Mike Eps 1 – 2 is the first two parts of a biographical drama TV miniseries based on the life of heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson, played by Trevante Rhodes. The series is a stylised retelling of Tyson’s life from the perspective of a one-man show. Tyson has is not involved in the miniseries and he has disavowed it with a tweet – “Hulu used my Undisputed Truth show as the back drop for their Unauthorised Truth series about my life.”
S P O I L E R S
Mike Eps 1 – 2 chronicles Tyson’s early years as an abused child and street hood. His life is changed when he discovers boxing in juvenile detention and comes to the attention of trainer Cus D’amato (Harvey Keitel). D’amato who has trained world champions, believes that Tyson will be a world champion as well, and adopts Tyson when his mother dies. Episode 2 covers D’amato’s death before Tyson achieves his dream.
Mike Eps 1 – 2 seems to suggest that Tyson’s savage boxing style is due to two factors. One, his rage from being abused by his mother and two, D’amato’s focused mentoring on Tyson adopting a ‘monster’ persona as a boxer. Which, of course, certainly became his public profile in his early days when Tyson was knocking out every fighter he stepped into the ring with.
Rhodes does a decent job in conveying the dichotomy within Tyson – a savage beast with a big heart – his juvenile criminality and bullied victimhood perhaps blurring the moral lines for Tyson, that resulted in the numerous legal issues that he would faced later in life as well.
Naturally, the dilemma with biographical dramas is separating fiction from truth but especially for anyone who is only aware of Tyson’s life story superficially, the miniseries is fairly entertaining on its own terms – with the breaking of the fourth wall even, without the complication of historical accuracy. Worth following for now.
Now streaming on Hulu.
… still there’s more …