In Three Words: WU, TANG, WU
The era of high budget documentaries continues. I might have said this before, but in the future decades, we will be looking back at the 2010's and saying "That was when the Golden Age of Documentaries began."
There's one easy answer for this, binge culture is a perfect breeding ground for Documentaries. People want to watch something for hours, and I have always held the belief that the greatest stories are the real ones.
Which brings me to the Documentary in question. Now, don't read too much into the prior paragraphs as it pertains to this Documentary. You might assume from the prior paragraphs that because I'm talking about the "Golden Age of Documentaries" off the back of watching this. Let me be clear. "Of Mics And Men" is a very well done piece of work, directed by the always great Sacha Jenkins and I believe it's a blueprint in how to do a great Documentary. Not the BEST Doc, but a great one.
So let's dive right in, the first episode is the perfect episode for anyone looking to get a quick background on the group. The relation between them, how they met. I would say that the first & fourth episodes are the best from a creative standpoint. Not to say that episodes 2 & 3 are doo doo. But it's clear that there was a substantial amount of effort put into the book ended episodes.
Anyways, continuing on. Episode 2 & 3 are very seamless. They get into the immediate success of Wu-Tang after the drop of 36 Chambers. But the episodes make a concerted effort to offset the positive with some negatives. Something that was left as a cliffhanger but I didn't really understand until the end was when Mitchell "Divine" Diggs, RZA's brother came onto the scene to speak his peace. Little did I know, as a Wu novice, that Divine hasn't messed with anyone in the group for years.
There's a lot of time skipped for the sake of dedicating the majority of Episode 3 to ODB. Watching him go from the skinny dude that loved to sing off key to the guy that was simply left behind as the rest of the crew continued to evolve. Part of that evolution was separating business & brotherhood. It's a fine line and it was clear that the crew could only do so much for ODB.
One thing that jarred me throughout watching this was how they could all have these differences once they started to go their own ways, but could still meet up and keep the brotherly vibe. It's kind of extraordinary to think about. But while I say that and highly respect it. I don't think the doc displayed it as best as it could. I can't pin point it. Maybe it was when they'd go to one person, then another, then another. There's a lot of opinions you have to keep track of.
One thing I really enjoyed was where they all congregated in the cinema and watched old clips, reminiscing and chopping it up. That was the essence I really relished.
Overall. I think it's a good documentary series, I think it should be watched regardless if you're a Wu fanatic or a Wu novice like me. If this was dropped a few years ago, I probably would love it more. But referring back to the "Golden Age" of docs were in right now, the bar has been raised and I don't think this stacks up to the best of this decade.