The Defiant Ones (TV series)

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The Defiant Ones
Written byAllen Hughes
Lasse Järvi
Doug Pray
Directed byAllen Hughes
Music byAtticus Ross
Leopold Ross
Claudia Sarne
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes4
ProducersRyan Gallagher
Broderick Johnson
Gene Kirkwood
Andrew A. Kosove
Laura Lancaster
Charles Parish
Brady Kephart
Sarah Anthony
Steven D. Williams
Fritzi Horstman
Allen Hughes
Doug Pray
CinematographyShane Daly
Charles Parish
Vincent Wrenn
EditorsLasse Järvi
Doug Pray
Running time60 minutes
Production companiesSilverback 5150 Productions[1]
Alcon Television Group[1]
Original release
ReleaseJuly 9 (2017-07-09) –
July 12, 2017 (2017-07-12)

The Defiant Ones is a four-part American television documentary series, directed by Allen Hughes, that aired on HBO from July 9 to July 12, 2017. It focuses on the careers of and partnership between Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, co-founders of Beats Electronics.


The four-part documentary examines the partnership between Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre and their leading roles in a chain of transformative events in contemporary culture through interviews with the men themselves and others who were involved. Some scenarios are broadly reenacted.





Part 1[edit]

Years before they sell their Beats headphone company to Apple Inc. for US $3 billion (the largest acquisition in Apple's history), Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine's music careers begin on opposite coasts with nothing but a little ambition, many frustrating setbacks, and a few good breaks — allowing each to show the world their talent for producing hits.

Part 2[edit]

NWA skyrockets to success with provocative recordings like "Fuck tha Police" but tragedies, ego and money conflicts eventually leave Dr. Dre on his own. Meanwhile, Jimmy Iovine finds his own mix of huge hits and personal battles while producing Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, and U2.

Part 3[edit]

Jimmy Iovine co-founds Interscope Records and signs edgy artists like Nine Inch Nails and Dr. Dre, whose 1992 album The Chronic helps ignite a national, political firestorm over gangster rap lyrics and free speech. Simultaneously, Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur get in a violent feud with East Coast rivals.

Part 4[edit]

Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine strike gold with Eminem and others, but Napster and digital piracy threaten to destroy the music business. Desperate for alternatives and facing hard personal times, Jimmy and Dre create Beats Electronics which leads to a historic 2014 megadeal with Apple Inc., forever sealing their legacies.


The documentary aired on HBO on four consecutive nights from July 9 to July 12, 2017, and was also made available in its entirety for streaming on Blu-ray. The DVD/Blu-ray release was eventually pressed by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.[2] It was given a TV-MA rating, meaning that it may be unsuitable for children under the age of 17.[3]

On February 9, 2018, Netflix announced it had acquired the exclusive distribution rights to the series in all territories outside of the United States and Canada.[4] The streaming service premiered the series in their acquired territories on March 23, 2018, listing it under their "Netflix Original Series" banner.


The soundtrack to the documentary was released on Interscope Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises.


The documentary received generally positive reviews. Jon Caramanica of The New York Times called it "glossy, rapidly-paced, ambitious and often fun" as well as "impressively lush and well-resourced" in his positive review.[5] Lorraine Ali of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "the decades of struggle and successes leading up to" the deal with Apple "make this four-part series stand out in the crowded field of music docs" in her positive review.[3] Variety's Jem Aswad wrote that the documentary "tells a compelling story and tells it effectively and well, but its bloated length is a bit hard to justify".[6] Aswad noted the frequent use of reaction shots,[6] dubbed by the editors as the "Empathy Cut".[7] IndieWire's Ben Travers praised the "fast pace and entertaining design".[8]


The Defiant Ones won the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Music Film and the IDA Award for Best Limited Series. The series also garnered five Emmy Award nominations (Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program, Sound Editing for a Nonfiction Program, Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction Program, Writing for a Nonfiction Program) and an ACE Eddie nomination for Best Edited Documentary. Director Allen Hughes won the NAACP Award for Outstanding Direction in a Documentary. Editors Doug Pray and Lasse Järvi won an HPA Award for Outstanding Editing (Television over 30 minutes).


  1. ^ a b White, Peter (18 August 2020). "Peacock Nabs Exclusive Rights To 'The Defiant Ones'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  2. ^ "The Defiant Ones". 16 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b Ali, Lorraine (7 July 2017). "HBO's 'The Defiant Ones' a fascinating look at music's odd couple". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  4. ^ "THE DEFIANT ONES". Netflix Media Center.
  5. ^ Caramanica, Jon (7 July 2017). "Review: In 'The Defiant Ones,' a Revealing Portrait of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2018 – via
  6. ^ a b Aswad, Jem (7 July 2017). "TV Review: HBO's Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine Documentary 'The Defiant Ones'". Variety. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  7. ^ Dawson, Ron (21 August 2017). "HBO's The Defiant Ones and the Trend of Editor As Writer". Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  8. ^ Travers, Ben (6 July 2017). "'The Defiant Ones' Review: HBO's Addictive Dr. Dre Documentary is a Tribute to Producers as Much as Music". indieWire. Retrieved 24 October 2018.

External links[edit]