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Release Date: 05/24/23 [Disney+]
Genre: Biography. Music.

Studio: Disney+. 

"A celebration of the legendary band that revolutionized pop music and created the harmonious sound that personified the California Dream." 


We’re picking up good vibrations with the new Beach Boys documentary, but it might just be because we’re wearing rose-colored glasses.


What feels like two different documentaries split at the halfway point, we start off with a fast-paced, travel channel-esque fluff piece. It feels like something they would make for a museum exhibit that you linger around for a few minutes and then move on to a pretzel; something with more twists than this feature will allow. 


After the first hour, we finally start to see a more focused, digestible through line that slows down around the late sixties, early seventies Beach Boys. We see how they evolved as individuals in order to become better as a group, even though the public didn't thoroughly appreciate what they were doing at the time. Miscellaneous artist & friend interviews eventually lead up to their resurgence in the eighties. 


The publishing rights, the lawsuits; the general fights are more so watered down, but are mentioned nonetheless. It seems the remaining guys don't want to linger on that resentment forever, which eventually leads us to a lovely sit down of the rest of the living members. That said, we don't get to hear anything they say to each other — the camera zooms out and pans to the ocean next to them, with a memorial card kinda slapped on at the end for Denis and Carl Wilson. 


What I really appreciated was the highlight of the friendly rivalry between The Beach Boys and The Beatles and how they inspired each other at some point or another. It should be noted this doc was released on Disney+ days after The Beatles' Let it Be dropped on the same platform.


Bottom line— it’s fine, it does the job. But for a band that struggled with never being completely understood, I expected a little more transparency & detail. 

The Beach Boys is streaming now on Disney+!


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