reconcile the show’s rehearsal requirements with Britney’s other commitments. Business Manager Robin Greenhill tells them that she will rehearse on her birthday. However, nobody puts their hand up to Larry’s enquiry as to who will put out the Official Schedule! Are they scared of Britney’s reaction? It seems so!

“Perfume” video shoot
It’s officially the middle of nowhere – Larry says so. Britney is quietly getting her way about the silver dress. Her dad is looking for duck tape. He seems a vastly humorous man. But Larry tells him she’d be embarrassed if he was on set for a kissing scene! He responds by kissing her car window! However, he agrees to make himself scarce, and goes off on his endless search for duck tape.

The “Britney Jean” listening party
Andy Cohen is doing a Q&A with Britney and Will I Am. Andy asks her if she’s a shy person and she says yes and blushes. He looks astonished. Britney talks about her inspiration for Alien: sometimes you alienate yourself from the world and you feel alone. We do it to ourselves instinctively, and the song is about NOT doing that. She admits she’s not good in a social setting, and is shy and awkward. She found the listening party awkward and embarrassing, with so many people in front of her asking questions, but she got through it. Will I Am steps in to interpret her thoughts – he says it’s weird for her to sit there watching journalists listening to her music when she’d find it easier and more natural to be performing for them. She blushes again.

Britney’s birthday
As scheduled, she’s been in rehearsals all day and now it’s the evening and she’s doing the Ellen show. She says she doesn’t mind working on her birthday. If she wasn’t working she wouldn’t know what to do with herself.

Next day
Outfits are again being tested and approved and the new silver dress is unveiled. Britney got her way in the end, as Marco predicted! Britney wants to add Alien to the setlist as a song (like Everytime, she says) that draws you in. It’s important to her. Baz Halpin is struggling to see where it would fit best in the show.

Show run-through
They’re working their way through the whole show to see what it feels like. They rehearse Work Bitch. Britney effortlessly takes command and is clearly the star, even when dressed down. They even rehearse the part where she walks towards the audience to pick out a guy to have fun with. On this occasion she picks “too cool for school” manager Larry Rudolph and makes him crawl along on hands and knees!

Injury
Britney gets “dancer whiplash” in her neck. It’s like whiplash in a car crash. She says she’s been overdoing it and could hardly move her neck for 3 days. But like the professional and braveheart that she is, she doesn’t go all diva about it. She puts bags of frozen peas on her neck and shrugs it off.

Thanksgiving meal
Britney’s dad is cooking. Britney says it’s a special Thanksgiving because her boys are getting a little older and coming into their own. She’s feeling excited because of the show. She’s trying to relax a little but not too much because she’s got a lot ahead of her. When she’s under pressure, she says, she goes inwards. Tries to keep it all in. Doesn’t express herself much. When she’s nervous she’s really quiet. But she thrives under pressure.

Her dad says he’s nervous too and Britney says he’s a worrier, like her. She does the exact same things with her hands and has the same mannerisms – she’s turning into her father! Then she comes up with a joke that seems too subtle for the assembled mob “I was searching for camouflage the other day and I couldn’t find any!” She says nice things about David Lucado, her boyfriend. They don’t get to see each other as much as they’d like, but, she says, he gets what she does.

Jamie Lynn
Britney’s kid sister appears on-screen to talk about her. She says that, no matter what the world thinks, nobody is harder on Britney than she is herself, and that’s what has driven her to have the success that she’s had. Britney says Jamie Lynn is sweet and gifted and the closest thing to her. Jamie Lynn adds that Britney was like a second mom to her, and instilled confidence in her. However, she insists on telling us, she can kick her sister’s ass every time!

Go beyond reason to love
It’s on her bathroom wall in Louisiana. “Go beyond reason to love for it’s the only safety there is,” she says. “You should be with the person you want to be with and be cherished and treasured. It’s important to have a really good group of people around you.”

The “Welcome to Vegas” PR event
She seems a lot more nervous than her PR staff, and as the huge mob screams and hollers you can see why. “I want my daddy!” she laughs.

