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The Untold Story of Mild Sauce
Ill-Hio Films, 2021
📷 : Used with permission, Anton Deshawn
Movies/shows that make you laugh or involve physical activity like exercise/dance
Youthful, lighthearted, and fun movies and TV shows
For anyone who vividly remembers ‘90s R&B and VH1 programming, The Untold Story of Mild Sauce will offer quite a few chuckles. Shot in mockumentary style, the story raises the curtain on fictional R&B group Mild Sauce, a four-person boy band comprised of Vonn, Juju, Heno, and Dre, and their manager Stony Mack. Between narration and confessional-style interviews, director Anton Deshawn splices in Mild Sauce’s music videos. The choreography and vocals are clearly meant to poke fun at hit songs by the extremely popular groups of the era, namely New Edition, Boyz II Men and Dru Hill.
Interestingly enough, the humor hits harder now that R&B music has transitioned away from this style. In the ‘90s and early 2000s, boy bands in pop and R&B were so revered that it would be tough to imagine anyone producing a satire of them. Contemporary groups largely consist of individual acts that collaborate across other genres and lean heavily on sex appeal. The generation-old trends that The Untold Story of Mild Sauce mocks make it easier to look back and laugh at styles that were universally admired at the time.
The funniest element of The Untold Story of Mild Sauce is without a doubt the lack of accountability that permeates the actual VH1 Behind the Scenes-style interviews. Generally, the artists and managers alike never own up to any of their transgressions. They instead point the finger at other parties, rationalize their actions or simply deny details that have already been proven true. Mild Sauce turns this into a recurring gag, where the members do not take responsibility for the downturns in their careers or in their personal lives. In one particular interview, a Mild Sauce member will not even give kudos to a female R&B group (likely a nod to TLC or En Vogue) that outsold them at the time.
Similarly, Stony Mack does not own up to ripping off the band, just as most managers never do. As is common in VH1 Behind the Scenes stories, a publicist, manager or record label executive takes advantage of the group’s success and cheats them out of money. Mack’s denial is consistent with a vast majority of stories we hear from the music industry, where the swindler acts as though other expenses prevented the band from getting paid out. The interview segments cleverly mimic those from every documentary or biopic that we watch about feuding artists and deceitful management.
At this point, so many of our favorite musicians from the past have decided they hate each other, so we may as well poke fun at the never-ending feuds. The Untold Story of Mild Sauce serves as part satire, part time-machine, and executes both equally well.