Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
This biographical TV miniseries tracks members of the famed Motown group, The Temptations, faithfully following their rise to fame and the subsequent downhill race in a chronological coverage spanning 40 years. In 1958, when Detroit high-schoolers harmonize on street corners to meet girls, Otis Williams (Charles Malik Whitfield) finds his mom Haze (Tina Lifford) supports his singing but not his stepfather Edgar (Harold Surratt). When Williams brings together his group The Siberians -- with Franklin (D.B. Woodside) and Al Bryant (Chaz Lamar Shepherd) -- producer Johnnie Mae Matthews (Vanessa Bell Calloway) records the group as Otis Williams and the Distants. They perform with The Primes, including Kendricks (Terron Brooks) and Paul Williams (Christian Payton), and The Primettes (later The Supremes). When group members merge as The Elgins, Berry Gordy (Obba Babatunde) begins grooming the group. The name is changed to The Temptations, and a 1963 New Year's Eve altercation results in David Ruffin (Leon) replacing Bryant. The Motortown Revue is launched, and Smokey Robinson (Erik Michael Tristan) teams with Norman Whitfield (Mel Jackson) to compose/produce My Girl and Ain't Too Proud to Beg. As Ruffin becomes hooked on coke, Gordy moves to intro The Temptations to white record-buyers. In part two, Dennis Edwards (Charles Ley) replaces Ruffin, and after Paul Williams' suicide and some members leave the group, the act is dropped by Motown, later returning for a reunion tour and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This four-hour miniseries premiered November 1 on NBC.
argument, band [music group], Black [race], drugs, fame, Motown, record-producer, reunion, rock-music, singer
High Artistic Quality, High Production Values