I Wanna Rock: The ’80s Metal Dream 2023 / A run-of-the-mill music doc series full of fun anecdotes, but ultimately too short to make a real statement


To give credit to this three-episode documentary series, it succeeds in presenting a dynamic, three-dimensional portrait of ’80s hair metal beyond the scene’s glamour, guitar solos, and yes, all that hair. And it’s certainly interesting to think about such lively, over-the-top music and visual aesthetics from the perspective of musicians and executives who struggled in the sidelines for so long, or who were only ever seen as replacement artists or female versions of more popular bands. But aside from a number of enlightening stories (mostly from Vixen vocalist Janet Gardner and record exec Vicky Hamilton), the series is just too simplistic and conventional an oral history that also never establishes the foundation of what hair metal is in the first place, and how the genre is unique from other styles of metal. It feels like the story of any other genre of music, which it absolutely shouldn’t be.

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