American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story: Season 1 Reviews

May 14, 2019
On its own, this motivation is worthy, and to be sure, the documentary beseeches us to appreciate Hefner as a trailblazer, even a progressive
May 14, 2019
If you are looking for deeper insights or cultural commentary, then this won't serve you.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
May 14, 2019
The docu-series is pretty watchable if for no other reason than to remind us how crazy those times could be.
May 14, 2019
Truly a docu-drama for our times, this unbelievably long love letter to the aged shagger features one talking head after another, telling us what a terrific pioneer Hef is, while actors and actresses re-enact scenes from his blessed, blameless life.
May 14, 2019
I have no use for this artificial, ahem, enhancement of [Hugh] Hefner's life and accomplishments. Always been more turned on by the real thing myself.
May 14, 2019
For Playboy and [Hugh] Hefner, the show is the latest attempt at a current brand boost through a transparent, biased celebration of their glory days.
May 14, 2019
One day there will be, one hopes, a definitive Hefner biography written. Until then, this is an entertaining and pretty enlightening look at one very smart and lucky man.
September 7, 2017
It's a study in contrasts and seeming dichotomies-a skin mag crusading for social justice, even as its founder seems genuinely befuddled by justifiable criticism of his exploitation and objectification of women.
May 31, 2017
Only towards the end does the series nod at the less salubrious outcomes of this megalomania, but by then the viewer is already drowning in the vast, unedited river of Hefner worship.
April 13, 2017
Some of the more interesting archived footage is eclipsed by the images of the magazine's celebrated centerfolds, as well as the dramatic reenactment of Hefner's life. All of this is offered in context, but makes it more entertaining than informative.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 11, 2017
There are no performances worth calling attention to because there was no writer entrusted with developing character or dialogue, no director entrusted with more than making sure the suits look period-appropriate.
April 7, 2017
Absorbing, semi-dramatised 10-part documentary that takes us from the pre-history of the magazine when it was called Stag Party to its latter-day fight for survival.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 7, 2017
This is the story only partially of getting naked women into print; it begins as the story of getting anything into print, and is sometimes exciting in the way of other origin stories.
April 7, 2017
American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story weaves archival footage, new interviews, and dramatic re-enactments into a shoddy tapestry.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
April 5, 2017
American Playboy is eminently watchable and generally informative, the kind of look at an enormous cultural icon that PBS might do if "American Masters" included naked women.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 5, 2017
I have a feeling that a thorough Web browse might be a viable alternative.
April 5, 2017
A thorough and fascinating portrait of a man and his dream that fails to truly challenge perceptions, at least in its earliest episodes.