It is October 1986, and Michael Jackson is holed up in a West Hollywood recording studio trying to complete the follow-up to Thriller, the best-selling album of all time. The new record has been in production for almost a year already and is long overdue. There have been problems.The last four years have not been a good time for Michael Jackson. Since Thriller and the Jacksons' disastrous Victory tour, he has managed to generate the most powerful backlash in the history of popular entertainment. There have been bitter family feuds, an acrimonious rift with the Jehovah's Witnesses, broken friendships with Diana Ross and Paul McCartney, and the burden of a celebrity so unmanageable that it drove him into isolation.