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Westside: Their Lives Their Music Netflix – Review

A lot of people might confuse Westside: Their Lives Their Music, the new Netflix series (you can watch here), with the singing contests we’re already used to watch on open TV. Anyone who looks from a distance may find it a less boring version of “The Voice”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

This original production of the streaming platform makes a point of saying that it has no script. That is: everything we are seeing is part of reality, without makeup, without rehearsals. The plot is simple: the union of nine talented artists to form a musical show that can change their lives.

Something like that might be a treat for those who enjoy normal reality shows, but in Westside: Their Lives Their Music it’s not quite like that. There are nine people completely different from each other, who are outside their comfort zone – and for this very reason, they must prove their worth the whole time. Some are egocentric and Manichaean, while others are naive and dreamy.

This mix can be a success or a blatant failure – to find out, you must keep track of it from beginning to end.

Personal Demons

The nine artists on Westside: Their Lives Their Music are singers who are trying their place in the sun. They are called Pia, Taz, Arika, James, Caitlin, Leo, Alexandra, Austin and Sean, that despite their talents, have not been able to reach a level of success that allows them to live of art. In this series, they come together to build a show that can change that panorama. They do not know each other, so they must live together and build the whole show in five weeks. Obviously, because they are people of completely different geniuses, this will not happen without clashes.

Also, each one needs to deal with their personal demons. The series is very clever at not getting involved or trying to manipulate the participants to come up with a satisfactory result. The nine participants need to deal with the distinct personalities between them and with the issues that move them to achieve success: being recognized, making more money, improving life…

Therefore, Westside: Their Lives Their Music is less of a reality show and more of a documentary, which captures the essence of the work it is to mount a musical from scratch. It is necessary to compose, rehearse, retouch, alter, remove, rewrite, and moreover, having to deal with the artistic differences of each one. The camera here has the function of being mere spectator of the facts, letting the protagonists show their face, and not just in the literal sense. These talented people are gradually unfolding, dropping the aura of irreproachable artists and showing more and more reality.

Fame and fortune in Westside

Westside: Their Lives Their Music therefore presents less about the personal history of each of those involved and more about the dream that needs to be achieved, at all costs.

Fame and fortune have always been pursued by these people, even if the motivation behind it is different from each other. The goal, however, is the same. And to get there they face several barriers, which contrary to what was imagined, are not in the artistic field.

This shows that we often let ourselves be sabotaged by our aspirations. We want to achieve success, but the method we use to achieve our dreams can be diverse, which causes shock when it comes to a job that, necessarily, depends on other people to be completed. Westside shows this: the union of several talents who need to be successful in order to reach a common goal, but that go against the personal methods of each person belonging to the group. And, for that, they can put everything to waste.

Images and additional information about Westside: Their Lives Their Music

Synopsis 1: Big dreams. Bigger risks. But when they take the stage, it’s clear: some song are worth singing, no matter the cost.

Synopsis 2: Nine struggling musicians share the spotlight in this deeply personal reality series about the challenges and thrills of staging a Hollywood showcase.

Release year: 2018


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