We learn more about Mike Tyson’s personal demons, his violent tendencies as he continues his boxing career and challenges Lennox Lewis, and how he finally learned to be at peace with himself in the finale of the Hulu and Star Original Series, “Mike.” Tyson, or at least his character in this series, obviously hates himself. But, in his third wife, he finds the rock who won’t leave and helps guide him into the man we know today who has seen redemption in the eyes of many.
The series itself was handled very nicely. Some people aren’t going to like how it approached many of the events in Tyson’s life, and while kid gloves were used for some of his problems, others were addressed head-on. The real question is “should this series have been made?” Many of Tyson’s detractors probably would’ve opposed it due to his redemption story. There are plenty of people out there who don’t believe he deserves redemption, and they would’ve been afraid that this series would’ve gone a long way in adding to that redemption. Many of his supporters may have opposed this series, as well, due to his redemption. They, most likely, see his issues as in the past and probably would not have supported anything that shined too much of a light on them, especially if it could increase negative feelings toward Tyson. And Tyson, himself, opposed this series, stating they never approached him about a series chronicling his life story.
That being said, this series made some excellent moves to show Tyson’s life story in a way that is both reverential to him while still addressing the obvious elephants in the room. It shows Tyson being an inspiration at times, while chronicling his awful treatment of the women in his life. It made the correct choice of shifting the point of view during his sexual assault trial to that of his accuser. Her story cannot be undermined given he was convicted of the crime. That had to be handled delicately, and they did just that.
Simply put, this series handles things very well, but given the subject of the series is opposed to its creation, maybe it shouldn’t have been made. I get that they aren’t trying to make a Mike Tyson redemption piece, so they may not want Tyson’s view interrupting their efforts. There’s a lot of unsavory things in Tyson’s past. He hasn’t run from most of them. The only thing in his past that he denies is the rape conviction. His story hasn’t changed since he was first accused and neither has his accuser’s story. This series walks the line of telling his story without praising him too much or condemning him too much. I think it walks that tightrope well. If you don’t like Mike Tyson, don’t watch this series. If you do, watch it. Your opinion may change, and it may be bolstered. It’s still well done either way.
Rating: 3.5 stars
What did you think of “Mike?”