Visit to Children’s Hospital
Britney seems a lot more comfortable with this than with parading herself. She mentions that her aunt had cancer.

Shooting the filmed sequences for the Vegas show
There’s pressure to do it in half the expected time. She treats the crew to some of her hilarious facial expressions and dorkiness, never seeming to take herself too seriously.

Insertion of “Alien” into the show
Larry’s still worrying but Britney has been thinking and comes up with the answer herself – to include it in the second set of shows, when it comes out as a single. Larry acknowledges that she usually comes up with the answer to a problem they’re having.

At Planet Hollywood
The crew led by Baz Halpin visit Planet Hollywood and realize that their set design and the theatre have a few compatibility issues. Especially the tree. And the bungees from it. A dancer tries out what might be involved. When Britney arrives, she’s a little shocked by the size of the tree. She had asked for a bigger tree, but now she’s not so sure! A few concerns about the fire pit too! “Am I gonna be in the middle of that?!” But there’s no question of not doing it. There’s childlike amazement when she sees the mega video screen. There is no world-weary cynicism in this girl.

Walk-through of the show
The walk-through and last few rehearsals (incredible how many there have been). Everyone is tired, but Britney remarks that this is the time that brings out your character. One day you’re bitchy, next day you’re really nice, next day you’re crying because you’re trying to put it all together.

Britney not feeling too good
Robin Greenhill says Britney never gets sick – ever – but it seems she’s suffering from “Vegas throat” which affects all singers who go there. It’s caused by the very low humidity. And she’s been pushing herself harder than she’s ever done. Physician Kochy Tang gives her a vitamin shot and notes that “she’s a trouper”. She carries on. “You’re defined by what you become when you’re under pressure,” she says. “I think I deal pretty good. It’s showbusiness. The show must go on. You just get with it and figure it out.”

7 days before
They’re still rehearsing intensively. Then there’s the full show run-through. Britney’s kids are there, watching mom. Her dad is looking after them and keeping them entertained. They seem interested in performing themselves. They look entranced and open-mouthed during the Everytime sequence, where Britney does her angel-flying.

6 days to go
Britney treats the dancers to dinner, and, no diva, thanks them for coming. Larry reminisces significantly about Britney: He first met her when she was a young kid and she was shy and couldn’t look him in the eye. And she was so polite, always calling him “sir”. She really WAS the girl-next-door, that sweet little Southern girl. And that’s really who she still IS, when she’s offstage and not “being Britney Spears”. She really hasn’t changed from that core, in all these years.

Scenes from the show
And that’s where it ends, as the clock zips down to 0:00

The documentary has a lot to convey, and does it well. The editing is razor sharp, building a complex, many-layered composite picture from a kaleidoscope of telling but momentary allusions. Britney makes a lot of points, and reveals a lot about herself, yet the technique of intercutting brief but very quotable quotes from the main players with action scenes ensures that the pace is never allowed to drag. Reflections take a proportionate place. We might have wanted to hear more from the sit-down interviews with Britney from which the quotes are taken, but it probably wouldn’t have added anything, and the balance of ingredients would have been lost. This is a case where less is more.

Britney comes over as someone who does what she does, not out of ego or a desire to show off how great she is, but because she’s driven. She struggles against the constraints of a shy, modest and reclusive personality, and it would be so much easier for her to keep away from showbiz, but she has a powerful work-ethic and an inability to sit still for long. It’s often predicted that she will soon retire, but I don’t think she would know how to. After a few weeks, she would feel that nervous energy pushing her out there again. And to do what? Well, there’s only one thing she knows.

