HBO’s The Defiant Ones Premiere Review


The Defiant Ones looks into the defiant history of the dynamic duo of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine

HBO premiered part one of its 4 part documentary drama, The Defiant Ones Sunday night.  This series is about the history and unlikely relationship of music producers, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.  These two have had quite the impact in the music industry and contempary culture overall, so a look back into how these two came together certainly merits interest amongst those passionate about music.

This Defiant Ones starts off with the major headline of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine making a deal with Apple for their brand, Beats Electronics.  Apple had negotiated a deal to purchase the brand for 3.2 billion dollars.  This was put into jeopardy when word of the deal got leaked through an ill conceived YouTube video with Tyrese Gibson and Dr. Dre prematurely celebrating the deal.  Nevertheless, Apple still proceeded with deal at 3 billion dollars.  It was the largest acquisition in Apple history.

After this initial jolt, The Defiant Ones diverges into paralled histories of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.  It alternates back and forth between the two starting from their youth.  As most people already know, Dr. Dre was raised in Compton, CA.  Jimmy Iovine was raised in Brooklyn.

Dr. Dre’s history is pretty well know thanks to a certain movie that came out recently.  The Defiant One’s segment’s focusing on Dr. Dre comes off a little like Straight Outta Compton: The Documentary.  No question that Dr. Dre is a remarkable talent.  It’s just that with Straight Outta Compton, his history has already been covered.  This look into his past seemed redundant, even if it seemed necessary for this series.

What really fascinated me the most about this first episode of The Defiant Ones was its look into Jimmy Iovine.  He seemed like the one that brought the least to the table out of the Dre/Iovine duo but actually he has quite a rich history in working with top musical talents.    This is a man who has worked with John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith.

In particular the segment talking about Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith was easily the strongest of the hour long first part of The Defiant Ones.  We learn how Jimmy overcame issues working with Bruce Springsteen.  Then when that relationship ended, Jimmy comes on with Patti Smith and help her cultivate her massive hit, Because The Night with a little help from The Boss himself.

Overall, The Defiant Ones was not a series I was particularly hyped for.  However, it did hold my interest and keeping it broken up into four one hour long segments is a good idea I think.  The little cutaway conversations with other musical talents like Eminem, Bono, and others certainly helps.  Part 1 ended with an intro in Easy E’s history with Dr. Dre. This could be fun. Parts 2-4 are set to air the week of July 10, 2017.   See for more info.

Dynamic Duo-Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine- credit: HBO

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