Inside the Osmonds
“Inside the Osmonds” examines the meteoric rise of the pop world’s hottest family group. With the sale of 80 million records and the compilation of 48 gold and platinum albums, the Osmonds have made their mark on the musical landscape and have become the longest-running musical group in history. This film attempts to depict the backstage lives of these performers and reveal how their religious beliefs played a key role in the pursuit of their life’s ambition. The joys and tribulations of maintaining a musical career are spread out over two hours with the inclusion of several of their hit tunes (“Puppy Love,” “One Bad Apple,” “Lazy River,” “Paper Roses”). The ABC original film airs Monday, 2/5/01 at 8:00 pm, ET/PT.
If you are a fan of the Osmond sound you should find this a satisfying effort. For those curious about their beliefs, you will come away with a touching message of how many believe that close family relations and faith are essential for surviving life’s struggles.
As with many a successful family team, there is a domineering father who leads his brood to stardom, only to find tensions mounting as his prodigies feel the pangs of insecurity and resentment. But what sets the Osmonds apart is that they are a close-knit clan willing to sacrifice for the good of all and pull together during times of adversity. Much like D’Artagnan and his pals, their unspoken motto is “All for one, and one for all.”
There are several solid performances from mostly unknowns, with Janaya Stephens (“Left Behind”) standing out as Marie. Ms. Stephens gives a touching portrayal of a young woman going through adolescence while maintaining a theatrical career.
The Osmonds are shown here as people of character. After the cancellation of “The Donnie and Marie Show,” with its high cost of production, the Osmonds found themselves facing bankruptcy. But they worked diligently to pay off their debts. And when accusation began to rear its ugly head, those feeling most guilty for the family’s sudden financial woes sought out forgiveness and found a warm embrace from the others.
Although the Osmonds are Mormons, not much is discussed about their particular denomination. Rather than delve into the particulars of that religion, the producers simply express the family’s religious fervor by showing the group bow their heads and say a prayer several times throughout the production. Their prayers, which usually precede a performance, always end with the acknowledgement of Jesus. I’m amazed to see a friendly portrait of those who pray and live a life according to their spiritual beliefs; it happens so rarely in TV land.