I’m not the biggest Kevin Hart fan. A little bit of him goes a long way, and a docu-series focused entirely on him, his career, his ambitions, his marriage, his friends, his projects, and his family, sounded like a very difficult investment of my time. I’ve liked two of his stand-up specials and none of his movies. His appearances on talk shows like “The Tonight Show,” range from brilliant to devastatingly annoying for me so I was apprehensive to say the least.
After all 6 episodes, which cover his infidelity, the Academy Awards hosting controversy, and his journey from nothing to attempted mogul, I was, unlike seemingly everyone else according to the internet, satisfied and impressed.
Don’t get me wrong; Hart is a screwed up person in many ways. But the last time I checked, we all were, and for him to put it all out there as he does in this series worked for me, even if he did control the footage and the narrative (which he did). Hart does not come off as a sympathetic individual through much of the show; he’s a never-ending smart-ass who doesn’t know (or care) when to stop. He’s clearly a narcissist. By all accounts, he’s a pretty crappy husband, and he has so many lingering issues with, about, and over both of his parents (which he denies vehemently) that it’s almost sad. And yet, whether he was aware he was doing it or thought he was pulling off some sort of image renovation, he lets us see it all.
He runs with his crew and only his crew; a set of about a half-dozen life long friends who range from being his writers to trainer to barber (yes, he travels with his barber). He seems to pay them handsomely (something he brags about a little too much for my taste) and while he views them as his best friends, it’s difficult to not question what their true motivations are. Like Lebron James and his crew, they fancy themselves as some sort of modern day Rat Pack; blood brothers for life who are inseparable and closer than most will ever understand. And while it seems true that they had Kevin’s back during many of his controversies of the last year, it was impossible for me to wonder whether that was out of love or love of what he provides. But again, to show us all of this, whether intention or not, is admirable in my opinion. And one thing is certain; Kevin Hart is, seemingly, the hardest working man in show business. If that’s what it take to be a billionaire, I’ll happily pass, but to watch someone who came from nothing strive with the intensity he does is something that should be admired.
Sadly, most of social media, the critics, and the general pubic see this series as a self-indulgent attempt at image rehabilitation. As my wife and I deduced, he’s an easily hated person and it’s always easy to envy, judge, and hate anyone who is rich, successful, and works their ass off. A sad commentary on today’s society, but not a surprising one.