Review by Dan Skip Allen
Kevin Hart is considered one of the best comedians in the world. He's entertained millions with his stand-up routine, comedy specials, and movies over the last couple of decades. He usually has this manic style where he talks fast and screams and yells. He acts scared a lot as well in a lot of the movies he's in. That is very different from the character he plays in True Story. He plays it straight in this series. It's a great career choice.
Hart plays a comedian, not a stretch for him obviously. He goes back to his hometown of Philadelphia to do some shows, but that is just the beginning of his homecoming. He reunites with his older brother (Wesley Snipes) who brings more problems to the table than he's worth. Things start to unravel for Hart's character. This series depicts the life of this comedian with more going on than meets the eye.
The series delves into some interesting topics about fandom, family domestic problems, and some popular topics in films dealing with murder and gangsters. It's interesting how the showrunner Eric Newman and writer Cameron Litvack weaved all these topics into this series. Phones come into play a lot as well, capturing thoughts and conversations that help drive the story forward. Social media plays a big part too. Using modern things to help tell the story helps show creativity in the writing process.
Seven episodes is the perfect number to tell this story in as well. It's not too long or too short. The suspense is riveting at times and the episode length of about a half-hour to forty-five minutes long keeps the viewer wondering what's going to happen next, but doesn't drag on too long. The tension is ratcheted up as each episode comes to a close and the next one begins. The showrunners had a great plan going in. It pays off in the end result.
Everybody in the show is all in on the story. The supporting cast from the personal driver to the agent to the joke writers are all terrific. Even the Greek gangsters are entertaining. They all bring an authenticism to the story and series. They all help drive the story and character development forward. The title of True Story almost feels like it could be real. From the comedian aspect to the fanatic aspect, it's as realistic as a story can get. Even the twists and turns are a bit surprising.
A key aspect of the show is sleeping characters. Things happen while people are sleeping in the show. It creates a time-lapse dynamic to the show where characters lose time and don't know what's going on. The viewer gets lost as well at some points, but as the show progresses these story points are revealed and Hart's character's life starts to unravel before the viewer's very eyes.
Netflix has invested in a lot of films and television shows. Their streaming service has become a staple in people's lives and homes. They have doubled down on new and interesting creators and also let established directors and stars develop new fascinating and groundbreaking projects. One of those is True Story. Hart got involved in the right show to expand his career and his range as an actor. His comedian schtick is nowhere in sight in this series and that's a good thing. Netflix and Hart have another hit on their hands. This is a very good show.
True Story streams on Netflix beginning November 24.