Netflix and director Joshua Rofé brings us ‘Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed,’ a documentary that explores the life and career of artist Bob Ross.
‘The Joy of Painting’ host Bob Ross brought joys to millions of viewers with his simplistic, but relatable look on art and painting. Every day he came on television to tell folks how to to do mountains, forests, and rivers. However, behind the scenes, Ross was in a battle with his business partners for control of his legacy. Shady business contracts, pushy influences, and personal troubles lead to arguments, anger, and resentment as Bob’s fame continues to rise in the eyes of the public. His son, friends, and acquaintances all try to support Ross, but as sickness, betrayal, and secrets start to unravel his works, it soon becomes clear that the man who brought joy to millions suffered in silence.
At the start of the movie, it shows how Bob Ross got his start in painting following a stint in the military. It explore his first marriage before he married his wife Jane Ross and how he suffered after she passed away. It also explores his apprenticeship as an artist and how he became the icon to millions.
Through interviews, news footage, and archives we see how Bob Ross only felt freedom when he was putting paint to a canvas. We see how he suffered in silence as his business partners and even family members came for his work from all angles. It was a sobering tale about how fame came make a person jaded and isolated. There were many accusations made against his business partners made in the movie and if it is true, that was seriously messed up.
The most eye-opening interviews came from his son Steve Ross, who sometimes guest-starred on the show. He watched as his father was beaten and betrayed, but still managed to bring joy to so many people. He discussed how he fights to keep that part of the legacy of The Joy of Painting alive.
If you are worried about if it will ruin your childhood, calm down. Though Bob Ross was an imperfect man and the documentary discusses those imperfections, it does not try to smear him. It merely brings us a look behind the curtain at a man who wanted nothing more than to bring art to an audience who he knew had doubts about their own abilities. There is a wholesome message to that.
Check out the trailer below:
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some foul language, Disturbing topics, Thematic elements, Some nudity
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