Justin Bieber, the 25-year-old famously happily married man of the West, invited the world to have a deeper look into his world and we obliged. Craving to find some realness, without demanding rationale, or without offering judgement — we watched Bieber every Monday and Wednesday for 10 long minutes. And what we got out of this was the only thing every big pop-star from Lady Gaga to Beyonce has been able to offer us since the genre of tell-all, behind-the-scenes style of visuals have started paying big bucks thanks to Netflix: performative intimacy.
It starts out with Bieber claiming that he was the “the most ridiculed, judged and hated person in the world!” He claimed that he knew of the opinions we held of him and he was here to reveal parts of him so tender that this would be no less than a revelation. But at the depths of “Seasons”, all we found was that Bieber had found a wife.
There is much to be said about what Seasons set out to do and eventually managed to settle for, but nothing says it better than the most-liked comment from a subscriber called “Jesse J” on the first episode of the docuseries on YouTube: “Now I understand why it has to be Hailey. She complements him. She defined him without including herself. She is willing to know him and raise him up even if it doesn’t include her. His success is her success. It isn’t about her anymore but about ‘us’ for them each time.”
In an effort to be rebranded as an adult — reformed from the ways of womanizing to the advents of monogamy — Bieber managed to perform the chores of a marriage in 10 tedious episodes. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the results of this effort only managed to turn the supermodel wife into a manic pixie dream girl, the thread holding it all together. What seemed to be a journey into the center of Justin Bieber became a journey of witnessing how a complete individual becomes a centerpiece in the life of a man with “no skills in the real world, with millions of dollars and access to whatever I wanted.”
Further diving into what we have just witnessed as the series came to an end, makes one wonder if we are to witness the story of Bieber from the days without fame, on the steps of town square where he used to busk, just to find characters from the story missing? The friends he used to have, the people who used to know him, and more importantly — why we don’t hear from his parents? It’s hard to find someone relatable, as very clearly was the main motive of the docuseries, when we only hear from one’s managers, producers, and a variety of health coaches.
In this vague attempt at honesty that is 10 episodes of Seasons, we find him reflecting on all that he has done wrong, something we saw all through his “Purpose” era. We find him addressing the numerous DUIs, arrests, accusations of emotional abuse, public scandals, and addictions. We find him, as if the old clueless teenage self, holding all these little balls of guilt together in both of his hands looking straight into the camera as he has done throughout his long tryst with fame. And with a sudden sweep of deflection and series of non-apology apologies, he drops the ball.
As the series comes to an end, it becomes quite clear that Seasons is an overwritten, well-produced docuseries of repeatedly dropping the ball; the redemption tour 2.0, if you will.