Amazon has a new series called American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story. Calling it new is a bit misleading, as most of the content is culled from interviews conducted 20 or 30 years ago, but hey, a new package is a new package. The best way I can describe it is more History Channel than Ken Burns, as the program includes not only stills and clips from previous decades, but live actors reenacting Hef and company interspersed with the historical segments. Interesting idea, and of the couple dozen or so retrospectives I’ve seen of Hugh Hefner’s life or Playboy in general I believe this is the first one to do so.
That’s the worst part of it, actually. The actor who plays 20-something Hef, Matt Whelan, is not believable as Mr. Playboy. Among other things he’s about seven inches too tall, and worst of all he’s narrating the thing as well. He doesn’t sound like Hugh Hefner, and hearing someone who’s not Hugh Hefner keep referring to him as me, me, me, I, I, I is a bit disconcerting. They should have had the old man narrate the thing himself (or hire a better impersonator), and if anyone was going to play him on the screen it should really be the man’s own son, Cooper, though I believe he’s got the height problem as well.
I’m only a couple episodes in and there are 10 total. If you’re a fan of Playboy I think it’s worth your time. Amazon dropped all 10 episodes at once, so you can watch them at your leisure.
God I love living in the future. Full review to follow.