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The Jackson FamilyThe Jacksons Episode   Review by Pattye Grippo

"The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty" is a real-life series that chronicles the personal and professional lives of Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Marlon Jackson as they prepare for a Jackson Five reunion, while also coming to terms with Michael's tragic loss. The series premieres on A&E on Sunday, December 13 with back-to-back one-hour episodes beginning at 9:00pm ET/PT.

The episode starts with candid short pieces from interviews with each of the brothers. They each talk about their relationship with one another and their unity as a family. It then shows the preparations for a 40th anniversary Jackson 5 album (without Michael), which was begun early in the year before Michael Jackson's untimely death. From a press conference to family time at home, the brothers allow viewers to see inside their private lives. The children of the brothers (referred to as 2nd Generation Jacksons) are seen as the family kicks off the 40th anniversary event. Even as the relaxing and relating continues among the family, the brothers go inside to work on their planning and material. The 2nd Generation Jacksons question whether the anniversary album will actually happen.

An article about the anniversary album suggests that the brothers are making it because they are jealous of Michael and Janet and want their piece of the fame. They get irritated, but decide to ignore it. It turns out they getting the family together for the album is not all the easy, as each brother is busy with his own life and projects. Jackie has been working in the studio with his son Siggy, trying to finish his album. Marlon has been in Nigeria trying to trace his roots. Jermaine has been busy with a wide variety of projects.

The brothers meet with a choreographer to work on their dance moves. She asks what they are looking for in dance moves and they tell her they want a mix of old and new. They work hard at learning the new dance routines. They realize they can still do it as long as they keep it somewhat simple. Next they head into the studio to work. Not everyone is happy with what they are working on and they feel the energy level is low. The brothers complain that Tito is tough on them as a producer. As people get tired from jet lag and other issues, Jermaine decides to record a track alone. Jackie and Marlon decide to erase that track and start over, which upsets Jermaine and Tito. Later Jermaine talks about it with his wife, who reassures him that he is doing what he can and that they should pray about it. Their mother tells them to go back to Gary, Indiana to find their sound again. Not all of the brothers will go, but Marlon and Tito go with some of their nephews. They tour their old school, meet with the mayor, and walk through their old house reminiscing.

This show is a unique insight into this normally reclusive family. If this episode is any indication of what is to come, the future episode will give a fascinating and personal view of this talented family.

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