britney spears

I never thought I'd voluntarily watch a documentary about Britney Spears, much less recommend one. While her music is fine, celebrity culture does nothing for me and the news surrounding her always felt too tabloidy for my taste. Over the years, I've brushed off Spears' personal saga as clickbaity fame drama not worth my time and energy—a dismissal I now regret.

After seeing multiple people I admire and respect share how the New York Times' Britney Spears documentary impacted them, I decided to check it out. And all I can say is—holy crap. There's so much to her story that we should all be aware of, because so much of it involves all of us.

This post will contain spoilers, so if you'd rather just watch the documentary yourself, search for "The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears" on Hulu. (You can sign up for a 7-day free trial if you don't have a subscription.)

The focus of "Framing Britney Spears" is the growing #FreeBritney movement—the push from Spears' fans to let her have control over her life. For the past 12 years, Spears' has had a court-appointed conservator of her person and her estate, meaning that she doesn't have agency over decisions about her life or her money. For nearly all of that time, her father Jamie has served that conservator—a fact that is strange in and of itself, since he hadn't played an active role in her life prior to her public breakdown.

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