For millions of people, the US painter and TV presenter Bob Ross is a cultural phenomenon. Now the Netflix documentary “Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Fraud and Greed” sheds light on the downsides that the fame brought to his person.
Bob Ross, born in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1942, discovered painting during his 20 years with the US Air Force. In the early 1980s he shot a television painting course for a local Chicago broadcaster. The rest is TV history: “The Joy of Painting” advanced – even into the Internet age – to a worldwide phenomenon.
From 1983 to 1994, Bob Ross produced 31 seasons of 403 episodes of the popular format. It wasn’t just his wet-on-wet painting technique or his Afro perm hairstyle that made Ross stand out, but the way he communicated with his viewers one by one. With his calm, almost meditative way of speaking, like a wise art monk, he conveyed the feeling of talking to each individual personally.
Bob Ross believed that there is an artist in each of us. Learning from mistakes wasn’t just an empty phrase for him. He demonstrated it week after week on his show. “We don’t make mistakes here, just happy little accidents” is just one of his famous quotes, which have enjoyed cult status for more than 30 years.
The dirty fight for naming rights
Every Friday, Ronny Rüsch presents “Oscars & Raspberries”, the ntv podcast all about streaming. In addition to the detailed criticism of “Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Fraud and Greed”, the new episode also deals with the drama series “Nine Perfect Strangers” with Nicole Kidman, Hans-Christian Schmid’s crime series “Das Disappearance” and “Greenland” , Gerard Butler’s new disaster film.
“Oscars & Raspberries” – Informative. Entertaining. Compact. In the ntv app, Audio Now, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
The popular painter and TV presenter died of lymph gland cancer in 1995 at the age of just 52. A fight broke out for the rights to his name and the associated empire for painting utensils, whose profit-oriented maxims Bob Ross had to submit to, even when he was already facing death.
Was it the wrong decision? The wrong business partners? Or just plain business inexperience? The documentary “Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Fraud and Greed” – streamed on Netflix – explores the person behind the famous name and the question: Who does the legacy of Bob Ross belong to? Products of all kinds with his likeness are still a license to print money.
The documentary – which is mostly led by his son Steve Ross – does not answer all questions, but it shows that the last phase of Bob Ross’s life, who touched the hearts of countless people around the globe with his sympathetic manner, from Blows of fate and grief. But the true legacy that Ross left with his “joy of painting” will live on apart from all greed for money, as long as he is remembered as he wanted it to be.
“This is your world. You’re the creator. Find freedom on this canvas. Believe, that you can do it, ‘cuz you can do it. You can do it.” – Bob Ross
A detailed review of “Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Fraud and Greed” by Ronny Rüsch and Axel Max is now available in the new episode of the ntv podcast “Oscars & Raspberries”. Also included: the drama series “Nine Perfect Strangers” with Nicole Kidman, Hans-Christian Schmid’s crime series “Das Disappearance” and “Greenland”, the new disaster film by Gerard Butler.
“Oscars & Raspberries” – the ntv podcast – where everything revolves around streaming services such as Netflix, TVNOW, Amazon Prime & Co. every Friday.