The much-anticipated Justin Bieber documentary, Justin Bieber: Seasons, promised to be an inside look at the life of the popular, sometimes-controversial musician, along with the trials and tribulations that he has faced with his mental health over the past several years. While it’s always heartwarming to see a person featured so prominently in the media spotlight take time away from their celebrity to focus on what’s personal to them, from what the first episode shows, the series won’t be revealing much at all about the beloved artist.
Seasons opens on an interview with Bieber in which the former teenage heartthrob, outfitted in a beanie and sweats, describes the refuge that music has provided for him from the time he first began uploading videos of himself singing to YouTube at the young age of 11. It is only appropriate that his current journey is documented on the same medium. The docuseries also delves into the past several years of Bieber’s career, which have been nothing short of challenging, a story which is corroborated by Bieber’s management in several sit-down interviews.
These on-screen dialogues feature the likes of Hailey Bieber, better known as “wife,” and managers Scooter Braun and Allison Kaye, all of whom expressed concern for the artist’s wellbeing. In a statement from Braun, the celebrity manager succinctly states, “No one has ever grown up in the history of humanity like Justin Bieber.” It's a grandiose statement, and yet, it's one that accurately explains why Bieber has curtailed his fame following the whirlwind developments since his introduction to the music industry as a pre-teen.
During a trip to Bieber’s hometown of Stratford, Ontario, Canada, the camera shows Bieber driving to see the site of past, less attended performances: the steps of a building in the city center. Bieber can be heard saying, “We’re gonna go and check out the spot where I used to play. It’s over here by the steps, with my wife. She’s in the back,” to which Hailey meekly replies “Hi” from behind the screen of her phone. The Biebers are en route to visit the spot where a young Justin used to play his guitar. The city of Stratford has since laid a plaque into the concrete, engraved with a star to commemorate “Recording Artist Justin Bieber, July 1st, 2011.” Perhaps the most uncomfortable moment in the docuseries was when Justin reads the year, then says with uncertainty, “It’s now 2019,” looking to wife Hailey for confirmation—she simply nods. With renewed confidence, he proclaims, “So it was 8 years ago.” Simple math.
Since retreating from the spotlight in 2017, Bieber has made use of his personal time, as the “Sorry” singer notes in the YouTube documentary, citing his wife as his inspiration for new music, devotion to a healthy lifestyle, and renewed religiousness. What the short series (and we mean very short series, clocking in at the fortuitous time of 11:11 minutes for the first of the 10 episodes) does reveal is that Bieber thinks extremely highly of his wife, supermodel Hailey Bieber, formerly Baldwin. Throughout the series of interviews with Hailey, in which the Calvin Klein model is sporting a gold nameplate with the word “Wifey,” she expresses a common appreciation for Justin’s dedication to his musical pursuits, claiming, “Honestly, I feel like I’m here to cheer him on and support him.”
Other notable moments of the first episode of the documentary include a visit to the apartment where most of the pop star’s childhood took place, a shot featuring the Biebers in the back of a Lamborghini with Justin singing and dancing along to one of his new tracks while Hailey sips an iced coffee, and lots of loungewear. The documentary ends with Bieber’s return to the stage during Ariana Grande’s 2019 Coachella performance, which Braun among others have hailed as a “turning point” in the 25 year-old’s tumultuous career. After performing a song with the “thank u, next” singer, Bieber knowingly baits his audience, stating, “By the way, album coming soon,” before leaving the stage. Just twelve hours after his new documentary premiered, Bieber announced his fifth album, Changes, is coming on February 14 (while also dropping a single to follow the much-talked-about "Yummy," "Get Me" featuring Kehlani). Color us shocked—but to his credit, it seems the star wanted us to know this was coming all along.
For more cliffhangers, watch new episodes of Seasons, premiering every Monday and Wednesday on YouTube.