First Reactions to The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty


With only six days until the fast-tracked premiere of The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty, A&E has released new preview clips and sent the show's stars (Jackson, Tito, Tito's impressive collection of bowler hats, Jermaine and Marlon) on the promotional circuit. And while Family Dynasty is centered on the Jackson brothers rehearsing for an upcoming tour, each clip -- and each promotional appearance -- without fail, stars the memory of Michael. But the most interesting moments occur when the brothers forget about the cameras and Michael to just fight.

In the studio, on the basketball court, in dance rehearsal, during a trip to their childhood home and in front of Matt Lauer, these boys tear into each other everywhere -- and most of the barbs are directed at Marlon. Not scary Jon & Kate Plus 8 "Call the cops" fighting, but the kind of gentle ribs and name-calling (Knuckleheads!) that differentiates the rest of this footage from a heavily staged 60 Minutes profile. The brothers confess that that they are letting "cameras into their life for the very first time," conveniently as they emotionally discuss (also for the first time) Jermaine's split with the group over twenty years ago. Most of the show is limited to their four brothers, and a female choreographer that Marlon takes a shining to, but Kate Jackson appears with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Janet, La Toya and Michael's three children are not shown in the available clips.

Whatever your stance on the Jackson family, the clips are guaranteed to have you asking, "Why does Tito wear a bowling hat while playing basketball?" No one knows, but he does have a hat for every occasion in every color, so a bowler hat for the court just makes sense. Accept it and move on.

Verdict: Two and a half (out of four) enthusiastic bowler hats! A must-see for Jackson family completists. For everybody else, catch the uber-emotional highlights on YouTube.

The new, extended preview clip could not be embedded but can be found here.