54 Responses to "“I Am Britney Jean – Britney Spears’ Road To Las Vegas Uncut” – Review"

Wow, it’s true how many lovely, touching, revealing moments there are in the documentary. I guess because they’re so small and quotidian we just missed them. That one where Britney says she’s turning into her dad is so cute and priceless. It shows how wrongheaded and prone to melodrama conspiracy theories about celebrities, even sympathetic ones, can be. It’s almost laughable that Jamie Spears has been so vilified. Sure, there were family troubles in the past and sure Jamie does have conservatorship. But from evidence of “For the Record” and now “I am Britney Jean”, it is clear that Jamie’s relationship with Britney is purely as a supportive, loving dad who is just helping keeping the craziness of managing the life of a megastar like Britney together.

The storyline of preparing for Vegas is so strong that it distracts you, and you don’t realize how much you could be learning about Britney if only you were paying attention. It’s great to have all these scenes stranded out and written down. It gives you a chance to reflect.

What’s even more shocking is how you can come to the conclusion that this woman is lazy when she’s working like a champion during the entire documentary…

Thanks for this articles, I really liked the documentary and I loved reading you insight on it. My favourites part were when she was with her kids and when she speaks about the radical decisions she took to be left alone by the paps.

I really enjoyed the documentary. I should watch it again someday.

I really like what you said in your last paragraph. Britney just does whatever she wants and doesn’t care what other people think about her. When I watch X-factor or the Voice or any other talent show and I hear someone say they “want to become famous” I’m like “Realy? Are you serious”. When you do what you love (sport or music or whatever) and you’re good at it then you become famous, as a (negative) side-effect. But it should never be your main goal. That’s why it never really bothers me when Britney isn’t on the red carpet posing in the newest famous designer dress or doing other things to get attention. That’s not what she wants to do so she just doesn’t do it. Isn’t that admirable?

I really enjoyed the documentary when I watched it, and I think you wrote a great review! I really wish more of the general public had seen this, it really would’ve debunked a lot of false perceptions about her.

One thing that your review brought to my mind though: the Alien-as-a-single controversy. In the documentary it is clear that the song means a lot to her, and it is also clear that she was pushing for it as a single at the time. Why has that not happened yet? Has that ship already sailed, or do you think there’s a chance it may still get released? Honestly, I’ve been expecting it for some time after she released Perfume, but it still hasn’t come. The song is one of my all time favorites, and I would love to see a music video for it. What are your thoughts on this subject?

It does seem like that ship has sailed, and everyone just wants to forget about “Britney Jean” and all its contents. The public unveiling of Orbit’s remix of “Alien” pretty much buries it as a single – unless, perhaps, Britney herself is anxious to release it as part of the launch of the next phase of her residency. As we see in the documentary, she tends to get her way.

I enjoyed the documentary. I agree that it showed some aspects of her personality that the general public doesn’t get to see often. However, it made the current existance of the conservatorship even more confusing for me. Why would she need it if everything is fine? She can have her father managing her career and the best financial managers/accountants without the c-ship. I feel that contributes to some of the doubts about her control over music/songs… Not that she has to justify it, but the doc just confused me in that aspect. I wish we could see more of her in the studio recording and watch her in the recording process. I don’t know, just my thoughts on this.

Couldn’t it be that the conservatorship is regarded as mutually beneficial by Britney and her dad? She doesn’t seem remotely interested in challenging it. Maybe she finds life easier and more comfortable with him around, and knows that he will take on the world to look after his daughter and her interests.

I figured the custody arrangement of the children might be a reason. Maybe having whatever routine is in place has worked so well for the boys that they don’t want to disrupt anything in their formative years.

Yeah, I don’t know. It will be interesting to hear what the boys have to say about her and this whole situation when they are a little bit older. I just think that if your child is OK, then as a parent you would advocate to get rid of the c-ship. I just don’t want to normalize it. It does affect her legal rights.

Overall, I enjoyed the documentary. I think it was noncontroversial, which is why some fans didn’t pay attention to it, even though they should have. Watching her grow as an artist and a person over the years is awesome. I hope we get more docs of this cailber.

okay this is a pointless comment…but I havent read the essay yet…but Im totally excited. Im saving it for tomorrow.

