'Janet Jackson' Documentary: 5 Reasons to Watch

They build you up and once you get there, they’re so quick to tear you down

– Janet on the rise and fall of stardom  


Ahead of the ‘Janet Jackson’ documentary debut, the question asked in the Lifetime Trailer is “Who is Janet Jackson?” The likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Mariah Carey, Ciara, Tyler Perry, Samuel L. Jackson, Regina King, and more all sing her praises. Premiering Friday, Jan. 28 and continuing Saturday, Jan. 29, we give five reasons you should watch not that we think anyone needs convincing, but here goes.

Something New Much has been said about the Jackson family’s private and professional life for years, including the youngest Janet Damita Jo Jackson, born in Gary, Indiana, in 1965, that we think we know them personally. We’ll have to see how much Miss Jackson shares. Fans may look for something unsaid the singer has never discussed or brought forth while viewing. After all, isn’t that what makes for a good documentary?

Long Overdue Five years in the making, and we finally get to see Janet Jackson share her world with us other than on the stage. “Janet is very private,” says oldest sister Rebbie Jackson, and rapper and actor Q-Tip adds, “For her to want to open up, I’m just flabbergasted.” 

Why did you want to do this documentary, you hear asked? “It’s just something that needs to be done,” responds Janet as she rides in the backseat of a driven car.

Struggles “There were times when I just didn’t understand where I actually fit in, says Janet, who sounds identical to her later brother Michael in a statement in the trailer. She went from ‘Penny’ on Good Times to Diff’rent StrokesFame, and ultimately her illustrious singing career. We’ve seen Janet deal with her weight fluctuating. She has navigated through constant rumors beginning with her teen marriage to James DeBarge, which further fueled gossip she had a secret baby. And the early aughts, when a wardrobe malfunction while performing at Super Bowl XXXVIII with Justin Timberlake caused major controversy that she will address in her words. ‘The Jackson’ family has often appeared unrelatable to fans, but it seems Janet, seen standing in front of her childhood home with brother Randy, is ready to prove she is like everyone else, struggles and all. 

Control “My father was very strict,” says Janet in the documentary. The late Joe Jackson, who created a musical movement with ‘The Jackson Five’ taking them from poverty to superstardom, wanted the same for Janet. “He was in charge of my life, career. My father said you’re going to sing.” The album ‘Control’ was where we no longer saw Michael’s cute baby sister but a woman claiming her independence to become one of the greatest female entertainers of all time. “Now I’m all grown up,” we take a line from the song that blazed Janet’s career in all that she is today, including motherhood.

Legend:  There is no denying Janet’s musical and fashion influence on pop culture over the years. The industry would not know Ciara and other singers coming up after the international star had Janet not dominated the stage in the 80s, 90s, and the early 2000s. “She’s many many women,” “She’s a legend,” “She’s Janet, and we will finally get to watch her tell her story, her way, and we can’t wait. 

What are you most looking forward to watching the ‘Janet Jackson’ documentary on Lifetime. Join the conversation @bsm_mag


Watch ‘Janet Jackson’ Fri. Jan. 28 and Sat. 29 on Lifetime and A&E 8/7c



Photo Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images