The one hour documentary, Rihanna777, aired on FOX last night and some are complaining that it was a watered down version of what really went down during that fateful week in November.
The ambitious PR idea to take 265 people – journalists, fans, a documentary film crew, Rihanna and her team – all on a single plane, albeit a very large one, was a novel feat that – by all reports – went array. The hoard of RiRi followers, many who spent much of the week sending frustrated tweets from the air, returned seemingly bedraggled and traumatized by the grueling experience. Six months later, a few appear to be far from over it. Music writer Emily Zemler ruminates over the dreadfulness of it all in today’s Hollywood Reporter. While an Australian radio shock jock is reveling in the attention his buck naked plane streak has garnered.
Much has been said about the grueling nature of those seven days: lengthy tarmac waits, limited access to food, toiletries, and Rihanna going MIA. (Hell, can you blame her for going shopping for lingerie in Paris? Duh, it’s Paris people.) As a journalist, I have one question: What did all y’all expect? Just a five hour flight to L.A. has left me exhausted for two days. And the idea of sharing a porta-potty with even four people leaves me horrified.
The aptly titled 7th album, Unapologetic, soared to the charts in spite of the media backlash.
Towards the end of the doc an exhausted Rihanna discusses not being aware of music genres until the industry started labeling her as “pop.” It is an insightful moment into Rihanna the woman and the artist, and that is what the doc needed more of. Next time save the bells and whistles and just give fans what they really want, more Rihanna.
Ultimately, what Rihanna777 does best is reveal that the rock star life isn’t as easy as fans and observers like to believe it is.
And you got to give it to Rihanna for still making it all look so glamorous.
The extended doc was released on DVD today.