I love Karen’s analysis, so always look forward to reading her stuff. So I’ll be back, when I can take it all in without rushing it.

lol

I just live for the bit where she yeses and no’s outfits and rejected two different ones.
The part where she says that’d she’s rather work then play! That’s wny she is where she is..

I tihnk this doco proved that a relative normal person can still be very interesting to watch. Celebrity culture being what it is seems to put forward the idea that someone has to be this larger than life, holier than thou character at all times even in their daily happenings (the real housewives sorts, the Kardashians etc). It seems like the entertainment comes from their “This is how the other half lives” attitude and approach. While Britney’s career, image and music are definitely larger than life, she herself has always tried to project that she’s very far removed as a person from what she created. This is something fans really love about her and as a shy person myself it’s very relatable and accessible. But for Hollywood and for people who have never experienced shyness or personal setbacks, Britney is, well, an alien. She has all the makings of a huge, cartoonish life but she doesn’t flaunt it. She doesn’t create drama for the camera. She doesn’t have an ego. Certain people will be turned off by this, bored out of their minds with no “juicy gossip”. But I think for her old school fanbase, it’s one of the things that keep us coming back because it’s a more personalised experience this way where we still get to see all the glamour, fun, and luxury of fame but with a genuinely nice, engaging and understated person at the center of it all. It’s a pleasant contrast.

I do think it’s disappointing when she talks about nailing choreography and her throat being affected when she has barely changed her stiff dance style since 2009 (the day she moves her torso and hips during the Slave choreography is the day I’ll believe she can truly dance again) and has so far not sung anything live. But I can appreciate that regardless of these two factors she still has to work damn hard every night and it took a LOT of blood, sweat and tears from everyone involved to get the production going.

I also didn’t like how the new album took a backseat ultimately but I did like when we got to see her writing her letter (which made me so emotional when I first read it omg) and got to see her putting a few things together. I also like that Alien appears to be her favourite track because it’s mine too.

Her boyfriend seems nice. I did think Jason seemed nice too but looking back, he was kind of weird. This guy seems utterly normal and fits in well with the Spears family in general, thanks to the lack of ego. It’s funny how she has dated from top to bottom: Justin, the would-be A-lister with jealousy and entitlement issues, Kevin the bum with the pipe dreams, Jason with the Hollywood version of normality and then David who actually seems like the first regular human being she’s dated in comparison LOL. Also notice how she talks about sex very frankly, when she was with the other guys there was always these cheesy metaphors she’d come out with and roundabout, generic ways of saying she was happy or satisfied whereas now she just says it because it’s as normal as any other aspect of her life.

I’m pretty curious as to where she goes after Vegas.

Her not singing anything live is not really something I will give her excuses for but her dancing has gotten way better since 2009. It was already better during the FF days, especially on her european dates where she was on fire (think the Paris one, for example). I’ll wait for the DVD to watch the entire thing but I already saw many great performances of “WB”, “MATM” & “GM”/”BTI”. Vegas was supposed to be this huge trainwreck but to the regret of her cynical stans, it turned out to be a huge success and improvement in the performance aspect.

Do you think most Britney stans feel empowered and “safe” in fandoming someone they disrespect and think is beneath their golden standards? It could be why they were so eager to forget about this very telling documentary and continue with their lunacy… I can’t help but think there’s a gripping thesis about the politics of pop consumers that is just waiting to happen!
The underdogs shaming the other underdog, that is in the spotlight when the only spotlight they’ll likely see is the one when they turn on their computers to insult and belittle her some more. A writer already tackled this subject in 2006 but it seems a lifetime happened between those days so an update is indeed essential.

PS: We should totally make a group e-book combining extracts from articles from Karen and some eye opening posts containeD in the commentary. This site is a goldmine of of non-PC writing. <3

There is this weird things people do when they think someone is above them and below them? AT THE SAME TIME!
Like, I admire you, but you can’t be human, I know you, so you can’t change, I love you but I won’t listen to you.
It’s almost hypocritical how they spend so much time complaining about her team Not Listening and Making Her Work Against Her Will. When they don’t listen WHEN she said she works WITH her will, to keep herself sane, regardless of birthdays and pregnancy, cuz she can’t deal with “free time”, like I said in, like, 2005?
All I know is that more Brit fans should watch it.

