Written by: Adam Vaughn | November 24th, 2021
True Story (Eric Newman, 2021) 3 out of 4 stars.
When I first heard that Kevin Hart (Fatherhood) and Wesley Snipes (Dolemite Is My Name) were coming together in showrunner Eric Newman’s crime-drama series, I was immediately hooked. Seeing Hart play a more serious role alongside Wesley Snipes promised powerhouse performances and a fascinating plot about a fictional celebrity told through stylized action. What I found was exactly that, mixed with some interesting themes about the twists of fame.
True Story follows famous Philadelphia comedian “The Kid” (Hart), who returns with his management to tour in his hometown. Shortly after arriving, he runs into his brother Carlton (Snipes), and the two reacquaint at the after-party of one of The Kid’s performances. Soon, things start to go south, leading to murder, secrecy, and looming enemies for The Kid and his brother. As the situation goes from bad to worse, The Kid questions Carlton’s loyalty, as well as his brother’s true intentions.
The show certainly keeps the viewer guessing, as the tension increases after each of the seven episodes. True Story introduces two frightening villains—played by John Ales (Music) and Chris Diamantopoulos (Red Notice)—as they hunt down the culprits responsible for the death of their brother (Billy Zane, Final Kill), and creates an intimate and personal look at careers in comedy thanks to performances from William Catlett, Tawny Newsome, and Paul Adelstein. Mixed with several surprising plot devices, True Story kept my attention while making me wonder what was to come next.
At times, True Story can feel a bit ridiculous with the way its protagonists and antagonists defy some laws of realism (in situations that would never actually happen), and towards the end the show wraps in a way that leaves moral values in the air, yet True Story never fails to vibe with strong dramatic energy, keep the viewer interested in the characters and how they are affected by events. While it’s not always easy to tie up all loose ends (and some major points are left unchecked), True Story does its best in a flawed, but entertaining, thriller format.