Kevin Hart might sound like the most unlikely candidate to host his own talk show but after watching the new show’s pilot episode, now streaming on Peacock, he shows that he’s actually pretty good. A little rough around the edges and little self-indulgent at times, but good. And honestly, he didn’t swear until within the last ten minutes, so that’s a plus.
“Unplanned, unscripted and unfiltered” is how Peacock Original series is describing Hart to Heart and in a lot of ways, the show is a nice change. One of my complaints about some modern late night talk shows is that the “talk” parts have been reduced down to just mere minutes while the rest of the show is filled with goofy games or self-indulgent song numbers. Not so here. Hart’s show is closer in style to Dick Cavett’s show than Jimmy Fallon’s, which is both good and bad.
For each episode, Kevin invites one guest to appear in a seating area of what appears to be shot inside a beautiful winery. There is no music (except for the brief title card introduction) or audience for this show. Perhaps it is my many years of TV viewing, but I found the lack of laughter or music off-putting. Then again, there are less distractions. Another difference with this show is that instead of the usual comic sidekick, Hart has his own sommelier (or “som” as he calls him) serving glasses of wine to Kevin and his guest, in this case Miley Cyrus. He doesn’t really add anything to the show but it looks cool.
The concept of the show is for Hart to interview his guests freely without any roadmap on where the conversation is to go. To my knowledge, Cyrus wasn’t chosen to be the first guest because she has any new music coming out or is appearing in a new movie. According to Hart, he doesn’t even know her, but wanted to have her on the show to find out more about her. Peacock says that the guests chosen represent Kevin’s interests and influences and no topic is off limits. He admits that while sipping on wine, people tend to open up more about their lives. If you’re hoping that is an open invitation for Cyrus to go crazy, you will be disappointed.
Usually a wildcard, Cyrus iss actually quite tame for this show with the exception of a few F-bombs here and there and her bejeweled appearance (she wears a big ring on every finger). And the conversation isn’t what you would have expect it to be. In fact, it was almost exclusively about her time auditioning and later creating the role of Hannah Montana for Disney Channel many years ago.
It was refreshing to hear Cyrus admitting to the sacrifices her mother and siblings made driving her to and from Hollywood from Nashville to apply for the role and some of her descriptions about her home life growing up was nice to hear as well. However, she also stated about how proud she was to have gotten in trouble so often while in grade school and how she “outgrew” her small hometown just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. I’m sure they were thrilled to hear that.
For only lasting about 45 minutes in length, Hart to Heart feels longer and there were times when I just wanting the two of them to move on to another subject. At one point, Miley mentions how her “achy breaky” father has been more or less of a recluse since 1992, but never explains why.
There was also a portion of the show when the two talked about how they have changed their ways in how they tell others about how to become famous. Hart shares of a recent conversation he had about the matter with Will Smith and how arrogant Smith used to be when talking about fame. Or something. It doesn’t really matter. I think I started zoning off then.
I know that the two meant to come off as if they were learning how to be humble, but instead it just seems like a lot of navel gazing. When Cyrus explains how she once wrote a letter to here old self he responds with “That’s strong!” multiple times. She never explains what exactly she wrote or why, though a picture of the letter is shown briefly shown. Maybe it was “strong.” I don’t know. Strong how? Strong for who? A little editing can go a long ways.
So while Hart to Heart is sort of refreshing as a whole, I don’t know if it is really worth seeking out. I guess it depends on who the guest is. The streaming service has posted three episodes on the site right now including Cyrus’s interview and one with Kelly Clarkson and another with Don Cheadle. The show’s real with little gimmicks, but it’s a little dull too. It might be nice to listen to while cleaning the kitchen or it might be a nice way to quiet down for the night before bed.
Main image: NBC/Universal
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.