The premiere episode of the six-part show, lovingly and fairly shot by Ke$ha's brother Lagan Sebert, starts with the singer botching a cartwheel during a New York date on her first headlining tour, in 2011, then barreling into some luggage when she recounts the foible backstage, drenched in sweat.
That night there is some hard partying, but Ke$ha looks none the worse the next morning as she spoon-feeds her nephew at the home of her mother, songwriter Pebe Sebert, who shows her the Times review. "Is it nice or is it mean?" the singer asks genuinely, then laughs as she reads about the aforementioned cartwheel in the moderately positive piece ("It's not lame! Well, it is kind of lame."). "It says my act 'isn't sexy'...fair," she says. "'It doesn't make you want to drink'...Hmm."
Pebe cries when Ke$ha's tour bus arrives to whisk her away. "You always cry," the singer says, with warm affection. (This becomes a theme.)
Later we join Ke$ha, Lagan and friends as they stalk her former lover Harold (of "The Harold Song"), and Ke$ha makes a barfing noise as she walks along the beach in bright orange shoes talking about how Harold has already shacked up with another girl. Her voiceover comments are staged, but the candid footage shows a girl who is very much not over a dude with a name I would like to throw out the car window and then drive back to smoosh with my tires just to make sure it's dead, which is moderately moving.
More moving is an exchange with a ginger-haired teenage male fan in Scotland, who gives Ke$ha a scrapbook with a letter about how he's been bullied and doesn't feel he fits in, and that her song "Animal" means a lot to him. He cries as she wipes away a tear and gives him several big hugs, and we later see him cheering and sobbing as she sings the song during her performance that night. *Pause to dab eyes*
After the Los Angeles show (which I attended and which was fabulous), Ke$ha's management tells her that gossip queen Perez Hilton tweeted something kind about her show. But the singer is not impressed: in a more candid shot, she explains that one of the reasons she identifies so much with kids like the ginger from overseas is that she knows how it is to be bullied, by the likes of Hilton (Pebe jokes that she was "about to go fucking beat the shit out of him"). She's nearly in tears as she emphasizes to her team that she does not want Hilton at her after-party. I felt the same way looking at the shirtless pictures of him with his Game of Thrones baby.
There's plenty of fun footage that humanizes the punkish pop star far more than Beyoncé's recent documentary, Live is But a Dream. Ke$ha warns her brother not to "cockblock" her on her quest for hot bearded men in Scotland; she dejectedly says "Well, that was a failure" after spotting Harold's car in his driveway and hiding under her jacket as they drive off; she seems constantly concerned about whether she's given a good performance. (Ashley Fetters wrote an excellent article comparing the two stars' docu-efforts in The Atlantic, which I recommend reading.) It also features live performances of "The Harold Song" and "Animal" (guess where!) that had me singing along in spite of myself.
What do you think, folks? Are you in for more My Crazy Beautiful Life, and does it make you more or less interested in Ke$ha, or just reaffirm your opinions of her, positive or negative? Sound off below, and tune in each week for another recap as the mini-series plays out.
My Crazy Beautiful Life airs at 11pm Tuesdays on MTV.