American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story

IMDB Summary: The Amazon Original Series draws from unprecedented access to more than 17,000 hours of footage and over 2,600 scrapbooks from Hefner's personal archives, chronicling the life of an American icon and the history of the brand he created.


A series about Hugh Hefner, creator of the "Playboy" magazine. And, more than than, a series for Hugh Hefner.

One sided documentary/docuseries is not something new, but I can remember something so blatantly for the subject like this before.

Oh sure, Hefner came with an idea for a entering-adulthood-male magazine and managed to interview some important personalities, give tips on wines and music and clothing. And have naked women on them.

But, oh look, Playboy interviews Malcolm X, look like progressive they are! Oh, look, they are showing a black woman naked on their pages! Oh, look, Penthouse shows up, showing more risqué content, but Playboy won't do that with their women, 'cause they are not about this. Oh no, poor Hefner is being attacked by feminists for showing women as objects, and he can't understand, 'cause he feels he's liberating and empowering them!

(Although I reckon feminists are right on this one, one can't stop thinking how Playboy also treated men as objects: buy this, drink that, listen to this; otherwise, you're not cool. Not in the same proportion, I understand, but still...)

Oh, and Hefner? Focused on his business and not his (first) family, but that's a problem with the way he was raised, not his. Oh, bad things, Hefner divorce, but they are still friends. But fret not, one model caught his eyes and BLAM! Love at the first sight! But it didn't last. Poor Hefner. But oh look, another model! Another love at first sight! They are really meant to be together. Except they don't 'cause she turned singer and he went to have afairs. How can Hefner be happy if there isn't a woman near him? But don't be sad, they are still friends. ANOTHER model caught his eye! They immediately fall in love. And it lasts till they divorce, but hey, there are still friends! Another model! (Rinse, repeat).

The love life of Hefner is one of the things that made me really pissed. He openly admits he can't be alone, his affairs are sidelined, ex-wifes always say he's so loving, just one admits she didn't like that he wanted an open marriage for him and not for her and one you can clearly see that she does not want to have Hef around, looks annoyed in the filming, but the narration said they divorced and are "friends".

This is the kind of thing that push a documentary down. There are no downsides of Hefner: He's loving, he's successful and he got ideas. Things he did wrong? No, no things wrong, he's perfect!

The series is interesting around the initial episodes, showing the steps in the creation of the Playboy magazine. But then it gets into this "social aspect" of the magazine, and doesn't pip a thing about Hefner affairs, and it gets annoying as fuck.