Spice Girls

It’s hard to imagine that there will ever be a pop phenomenon as massive as the Spice Girls.

Last night, ITV1 aired The Spice Girls Story: Viva Forever, a new documentary that follows the iconic fivesome’s meteoric rise to fame: From the early auditions, to their big breakout with manager Simon Fuller, to Geri‘s departure, to the 2007 world reunion tour, to the 2012 Summer Olympics. Simultaneously, we get a glimpse into the making of Viva Forever, the long-awaited Spice Girls-themed musical, which opened just weeks ago in the West End.

Of course, Spice fans already know much of the Spice story. We’ve experienced their overnight rise to the top of the charts. We’ve listened to the records endlessly. We’ve watched Spice World more times than we can count. And we’ve picked our favorites long, long ago. (Posh forever, in case you were wondering.)

But the highlight of this particular documentary is watching the girls themselves take a look back–from their early days living together up until present day. The confessionals find each Spice beaming with pride and waxing nostalgic about their experience. Watching Emma proudly hold up her pink bejeweled Spice microphone and admit to still singing with it in front of her mirror (“I just want to be a pop star all the time. That’s why I keep it close!” she confesses earnestly) makes this one worth the viewing.

And yes, the praise also comes from Posh, who loosens up and allows herself to poke fun at her icy persona every now and again. (“Not that anyone wanted to date me. I think everyone wanted to, sort of like, just brush my hair.” Major.)

There’s also plenty of interesting tidbits along the way, especially in the case of Geri: Did you know she wrote/co-wrote some of the band’s most key tracks, including “Stop” and “Too Much”? And that she went against the stylist at the 1997 BRIT Awards to wear what has now become the iconic Union Jack dress? Frankly, she’s a genius. (Also, The Saturdays awkwardly appear at one point to sing their praises. Were The Aloud too busy?)

It’s all one big moment of nostalgia overload, recalling a time of pure pop bliss (which may wing up tugging a heartstring or two.) One of the most poignant moments comes when Geri, Mel C and Emma sit watching the sitzprobe (first dress rehearsal) of Viva Forever together. As the performers sing on, we see Geri become visibly emotional and put her arm around Mel C, who then grabs Emma’s hand, and then Geri’s. Needless to say, I was a goner.

So go on and grab another cup of eggnog, snuggle up on the couch and watch the full documentary below. Viva forever!