Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Pilot Review: Boy Band

Boy Band (Thursdays at 8:00 on ABC)

It's pretty easy to dismiss Boy Band, ABC's latest entry into the singing competition arena, just based on title alone. In 2017, how relevant, really, is a show that is purporting to search for the next big boy band? This isn't the 90s, when the pop charts were dominated by the likes of N Sync, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, O-Town, or any other of the dozens of copy cat acts that tried to replicate their success. The Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees both released their last albums independently, in 2014 and 2013, respectively; O-Town recently reformed, minus their most popular member, and released an album that failed to chart anywhere on Billboard; One Direction, the last of the dying breed of boy bands, has been broken up for over a year after losing one of their four members in 2015. The boy band isn't the hot commodity it once was.

Then again, 2017 is also a time of nostalgia. With the current global political climate, the comforts of youth are seemingly more desirable now than they've ever been. New Kids on the Block is selling out their current tour (paired with another 90s boy band, Boyz II Men). The Backstreet Boys started a residency in Las Vegas that broke box office records at Planet Hollywood, which is also the home of Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez. Justin Timberlake is in a current promotional campaign for Bai drinks using the N Sync song "Bye Bye Bye." Maybe the idea isn't as dated as it seems upon first glance, and Boy Band capitalizes on that need for millennials and beyond to relive their adolescences.