This spring, EstrellaTV aired the mini-series, Subete A Mi Moto, which is the story of the popular Puerto Rican boy band, Menudo. You can say this is the official story of the group because the creators of the series have stated that the facts are based on Eduardo Diaz, the creator and manager of the group. This has been up for debate since the series aired in Latin American countries last year.
Fans of the group in the US finally have been able to watch the series in its entirety and like me, fans are upset about how bad this series was. Not only because of the horrible casting and wigs that they shoved onto these kids; they looked nothing like the members they were trying to portray, but the inaccuracy of details and dates.
When the first three episodes aired, I took to my personal blog to rant about all the errors. After the next three, I posted another rant on my blog. At that point, I gave up arguing about the series until it was completely over. Now that the show aired its final episode of 15 chapters, I can talk about the series as a whole on a completely new level.
Yes, I still want to argue about everything that was wrong but I am going to look at the series with a fresh set of eyes for this website. It is hard to wrap up some thirty years of history into fifteen episodes and be able to tell the entire story of one of the most successful money-making and marketing groups in history. Menudo was more than a boyband, they were a machine of music and entertainment. Edgardo Diaz got one thing right when creating Menudo, recyclability. Menudo was a recyclable group that had the formula to keep a new group of fans coming with each member.
After the last episode aired, I spoke to my wife about the series as a whole and we both agreed that Edgardo was not about making artists, he was about making money. One might think that Edgardo was a music producer creating stars, but as a whole, only two artists have made a name for themselves in the music world. Robby Rosa and Ricky Martin. Robby left the group because he felt that he had more to contribute to the band than just a pretty face. He wanted to write music for the group and bring a fresh sound instead of rehashing old tired songs just in a different language.
Ricky Martin was nothing for Menudo, but Edgardo made it seem that he created Ricky. Ricky became an important storyline for Edgardo, not because of Ricky’s importance at the time, but for his status today. Robby, Charlie, Raymond, and Sergio all had more songs and had more stage presence in their times than Ricky ever had in his entire Menudo era. Until they divided the songs evenly, Ricky barely had one song to sing. His solos were not even singles. Ricky didn’t walk away from Menudo as a celebrity like Edgardo made it seem.
Like I said after the first six episodes, Edgardo made himself out to be the perfect manager and hated to think that the series would go on like that. Instead, they did touch on some not-so-good subject that made Edgardo out to be self-centered and uncaring. In one episode they touched on the subject of Angelo Garcia where he was forced to perform and work while sick. It ultimately turned out that he was rushed to the hospital with appendicitis. It wasn’t all rosey for Menudo.
And the story is a double-edged sword because do you tell your story completely 100 percent correctly, or do you tried to hide the dirty secrets? Edgardo chose to tell his version of the story without the help of the members of the group. Members such as Rene Farrait and Ray Reyes spoke out locally about how incorrect the story was while the MDO members stood behind Edgardo the entire way. Each member had a different life in Menudo. The members of MDO were picking up the pieces of the damage already done, while others lived what they said was hell.
Some members had longer storylines than others, but poor Cesar. Out of all the members in the group’s history, he was the only person left out of the series. Maybe for a good reason, or maybe to hide something or someone? Fans will never know. What we do know is that there was a lot of controversy surrounding the group over the years. Drugs, mental abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and mismanagement. Everyone says there are three sides to every story, with Menudo…there are 32 member stories, 3 management stories, and the truth. Fans will probably never hear any of them, nor do we really to hear them.
Menudo has been a part of my life since 1983 and they will remain there until I die because no matter what went on behind the scenes, Menudo provided us with friendships that we still have. Menudo was more than a band, they were life. They are in my blood and my soul no matter what happened or didn’t.