TV and Movies

Surviving R. Kelly Review

Surviving R. Kelly, Lifetime’s new hit show, interviews the women and families who have been affected by the ‘R&B King’s’ sex life or sexual actions with minors and following the journey to find the girls who’ve been missing for over 2 and a half years. The show has been praised by people like Wendy Williams and John Legend, who both also make appearances. Receiving an 8/10 on IMDB and a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, Surviving R. Kelly would definitely be a good place to invest 6 hours of binging T.V.

In the first episode, The Pied Piper of R&B, the show covers Robert Kelly’s early childhood and his own experiences with sexual abuse. His coming up into the music industry was typical: a teenage boy from Chicago with big dreams and an angelic voice. “Born into the 90’s’, his first album, was an instant success. The show then goes into detail about his unlikely relationship with up and coming artist, 14 year old Aaliyah . The two would always avoid the topic and dismiss any questions. It was later revealed that they did indeed get married, when she was 14, and he was 27. They got help from Kelly’s manager, and lied on the marriage certificate, saying Aaliyah was 18.

“Hiding in Plain Sight,” the second episode, covers the period of time after his annulment with Aaliyah. He was rising to the top of the billboards fast, and Aaliyah started doing her own thing. Soon after, Andrea Lee, one of his choreographers on tour, became his new muse. They  became the ‘it’ couple, and Lee was on cloud 9. She made the conscious decision to push aside Kelly’s changing behavior because of how in love she was.

In February of 2002, Kelly was accused of being the man who engaged in various sex acts in a leaked sex tape with a 14 year old girl. The third episode, “The Sex Tape Scandal,” goes over the explicit details of the tape, but of course does not show any actual footage of the acts.

In episode 4, “The People vs. R. Kelly,” after waiting six years to go to trial, the R&B King finally headed into court in June of 2008 for 14 counts of child pornography, and pleaded not guilty for any of them.

After the background story had been told in episodes one through four, in episode five, “All the Missing Girls,”  the families who claim their daughters have been missing for well over a year go out into the world on a mission to find them.

In the final episode of Surviving R. Kelly, “Black Girls Matter,” celebrities and survivors come together to raise awareness about the growing number of girls who are sexually abused in their lives, and also hope to show Kelly’s superfans how much of a monster he really is.

As viewers, Surviving R. Kelly, was disturbing, eye opening, intriguing, and heartbreaking. The stories of his supposed assaults to these young, impressionable girls just trying to make it big truly pull on the heart strings. We would recommend watching the show on LIfetime, but not for people who are easily triggered by subjects like sexual and physical assault, rape, and also of course not for anyone under the age of 13.


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