On Friday (December 27, 2019), Kevin Hart’s heavily anticipated docuseries, ‘Kevin Hart: Don’t F**ck This Up’ made its official debut on Netflix. The 6-episode documentary showcased his personal relationships, work-life balance, and day-to-day career operations while simultaneously addressing his highly- controversial moments of 2019. The series pulled no punches, re-visiting Hart’s cheating and extortion scandal, twitter backlash and Oscars controversy as the documentary laid it all on the line for fans to see.
The cameras followed Hart throughout creative in-house team discussions with his companies (Laugh Out Loud Network, Hartbeat Productions), amidst radio and press interviews, during personal training sessions, setting film production schedules (Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, 2017), attending movie premiers (Night School, 2018), facilitating upcoming projects (Uptown Saturday Night), and touring internationally (Irresponsible Tour, 2017-2018).
Also captured on film were Hart’s personal relationships with wife (Eniko), children (Heaven, Hendrix and Kenzo), father (Henry Witherspoon) and ‘road warrior’ brothers (Ron ‘Boss’ Everline, Will ‘Spank’ Horton, Na’im Lynn, Harry Ratchford, Wayne Brown and Joey Wells).
Hart opened up about his backstory and what it was like coming up in a rough neighborhood in North Philly (15th and Erie). Raised by his Mom (Nancy Hart), Hart reflected on how her strength and drive ultimately shaped his own. ‘My Mother is everything’, Hart states in the first episode, ‘My Mom reinforced: Don’t quit. If you’re gonna do it, do it to try to be the best.’
When reflecting about his relationship with his father growing up, Hart explained that Henry just wasn’t part of the picture, ‘My Dad is a different conversation.’ Today, Hart visibly has an amicable relationship with his Father, but the comedian clarifies a distinct difference between being ‘father-son’ vs. having a ‘bond’. The comedian reflected on coming to terms with their dynamic, ‘I have no grudge; I have no hate; I have no resentment; Never have.’
Although the docuseries brought the drama, it also brought the humor, with Hart’s hilarious quips in ample supply. When discussing making moves on the film, ‘Uptown Saturday Night’ Hart playfully mimicked the motion of his foot on an imaginary gas pedal, ‘So this is my foot, and I put it on the gas and I do this right here. See this right here? [Imitates revving] That’s me haul-assing.’ Hart also opened about that one time he had an $8,000 bottle of wine with a cutout of himself delivered to a film critic who once wrote him a negative review, ‘He never wrote me back, but I know he got it because I messengered it to his office.’ Hart says with big laugh and mischievous smile, ‘King Petty; Petty LaBelle is what they call me.’
Hart’s magnanimous qualities are amplified in the series, as he is shown interacting with friends and family, taking a picture with a fan at gas station, dapping and joking with his prodigal intern, revisiting nostalgic moments with fellow comedians (Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Keith Robinson and Tiffany Haddish), gifting old school rides to his boys and navigating through his most difficult transgressions.
The footage offered unexpected, behind-the-scenes insight into his companies’ culture; how his team fought mass-media fires and were inadvertently affected by the negative publicity. One scene depicted a frustrated publicist urging Hart to take a specific stance in addressing the twitter controversy, while a remiss Hart refuses, adamant to stand firm in his truth (later to be greeted with a monumental dose of humility).
The series did not include any reference to his car accident (October 30, 2019), as it happened post-production, but the material that made the cut presented fans with an insightful perspective-shift into the comedians most unforgiving, yet redemptive year.
‘You’re gonna do things, you’re gonna make mistakes, you’re gonna f**k up. You’re supposed to learn and move forward with the understanding of what not to do.’ – Kevin Hart
Check out ‘Kevin Hart: Don’t F**k This Up’ on Netflix to stream the full season, episodes 1-6 (‘24/Kevin’, ‘Don’t Be a B*tch’, ‘What Happens In Vegas’, ‘Bulletproof’ ‘This Has To Work’, ‘Kingdom of Kevin’).