‘Kevin Hart: Reality Check’ Review: Consistency And Energy For The Win


One can always count on good old Kevin Hart to deliver on stage. He knows his strengths, his weaknesses, and how to toe the line on the most controversial topics. Though there were moments in the latter half of Kevin Hart: Reality Check that fell a little flat, they were negligible, and overall, the man has delivered the laughs that any comedian promises when he gets on stage to face a set of audiences. We believe that what works most for Kevin Hart is his energy. If memory serves us right, it was Kenny Sebastian, an Indian comedian, who once said that the joke must adapt to the delivery. This is making us wonder whether the last few stand-up specials that we have seen, be it Amy Schumer’s Emergency Contact or Tom Segura’s Sledgehammer, were lacking in this very respect. Contrary to Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer, and Tom Segura had very deadpan deliveries, and back then, their lack of energy looked like they were not trying hard enough. While we still believe that about Amy, we think this mismatch of energy and jokes is what went wrong with Tom Segura.

We also criticized Netflix for mindlessly churning out content without a care for its quality and blamed it for the substandard comedy specials. We have not had a chance to revise our opinion, but it is to be noted that Kevin Hart: Reality Check is available on Peacock TV.

In his special, Kevin starts by making fun of people with plastic surgeries, then moves on to stories about his family, and then brings it to his own eccentricities and experiences with the Black Lives Matter protests. Each one of the topics he has picked is considered controversial due to the growing nuance around them. That is why, when he starts his jokes, you are not sure for a while whether you should laugh and be a “bad person” or just enter the Kevin Hart school of thought, where nothing is so serious that it cannot be made fun of. We are specifically talking about his set of jokes regarding plastic surgery and his “intolerance” for unattractive people. These two sets don’t follow each other, and we cannot be sure whether he intended for them to introduce some sensitivity in his jokes and stop his own cancellation. But since we like him this time, we will assume the latter. It was all funny, right from the beginning to the end, but Kevin Hart’s genius lay in how he tried to show that people will make fun of anything, brutally ripping apart the other person while still having the best intentions at heart. Maybe that’s why people do what they do.

One of the things we extensively discussed in Tom Segura’s special was the use of a laugh track and how it diluted the audience’s personal perception of the jokes. We were surprised that even Kevin Hart had to use that. His set was actually funny; therefore, when we spotted those moments of editing where the weaker moments were trying to be sold with the fake laugh track, it felt like a bit of overkill because it wasn’t required at all to begin with. All those reactions of the audience actually happened, but it would have been a lot nicer if they had been shown as is instead of being intercut with the parts everyone knew were being stretched. Kevin Hart deserved better than this.

We are also bowled over by how he has managed to stay relevant. Looking at his body of work, be it his stand-up specials or his movies, Kevin Hart has not experimented much with himself. One would think that it is the key to slowly fading out, but it has been the opposite for Kevin Hart, who has simply won with his consistency and the sheer volume of work he has done. At a time when artists across genres are experimenting with varying degrees of success, Kevin Hart has maintained his fan following by being reliable and predictable.

Surprisingly, we have realized that in the business of comedy, unlike films or series, that can be a great quality to have. On that note, we cannot believe that his sun sign is Cancer. We thought he might have been a Taurean, considering his consistency, but on the other hand, he has openly talked about his crabbiness, so we suppose it makes sense. This is strangely making us think of Kim Namjoon (RM) from BTS, who is known to love crabs, not to eat but as pets, like the way people love cats and dogs. Since the BTS team is out doing their individual activities, what would a collaboration between Kevin Hart and Kim Namjoon look like, where the two of them are just goofing around? Kevin Hart is out making jokes, and Kim Namjoon, in his trademark style, accidentally breaks something, and Kevin starts sulking while RM smooth talks him out of it. After all, RM is known for his charisma, and Kevin Hart is known for not taking anything seriously. Actually, this would mean that Kim Seokjin would be a better match for Kevin Hart. God, the possibilities!

On this note, we would like to mention how, when Kevin Hart started his bit about the Black Lives Matter protest, you could feel the collective shift in the mood of the audience from funny to somber. Knowing it was a comedy special, we expected some jokes on race and violence that would only make sense when a Black person said them. However, staying true to the vibe of Kevin Hart: Reality Check, he spoke about how his own privilege interfered with his desire to protest to the best of his ability. With Kevin Hart, a lot of the serious stuff is hidden within the layers of his comedy, and this is a style whose appeal is far more widespread, which explains his enduring popularity.

Our point is that you should definitely watch Kevin Hart: Reality Check, as this is guaranteed to give you a good time, which is more than what we can say for a lot of content we have recently watched.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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