2gether (2000)

So last week I talked about Brightburn being disappointing and how it made me long for–and I quote–“a mockumentary from 2000 about a fake boy band.” Very specific, right? Well let’s take a trip back two decades and talk about a forgotten… “gem” isn’t the right word because this isn’t an objectively good MTV made-for-TV movie, but it knew exactly what it was and leaned into it appropriately.

2gether–stylized as 2GE+HER on the promotional material–follows Bob Buss (Mr. Alan Blumenfeld) as he’s fired from managing the hottest boy band ever, Whoa. Their number one single breaking records over at Total Request Live–oh, yeah, this is an MTV production so Carson Daly plays himself–is “Rub One Out.” That’s right, they made an actual music video. Anyway, Bob wants revenge by creating a competing boy band. Following the mandatory archetypes for creating a successful band almost like it’s Cabin in the Woods, he starts with leader-type Jerry O’Keefe. Next is the shy one, Chad Linus, but his older brother Doug (Kevin Farley, Chris Farley’s brother) insists on joining. He’s divorced with two kids and really wants this to work out so he has a chance to fix his familiar problems, and while filming was younger than I am now. Dust. My bones have turned to dust. Then it’s the bad boy Mickey, and finally the cute one QT. QT also has a terminal illness that increases his popularity, and I’ll have more to say on that in a minute. Don’t worry! It’s as morbid as you’re thinking. With the band formed and officially named 2gether, they struggle to find cohesion. Jerry leaves to go be with his girlfriend, but reunites right as the band is denied an opportunity to open for Whoa. But it turns out Whoa lip-synchs, so once that’s exposed 2gether gets their chance and becomes an overnight success. The movie was followed by a two season TV show, because of course it did.

Also the movie Tyler Labine and Kandyse McClure. Very, hey, I know that person!

I have two memories about this movie that aired when I was in an unspecified year of public school. The first is that I made a friend through it! In math class that year, I sat next to a really quiet girl. A few days after the movie aired I noticed her singing “U + Me = Us (Calculus)” from the film. We bonded over watching it, and were good friends for the rest of the year. Aw! How heartwarming! I’m sure the next memory is just as nice!

…it’s not. So QT–played by Michael Cuccione–had a terminal case of biliary thrombosis. I can’t be 100% certain about this, but I truly believe that was written into the script because Cuccione had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which he eventually died from during 2gether‘s second season. By all accounts Michael was a kind soul and even helped found the The Michael Cuccione Foundation for Cancer Research, which appears to still be running through the Childhood Cancer Research. At least his legacy lives on in more than just the most 2000’s movie I’ve ever seen.

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