I believe you guys watched the McMahon documentary last night, and since I'd opted not to talk much about it before it was officially part of class discussion, another belated post...
I began watching McMahon expecting something primarily historical in nature, likely heavy-handed in tone and generally uncritical of all things WWE (like the AWA doc we watched earlier). What I was really hoping for, though, was something in which the speakers would avoid the tendency to fall back into character at inappropriate times. I was hoping the McMahon doc would kind of lay things out to give a better look at how the business and the performance work, both separately and together.
It certainly starts strong. Several commentators give their own opinions as to when "Mr. McMahon," as opposed to Vince, is born. They vary, but they're all centered around the rise of Steve Austin, as we've discussed in class, and damn if they didn't sell Austin v. McMahon. It was great fun to watch, especially with some understanding of the context--it made me wonder once again how cool it would have been if, midway through Iron Chef, Chairman Kaga had gone nuts and conspiring to ruin contestants' lives. (He may have, in fact, done this; I didn't pay a lot of attention, beyond the architecture's creepy allusions to Enter the Dragon.) At any rate, the beginning of McMahon suggested to me that this was going to be one of the most direct and forthright depictions of the business we'd seen. Sure, severely biased, but at least everyone involved seemed to be treating it like a show.
But as it went on, the distinction went murky again. The introduction of Stephanie into the storylines was a complicating factor, as archival footage and interviews described at least two, possibly three relationships between Stephanie and Triple H, as characters and as people, and the ever-shifting feelings of both McMahons about these relationships. This did not get any simpler as the film rapidly descended into creepy Oedipal nightmare, though Linda, Stephanie and Shane did still manage to talk coherently about their real lives and their roles.
J.R., unsurprisingly, sets the tone for the conclusion, which brings us back where we started: it's not always easy to tell which McMahon is in charge on a given day. Which is likely why the film begins in such an approachable, easy-to-distinguish manner, to set up the audience for having that certainty taken away again. So, entertaining, if not particularly as insightful as I'd hoped...but then, Sex, Lies & Headlocks manages a pretty good job with all of it, and there are some pretty clear reasons why McMahon would want a different approach for his own company's "historical" productions.