Fans of the most popular Latin boyband in history are getting a behind-the-scenes look at how Puerto Rican teens took over the pop charts. HBO Max’s Menudo: Forever Young chronicles the journey of the band from its inception to the height of its popularity and eventual downfall. The streamer will debut all four parts of the docuseries on June 23.
Edgardo Díaz formed Menudo in 1977 with the hopes of creating a Latin version of The Jackson 5. The original lineup of the group consisted of two sets of brothers: Fernando and Nefty Sallaberry with Oscar, Carlos, and Ricky Melendez. After signing to Padosa Records and recording their first album, the band experienced numerous member switch-ups before gaining mainstream success in the 1980s.
Although group members of Menudo resembled a game of musical chairs throughout their run, the act continued to gain popularity throughout the 80s and 90s, launching the careers of singers like Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony.
Filmmakers Angel Manuel Soto and Kristofer Ríos bring viewers into Menudo’s extravagant world of teenage stardom and ‘80s glamour while revealing the unfortunate abuse and exploitation bubbling under the surface. Through interviews with former members, Menudo: Forever Young examines the sexual abuse and misconduct the group faced under Díaz.
“The Puerto Rican diaspora in New York played a critical role in the success of Menudo and its crossover in the US, shutting down traffic for blocks surrounding the band’s hotel and selling out Madison Square Garden on multiple occasions,” said Soto. “We couldn’t be more excited to premiere this series in their backyard at TriBeCa and honor their contribution to the band’s legacy.”
The docuseries will have its world premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Festival in New York before debuting to the public on HBO Max on June 23. Soto serves as executive producer alongside Cristina Costantini and Jeff Plunkett of Muck Media, Alex Fumero of Trojan Horse, Bryn Mooser and Justin Lacob of XTR.