I’m having a few technical repairs done over the weekend (to our internet, not to me) so y’all can go crazy until I get back online!

Awesome review Karen! I’ll re-post a comment I made earlier:

“Funny how this amazing doc was all but swept under the rug. It’s like it never even happened. Unfortunately I attribute this mainly to it’s revelation of Britney as a frighteningly normal, happy, competent young woman. This is a reality some find disappointing as it contradicts all the sordid mythology of her celebrity persona, and as a result this flattering and non-slanderous portrait was conveniently neglected by many.”

To elaborate on this, I’ve always felt like there is this epic novel being written about Britney. She is the main character in the story of course, but since it’s a fictional story being penned by someone else she has no actual say in how she’ll be perceived by others or whether her character is good or evil, and so on. Her real-life actions are inconsequential – the author will decide what it wants to edit out, and what thematic elements should be played up for the sake of entertainment.

On the bright side I believe that history does vindicate people like Britney. For one thing her career accomplishments simply cannot be downplayed or denied and it’s only natural in time that the more discerning and clear-minded individuals will go sifting through the slush for the non-exploitive version of the story.

Britney is the sheep in wolf’s clothing, and if exposes like IABJ prove anything it’s that there is no grotesque reality of an elephant man exhibit hiding under a sheet somewhere.

Very nice review Karen! I really enjoyed the documentary, unlike for the record which made me feel sad ans sorry for her this made me in a good mood and happy about how happy she seems to be. A shame so few ppl saw it. What is sad is how clearly making and promoting BJ was only a burden and somerhing that had to be done, to Larry and Adam at least, no wonder the promotion for it was what it was. The album was never in focus, the show was. To bad Alien single don’t seem to be happening. Love that song. I think it could do great as a single.

I love that quote about Love. Our Brit is a romantic

Do we/how do we know “so few people saw it?” I see that phrase being mentioned a lot, and I’m just curious what is the basis of it? I guess I didn’t realize it had not been a big deal for all of her fans. And even among the barely-there fans (i.e., “general public”) that I know, many did see the documentary. Anyway, it was a big deal for ME. I loved seeing our girl in such a positive, focused place in her life. I do believe there was some candy-coating going on with the doc, and at times it felt a little too contrived. As an example, when she’s laying on the bed with her laptop, looking perfect and polished straight out of Elle magazine…I had to laugh. We all know the girl dresses down and usually doesn’t bother much with hair and makeup. But of course they are going to have the documentary in mind while they are filming it… she’s not going to be 100% au naturelle. I get that.
But still, throughout the doc there was this nagging part of me wondering how real this picture of normalcy and contentment really is. If everything is really so peachy, then why the conservatorship? In FTR she said that nobody listens to her…has that really changed? What happened to Alien being a single?
Sigh, but suspicions and doubts aside, I adored this peek into Britney-land. It’s a treasure that I know I’ll revisit many times in the future.

There wasn’t much said about it on Exhale, they pretty much discarded it after a few days. I never see gifsets of it on tumblr or anything. It just sort of came and went, much like the album. It didn’t seem to have quite the lasting impact like FTR did but then again, everything was totally different when FTR was aired.

When you mention lasting impact – I really see what you’re saying. I did just sort of come and go. A shame.

This is the sorta of paranioa I oppose….

Honestly, I was a bit afraid to write this comment – I know its not a popular opinion here on NB. But I wanted to be honest about my feelings. Maybe it is just paranoia. I wish I could kick the feeling, I really do.

Hey you feel what cha feel. I’ve never actually seen evidence for any of these theories people make up. They are theories. I’d never want to discourage disagreement.

Also of course she’d dress up have “posed” photos of her drawing and writing. All prettied up. Doesn’t mean it’s put on or fake. Of course they’res a little candy coating and swear word scenoring, does NOT mean the whole thing is a fake conspiracy.

