Mike Tyson’s controversial relationship with Robin Givens is the focus of episode 3 of the Disney+ and Hulu Original series, “Mike.” While we see some of his fights in this episode, it’s less about the boxer and more about the man. We learn about his struggles with fidelity and how he puts the blame on being unable to love himself. If you are more interested in his life than his career, then this is the episode for you.
That being said, this is one of the more graphic episodes of the series. While there is now real nudity, we see Tyson having sexual relations with multiple women throughout this episode. Celebrities, in general, and especially athletes, are not known for being the best at relationships. This episode takes an in-depth look at how badly Tyson treated Givens from the very beginning. We see him engage in affairs with women working in flower shops and jewelry stores immediately after buying presents for Givens from them. Even in the scene where Givens agrees to be his girlfriend, we see that Tyson is engaged in relations with another woman. Whether these are dramatized for the show, or really happened, I don’t know, but he has spoken openly about his infidelity in his one-man show, so it’s certainly possible.
This episode also gives us a look at the infamous interview Tyson and Givens had with Barbara Walters back in 1988. Many in the United States who watched that interview talk about how weird it was that Tyson just sat there smiling as Givens went over all of his flaws on national television. We know now that doctors had prescribed him Lithium for his temper and when he was on that he appeared almost sedated. If it were 30 years later, Tyson’s clear issues would’ve been addressed differently, but back then it seemed like the doctors just drugged him up.
Tyson and Givens were too young and living too fast for their relationship to work. Both of them were flawed. This episode, in general, makes Givens look sympathetic. It’s clear that Tyson, at least in the show, still looks back fondly on Given even if she accused him of domestic abuse on live television. It’s an interesting viewpoint, but maybe it’s one he developed over time and reflection.
The other big new character introduced in this episode is boxing promoter Don King. His business relationship with Tyson has become the stuff of legend in boxing circles. Their relationship started out very friendly, but it will come crashing down after Tyson’s prison term when he accuses King of defrauding him of millions. Tyson will eventually assault King, although I don’t know if that will be shown or discussed in this series.
At first, I was concerned for this series, because I wondered how they would handle Tyson and his problems when he was younger. He has done amazing work rehabilitating his image over the years and it could’ve easily glossed over the bad parts. So far, it’s done a good job of demonstrating his struggles and his bad decisions. I’m curious what will happen when we get to the crime that landed him in prison at the height of his boxing fame, but for now, this series has me intrigued.
Rating: 4 stars
What did you think of this episode of “Mike?”