How do you celebrate a birthday? Comedian and movie star Kevin Hart turned 43 on Wednesday, and for the occasion released a new animated special on Roku that’s more designed to sell you NFTs “and Metaverse experiences” than to make you laugh. Go figure. 2022 is weird, y’all.
The essential: This Roku Original special brings four stories to life in 27 minutes, each story taken from Kevin Hart’s (RIP IGTV) Instagram series of the same name.
Along with Hart’s birthday on July 6, 2022, The Roku Channel also wrapped the animated special with a free hub called “Hart’s Hits” featuring the comedian’s other short-form content, including Die Hart, cold as balls, Exit strategy, Straight from the Hart, Hollywood’s Real Husbands and more.
confessions of the heart is also billed as the first in a series of “Kevin Hart Nation Web3 Experiences”, prompting his super fans to purchase Hart’s first-ever NFT collection drawn from the various characters in the special. If you like all of this. What about the actual special, though?
What comedy specials will this remind you of? : Tig Notaro released an animated stand-up special last year on HBO, Drawnwhich relied on a collection of his old routines.
Memorable jokes: This is not a special full of jokes, but rather stories.
“I’m Ready to Fight for Mines” reimagines what happened on Hart’s private plane when the comedian nearly got into a fight with his personal trainer. As originally seen during the comedian’s 2019 Netflix docuseries, don’t fuck thatHart’s narrative wants us to know what we didn’t see on camera.
“Fowl Play” opens with a cartoon Hart sitting on a toilet with a can of air freshener, as he recounts the time he suffered from food poisoning while touring Scandinavia, and his unfortunate dilemma trying to finish a performance before getting dirty. .
“I Eat Pepper Spray” takes us back to 2003, when a not-yet-famous Hart opened for his friend and mentor, Keith Robinson, and their interaction with the police after a traffic stop.
“A Sticky Situation” chronicles the time Hart accidentally spilled pineapple juice on Beyonce while trying to get herself a drink in a club’s VIP section during NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston.
Our opinion : Computer animation is as much like bobbleheads as anything else, but maybe it’s more conducive to NFTs? I do not know.
I found it curious that the animators sometimes veered away from corporate ties, while in other scenes they leaned into branding opportunities. Which just makes it feel like even more of a business decision and less of a comedy special.
Because if you click for comedy, you won’t find much here. Hart may have an extremely charismatic stage presence and an engaging storytelling style, but none of that is part of this project. Didn’t Hart want to redo his Instagram voice-over narration for Roku?
We hear him say “I have tons of gems”, but all we hear is the rough that coats those diamonds.
This forces the animation to do all the heavy comic work. It’s only really successful during the Keith Robinson story, imagining Robinson as an elderly person and then as a pimp, as he calls out to the police surrounding their car. The animators add their own twist to the final story, imagining Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart coming to Hart’s aid in the nightclub.
Our call: SKIP. There is potential in this series, but this pilot episode should have been redeveloped before airing.
Sean L. McCarthy Works Comedy Rhythm For His Own Digital Journal, The comic strip; before that, for the actual logs. Based in New York, but will travel anywhere for the scoop: ice cream or news. He also tweets @thecomicscomic and half-hour episode podcasts with comedians revealing origin stories: Comic Book Comic Presents Last Things First.
look confessions of the heart on the Roku channel