American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story is bold, sexy and inspiring

By Adamya Sharma | Updated 3 May 2017
American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story is bold, sexy and inspiring
  • And we want more…

He is a visionary and an entrepreneur who forever changed the world of publishing. He created his own alter-ego as a cartoonist, wrote every page of the first magazine he ever published, won a sharpshooter badge as a World War II veteran and most importantly, amassed a multi-million dollar fortune with a business he kickstarted in his living room.

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He is Playboy and Playboy is him

The story of Hugh Hefner is nothing short of inspirational and Amazon’s latest original docudrama, American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, captures it perfectly. A cool blend of reality and drama, American Playboy is a bold and sexy biopic of the ultimate player of the century (yes, he is 90 years old now).

The show premieres on Amazon Prime Video tomorrow, April 7, but we had the opportunity to screen the first two episodes of the 10-part series and we definitely want more! The first episode in the series opens with Cooper Hefner, Hugh’s youngest son and the Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises, introducing the untold story of his father’s life.

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What follows is a mad hatter tale spanning 17,000 hours of footage and over 2,600 scrapbooks from Hefner's personal archives. Parts of the episodes are dramatised and enacted by actor Matt Whelan who bears an uncanny resemblance to young Hefner. Even his son seems to think so...

The story of Hefner’s life and times is so powerful, one can’t help but take a few moments to digest the barrage of facts thrown out by the docuseries. The first two episodes detail the entire story of Playboy magazine's inception, rewinding all the way back to how Hefner conceived the idea of a complete men’s entertainment publication that wasn’t afraid to talk about women and sex. As you will learn from watching the series, Playboy got its name from that of an automobile company, before which it was supposed to be called Stag Party. Why wasn't it called Stag Party? You'll have to watch and find out.  

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Many such interesting facts are brought to light with much detail in the show. Of course, there is no making a show about Hugh Hefner without sex and nudity, and the show treats both with panache. So much so that we’re sure after watching it, Hefner will be the envy of every straight boy, man and maybe even a few aliens, that is if he already isn’t.

You can expect the series to make a strong case for sexuality and why talking about sex openly, or representing it in the media should not be a taboo. While humans in the western part of the world seem to have understood this a long time ago, some of us Indians still have a hard time digesting anything remotely sexual (take a hint CBFC). Did you know that from the Twenties through the Fifties, even Americans were extremely reserved about sex. The series will tell you how couples were always shown sleeping in separate beds in films and television shows, even if they were married.

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Creativity flows through the show as instances from Hefner’s life are narrated with perfection, right down to the time when he drew his alter ego ‘Goo Heffer’ in cartoons as a child.

The interviews of people who knew Hefner in his early days are placed in the series in a way that it makes the audience understand what formed his highly functional and independent thought process; what ultimately led him to start Playboy and give it its unique cultural identity. Did we mention that we absolutely love the title sequence of the show? It’s just the perfect, sophisticated start to each episode in the series.

Summing up our thoughts on the first two episodes, all we would like to say is that we can’t wait to binge watch this one over the weekend. For all of you looking forward to the series, Amazon has launched a sort of teaser trailer as a bonus Episode on Prime Video. You can watch the same before the series makes its debut on the platform tomorrow.

As always, keep it with Digit.in to read more about what’s hot or not on your favourite streaming services. Let us know your thoughts on American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story in the comments section below.

Adamya Sharma
Managing editor, Digit.in - News Junkie, Movie Buff, Tech Whizz!
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