Why Everyone Needs to Chill Out About the TLC Biopic

Last month, MC Lyte let it slip who would be playing Left Eye in VH1’s TLC biopic, Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story:

Lil Mama (supreme purveyor of Lip Gloss)

And once that nugget was out, the rest of the casting news wasn’t too far behind. Chilli will be played by:

Keke Palmer (from Akeelah and the Bee)

And T-Boz will be played by:

Drew Sidora (ummm… that man hating friend from White Chicks?)

Charles Stone III, who has helmed Drumline and Paid in Full will be directing. Kate Lanier, who worked on What’s Love Got To Do With It? and Set It Off, wrote the screeplay. And Evan Ross will be playing Dallas Austin.

As you’d expect, the blowback started immediately.

Will the girls be performing the songs themselves?

Do these girls look enough like the originals?

Should this movie even be made?

All valid questions. And truthfully, when I first heard all of this news, I was a little worried too. I mean, why now? Is this a desperate grab for quick cash? And all of these girls are musically inclined, but I don’t think we need anyone trying to copycat TLC.

But after I let the news sink in, I realized that this really is not that big of a deal. It’s not like this is a movie being released into the theaters. It’s a VH1 TV movie. And of course T-Boz and Chilli are executive producers on the project, so I would have a hard time believing they would do anything to either misrepresent or sully their prolific careers.Truthfully, I think it is WAY too soon to be making any type of commentary on the movie. The girls were just cast, they aren’t even filming yet, and they are now in Atlanta only working on choreography. Who are we to make any type of serious criticism on this movie before before they even start filming?

Then came the news that the girls will be lip-syncing to the original TLC recordings. And while I am sure it would be quite entertaining to see them actually perform the songs themselves, I think they made the right choice to not attempt it.

As I continued to think about things a bit more, I realized that this is actually a great opportunity for these girls. Each of them is actually pretty talented, and even though they have had minor successes of their own, I don’t think that any of them has had the chance to truly break out. And this is bound to give each of them major exposure.

And who can resist Lil Mama making a splash again? Can she even act? I am particularly interested in seeing her performance since MC Lyte has made it her own responsibility to guide her career, espousing how talented and underrated she is. One way or another, it will be great to see what she delivers.

In the end, we should all just make sure that we setup our schedules to tune into the movie, whenever it airs. Whether you watch to support the girls or to see if they fail, it will definitely be must-see-TV.

Are you excited to see the movie? Do you take issue with any of the casting choices? Add your two cents in the comments!

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Daren W. Jackson

Daren is one half of the Water Cooler Convos team. He's a writer, music connoisseur, and comic book geek who spends his free time working on his novel and other short stories.

4 Responses

  1. J. B. says:

    I have been a TLC fan For 18 years, and I am just happy that they are making a movie, period. I agree that it is too early to make any judgement calls on whether these actors can play their roles well or not. Will I be disappointed if they do a poor job? Probably. Will I be REALLY disappointed? No, it’s a made-for-TV movie, did we expect them to hire big name actors? It’s VH1 for goodness sake, come on now! I’m just happy they are making a film celebrating TLC.

  2. Daren Jackson says:

    I agree. Let’s just see how good of a job they do with telling their whole story. And I also hope that some of the younger crowd can get to know them a little better. They really paved the way for a lot of today’s acts.

  3. jamie says:

    actually, T-Boz has said herself that this movie will be in select theaters as well. So the movie will premiere on VH1 and another edition will be in select theaters as well.

  4. Daren Jackson says:

    I didn’t know that. I hope all of the girls deliver. This is the one opportunity to do it right.