In a headline catered to my specific taste, it’s been reported that the Beckhams have signed a major deal with Netflix for a “docu-series” (which, let’s be real, is a fancy word for reality TV).
According to the Sun, it’s coming from David’s newish production company, Studio 99, and will feature footage from their archives. As Variety points out, this is not their first time in this genre, particularly for Victoria: “She has starred in several documentaries, including “Victoria’s Secrets” (2000), “Being Victoria Beckham” (2002), “The Real Beckhams” (2003), “Victoria Beckham – A Mile In Their Shoes” (2004) and “Victoria Beckham: Coming to America” (2007).”
It’s been 13 years since Victoria Beckham: Coming to America, which was meant to be cheeky and silly, Victoria as the fish-out-of-water Brit in Los Angeles. It was purposefully campy. Her YouTube series is not mentioned but it didn’t quite go anywhere, which is not just about her. (Derek Blasberg leads YouTube’s fashion and strategy department but it has been all over the place and hasn’t had a hit despite recruiting big names through his connections.)
The Beckhams have brought a lot of their business in house – once a soccer player, David is now a team owner. Victoria runs a fashion label independent of the luxury conglomerates. All of their lines (from his/her beauty to his sunglasses) have their name on it. This level of brand control has always been a point of criticism in the UK press and because they are producers and are, going by this report, providing the bulk of the footage, they will control this show, too. This isn’t unusual as celebrities often produce their own documentaries (see: Kevin Hart, Justin Bieber) but because they’ve been disparagingly referred to as “Brand Beckham,” this will not ingratiate them to the UK tabloids. At this point, though, after this many years, there is probably nothing they could do to win them over, so why try? The US press has always been much kinder to them and, for the most part, does not gleefully hope for their divorce.
Bringing their business in house has been years in the making – from buying Simon Fuller out to rearranging assets (going back to 2016, it was written as a “split” and Dan Wootton of The Sun dug into their “separate lives”). It’s true they made changes, but it appears that it was done to strengthen their portfolio and wrangle control of the Beckham brand, not a set-up for divorce. Also, the stuff about him being upset about her posting their kids too much on social media is complete nonsense as he posts about them as much as she does.
The Beckhams really live the cliché “alone we go fast, together we go far.” Individually they could have been short-lived sensations, but together they have lasted beyond every negative headline. Be honest: no one thought they’d be here in 2020, still investing in their marriage as much as they do their business.
And interestingly enough, this idea was apparently shopped around during the summer quarantine, when they were stuck in the house together. The Beckhams love nostalgia and often post old photos and videos with the kids and this will rely on their archives of “old video of birthdays, Christmas holidays and special occasions, as well as the couple’s early dates. David Beckham’s current business ventures will also be covered in the film.” And there it is. David Beckham’s current ventures, meaning his sunglasses and skincare line and Miami team and collaboration with Adidas. He’s folding family into work, which she has been blasted for doing for years.
If you look at where they are now –Harper is 9, Cruz is (was?) signed to Scooter Braun’s management company, Romeo has transitioned from tennis to soccer with an eye on going pro, Brooklyn is engaged – it’s as much about family as it was when David was carrying them onto the pitch and Victoria posed with them on the cover of UK Vogue (which the British blasted and used as a basis for divorce rumours). They have not changed their strategy so it’s interesting that two decades in, they are still side-eyed so hard by the British press. But this Netflix documentary will not help their image at home; if anything, it will give tabloids more ammunition, more things to pick over. But again, it’s not for them. It’s for me. Thank you Netflix for making a limited series based on my diary.