(The Root) — BET is keeping it not really real with its new, semiscripted reality spoof, The Real Husbands of Hollywood. The show, which premieres on Jan. 15, stars Kevin Hart, Boris Kodjoe, Duane Martin, J.B. Smoove, Robin Thicke and Nick Cannon as buddies who often dis one another but don't take it to the extreme the way women on other popular reality shows do.
There's no hair pulling; no one pulls the diamond studs out of anyone's ears; and whatever beef they might have — with the exception of Hart trying to exact revenge on Cannon's nephew for that beat-down he gave him — is squashed by the end of the episode. The intention, Hart says, is to mock shows like the Real Housewives franchise by showing up those stars' typically over-the-top reality-show behavior.
"Sometimes you ladies can get a little crazy," he told The Root. "And by 'crazy' I mean fighting, going all over the place. Then you meet about your fight. After that meeting about [the] fight, … you say you're not going to fight anymore, but then you fight the next girl that comes along because you teamed up with the girl you fought first. Our job is to do that same thing as men and make you go, 'Like, you know what? We need to stop doing this on TV.' "
Hart is, forgive the pun, the heart and soul of this comedic ensemble. Because he's the newly divorced member of the crew, the fellas spend a lot of time hanging out at his crib. Thicke and Kodjoe are often the butt of the jokes. The singer gets teased because of his hair, and Kodjoe gets ribbed because he's too pretty.
"Boris can't have everything," Hart said during an interview at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif. "We just have fun with everybody. You'll see Nelly on the show a lot, Common is coming through, Shaquille O'Neal and even Ed O'Neill [from Modern Family]."
One of the funniest bits is Hart's infatuations with Thicke's actress wife, Paula Patton, and Cannon's singer wife, Mariah Carey. According to Hart, it's just a matter of time before they realize what they've been missing. "You just wait — I'm going to get with one of them! Keep watching, you'll see!"
Miki Turner is the author of Journey to the Woman I've Come to Love. She is based in Los Angeles.