Picks and Pans Review: The Lennon Legacy: John and Julian
Showtime (Fri., March 14, 8 p.m. ET)
When Julian Lennon suddenly appeared in music, we fans of his father feared he'd try to latch on to John's legend, to live in the past. But that's not Julian. In Stand By Me: A Portrait of Julian Lennon—the first half of this Lennon special—the kid proves that he has plenty of talent himself. He sings his own work but also respects his father's songs enough to sing a few of them. He talks about the day John died and about Yoko Ono ("Not that I dislike Yoko or anything..."). Mixed in with the singing and talking are scenes from his debut U.S. concert tour, complete with hormone-crazed teens screeching young Lennon's name. I thought the déjà vu might be depressing, but it wasn't. Watching Julian Lennon singing for fans of another generation was actually refreshing. But the next half of this special is sort of sad. For the first time on TV, you see John's 1972 New York concert with Yoko. She "sings," sounding as always like a drowning whale, while John, crazy in love, has to look as if he's enjoying it. I don't. Then you see videos from Imagine—The Film and scenes from John and Yoko's Toronto Bed-In. Altogether, the special is a two-by-four reminder that the times they have a-changed. But with Julian and his generation, the times do seem to be in good hands.
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