It’s sad Alien never happened, but that’s the business sometimes. Plans are just plans…

I guess I need to clarify. I don’t think the whole thing is a fake conspiracy. I don’t like the word “fake”, and I’m not a conspiracy theorist. That’s an exaggeration of the perception I was trying to describe. I just felt a little put off by the posing and scripting of certain scenes. My overall takeaway from the documentary was that she’s in a much better place than she seemed to be a few years back – emotionally and as far as being engaged in and excited by her career. It makes me happy to think that things are on the upswing.
And yes, a bummer that Alien fell through.

Seems reasonable. Not that I entirely believe in the issue, but reasonable enough

“Scripting” of scenes, Jamie? That makes it seem like you’re still alleging fakeness. To my eyes the content is down to sharp editing, not scripting. I think we’re mostly big followers of Occam’s Razor on this site! If it looks like a banana, it’s probably a banana. It COULD be a secret microphone, but it’s probably a banana.

I agree – scripting is too literal of a word to use. I don’t think the conversations or dialogue was scripted…

I’m feeling misunderstood right now. Sigh.

Oh no! I want us all to be happy! Come here for a hug and don’t be discouraged. xoxox

Aww, you are the sweetest thing! Hug accepted! I seriously feel so much better now 🙂 I really wan’t trying to be naughty or cause controversy. I LOVE this website, I love the commentators, I love Britney!

I forgot to mention the part where she says “Seriously, bipolar disorder!” while pointing to herself. It’s a pretty interesting aside considering it’s been so heavily rumoured that she suffers from it. It means she knows what it is and identifies with it on some level, maybe she just has a few of the common symptoms.

Karen reckoned Britney wouldn’t have joked about bipolar disorder if she was an actual sufferer. Don’t you think so?

Yes, the reason why I said that is that I have bipolar disorder myself and, apart from the side-effects of mood stabilizing medication, I know a lot of sufferers are always wondering if the meds are working. It’s like “Why am I so into myself today?!” or “Why did I sound so incredibly freaking doom-ridden when I told that guy there’s no gas station in town….?” are seriously worrying issues.

what Brit can do perfectly amazing is shooting documentaries! i love and adore IABJ but FTR>>>>>

Karen, will you be doing an In Depth for It Should Be Easy? I’d love to read it! 🙂

Well, since there’s nothing else going on I might as well!

This song gets so much hate from the fans. I like quite a lot actually, and enjoy how it sounds. The production is so TIGHT. Shame of will.I.am’s horrendous voice, though.

Really looking forward to that review, Karen!

I’d go crazay if Britney ever performs the song like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ7wckQjU80

PS/ I understand why many fans hate the original, because it epitomizes what they don’t want her to do anymore, but it remains an awesome dance songs with cute lyrics and an hardcore, first class EDM beat. The vocoderized, cyborg vocals make sense since, according to me, it’s non-human futuristic (“Bionic” lmao) beings wondering why human love is always so “un-simple” and they can’t find an explanation with the normal language. I quote “I don’t know what else to say” “la da dee la dee da it’s the only way to love”.

If Britney is in decline now, that will not change the iconography and impact of her persona having continual cultural presence. In our epoch, Britney may become inactive, Britney may become silent but her myth, her existence as a symbol of the American dream will continue to influence lives and have an irrevocable effect on future artists and communicators. You can either perceive all stages of Britney’s art as existing in Eternal, Timeless Cycles of illumination or perceive Britney as a victim of Apocalyptic Time, where she is only as good as her last endeavor. I choose the former.

I don’t want to rain on BeatheHeavy’s parade but since that site is self destructing before our eyes, Karen now has the perfect opportunity to make Britneyology THE place to go for all Britney related discussions. How do we help her?

Damn, I hadn’t been there in a while and it’s terrible now. Because the world needed another trashy celebrity gossip website…

I happen to be studying social media right now so the main thing we’d need to do is simply go nuts with advertising. It’s a bit difficult right now because we don’t have any significant Britney news or happenings so there’s no way to “hook” people in. Nobody is really checking for Britney this year so we’d have to just target longtime fans anyway.

