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  • Writer's pictureLoren Javier

REVIEW: Becoming

On Friday, Becoming, a new documentary series from LeBron James about celebrities before they became celebrities, started streaming on Disney+. The series featured biographical episodes for some great sports, music and performing arts celebrities including Adam Devine, Anthony Davis, Ashley Tisdale, Caleb McLaughlin, Candace Parker, Colbie Caillat, Julianne Hough, Nick Cannon, Nick Kroll, and Rob Gronkowski.

Admittedly, I am not as familiar with the sports figures, but that didn't mean I didn't find their episodes any less interesting. In fact, I found it refreshing to learn about somebody I'd never heard of before or was less knowledgeable about. For example, I had heard of Rob Gronkowski, but for his stint on The Masked Singer rather than what he is most known for. So, that was nice getting to know him for his rise in football.

Or, there were celebrities that I did know, but had no idea about their early works. For example, Caleb McLaughlin I know from Stranger Things. But I had no idea that he also has the honor of playing young Simba on Broadway for a record breaking two years (the longest anybody has played young Simba). I thought that interesting.

The series is extremely inspiring. I would actually have titled this series "Believe" because the common theme running through all these biographies is that if you believe in yourself, you can make it happen. It doesn't matter how nerdy or awkward or introverted or socially/economically impacted you are, you can make your dreams happen if you keep on keeping on. One of the best quotes from the series comes from Nick Kroll in which he told his mother, "I would rather live with a lifetime of rejection that a lifetime with regrets." I wish I had that wear with all.

At first, I thought there might be a lot of repetition, but I found each story to be different enough with different struggles. I thought the diversity of professions was good, but I wish the racial diversity was better. There were no Latino or Asian American or Native American voices in this series. And, in a world where we look to the media for role models, it would have been nice to have included more racial diversity.

I liked the fact that the episodes were a half hour as opposed to an hour. An hour often brings a great deal of repetition and makes it feel over bloated. I felt a half hour with these celebrities to be just right.

Again, this series is very inspiring and I would highly recommend watching it, especially if you are feeling down on yourself. It will make you believe.

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