I’m sure we all have at least one social network, how about we write one post a day about this site for our followers to see?

Honestly, I think it’s a false good idea. We’re some of the last survivors Britney lovers who choose to focus on the positive instead of embracing the negative in everything she does. If this site, becomes only 1/3 as big as BreatheHeavy at its peak, you can be sure this safe haven we created will turn out into a revisionist, totalitarist nightmare where insulting Britney gives you cool points…

Good point. The integrity of NB seems ultimately to come from it being a personal blog format.

That’s right. The blog format allows me to keep the haters, skeptics and trolls away, so the NB-ers don’t need to worry about us being infiltrated or overwhelmed. I’m pretty sure there are still quite a few fans who would like a safe, mature haven to go to for serious discussion, so if Galli and Michelle and others would take the trouble to publicize NewBritneyology, I would welcome it.

I just posted a message on Exhale telling members about NB and they just temporarily suspended my account. Bunch of fascists.

Thanks for your sacrifice! They used to do something similar to anyone who mentioned PoorBritney.com too. PB could barely express the amount of hatred she had for BH and Exhale. However, Exhalers subsequently used to post links to NB articles (or reposted the entire articles). Sadly, that’s all stopped now. Or been stopped by somebody.

Did you know that Jordan Miller once reposted one of my articles himself? He then e-mailed me and asked if I would write a few things for them. Being generous I said OK. And that was the last I heard from him. Not sure if he was post-legitimizing his “borrowing” of my article, or if he’d heard about my PoorBritney background!

Karen, I’m sorry people have taken advantage of your time and effort. Jordan Miller apparently changed BreatheHeavy to a pop culture site because his new boyfriend doesn’t like Britney and has made Jordan feel ashamed about being her fan. I find that incredibly tragic.

How do you know that? It is tragic if true. I only went to breatheheavy for Britney news, I hate exhale (I was reading there two seconds ago cause someone had posted about why Myha Marie is not sining on BJ when most posters said it’s so obvious it’s not Britney and blahblah, makes me sick. Don’t they have ears??!) What a hateful, sad place. Anyways, That makeover of BH was bad imo, althoug I love this blog, where will I get my Britney day to day news from now?

I hope this means the fast demise of BH/exhale. I don’t want to get my hopes up. I know some people will go to the site, but it seems most were disappointed w the change. That place was a very toxic environment for everyone and god knows what Britney thought..

It’s sad for Britney that her two biggest fansites over the years, WorldOfBritney and Breathe Heavy, have both let her down. It shows what’s on the other side of the coin from obsessive love. It seems that we’re in an era where forums are gradually dying away, and it’s happening at the same time as music fans in general are becoming more fickle and not inclined to stick around for the long haul. And that has something to do with the move away from albums to downloads, where people are cherry-picking the tracks they want, and the creative value and artistic integrity of albums is being lost. It’s a time of transition and I don’t like it.

Yes, the more we fast forward in time and the more “Charts’ Fans” we will encounter. I guarantee you 60 per cent of the “Britney Jean” bashing sources from its commercial performance not from its quality…

We need a music video to “Brightest Morning Star” with the premise of Vegas as a kind of wilderness where Britney is undergoing her 40 days and resisting all the temptations of the glittering city. Of course, people would be outraged by Britney being compared to Jesus Christ but there you have it, one must be provocative. In that respect, the video needs to have a camp sensibility but the sentiment, the spiritual core, should be sincere. Wish I could direct this!

Comments are closed.


  • Karenannanina: I agree with you about the residency. It's the road to irrelevance for an artist. But a new album would be a golden blessing for her fans. Her albums
  • George: Spot on thoughts on the issue. Honestly, I don't... really care whether she does the residency or not? As long as there is new music, I'm fine. P.S: G
  • Sarah G: You should write an In-Depth of Glory or even Mood Ring (that's a groovy tune)