Waco: Madman or Messiah (A&E)

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Waco: Madman or Messiah (A&E) – Premieres 28th January – Miniseries

A documentary about the Waco siege, where it talks to the agents involved in planning and executing the operation, along with a couple of the survivors where they explain what happened inside the complex.

The programme starts off with the survivors making their first visit back to the compound since the siege happened. Where they talk about what it was like to live there and what they thought of David Koresh. At the same time the programme goes into detail about how the cult of Davidian started and the backstory of Koresh.

As it goes on the programme introduces the agents involved in initially monitoring then taking part in the siege. Where along with archival footage of the operation the agents explain, why they were interested in the cult and how they believed the operation went awry.

While it’s a bit slow going it’s an interesting enough bit of viewing.

5.5/10

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Rooster & Butch (A&E)

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Rooster & Butch (A&E) – Premieres 10th January

Similar to their old show on CNBC West Texas Investors Club, this has Mike “Rooster McConaughey and Wayne “Butch” Gilliam, two self made millionaires, looking for new products to invest in.

Along with their buddy Gil, they put the inventors of a selected product through three stages before deciding whether they want to put their money into the company. The first stage is “The People” where after they arrive into town Rooster and Butch put the though an initial challenge of getting where they need to be. Then when they get there, are grilled about the origins of their product and how the company was started by them and the potential testers of the product.

The second stage is “The Product” where they go to an extreme end of testing the product with the testers, and generally have a lovely old time messing about. All this leads to the final stage “The Business”, where Rooster and Butch grill the investors about how their company has performed, profit margins and other business shenanigans. After all of this is wrapped up the pair make a decision on whether to invest, and if they do, haggle with the inventors for the best deal.

For a show that is from the same genre as Dragons Den/Shark Tank this is probably as far from the aforementioned as you could possibly get. With the pair putting the people through some irrelevant challenges, and putting more focus on the product while keeping the usual serious business vibe at bay, it all it’s an easy bit of viewing.

4.2/10

Undercover High (A&E)

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Undercover High (A&E) – Premieres 9th January

Like a mix between 60 Days In & This Is High School, seven young looking adults to go undercover as students for a semester in a high school in Topeka, Kansas.

During their time there the seven, after being given a false identity and social media accounts, try to fit in and and find out what the students get up to, and how the school can improve to help students from problems that have been arising recently.

While the programme isn’t as watchable as 60 Days In, the escalation of the online side gives it an interesting angle.

4.9/10

The Menendez Murders: Erik Tells All (A&E)

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The Menendez Murders: Erik Tells All (A&E) – Premieres 30th November

A docu-series that covers the events of the Menendez murders. Along with interviewing the reporters that covered the story, as well as family members, work colleagues and the police officers that worked the case. The programme also has recent interviews from Erik Menendez where he tells his side of the story.

During the show it covers the build up to the murders, what happened on the evening in question and how the brothers were caught during the months afterwards. All the while using archive news footage, crime scene imagery and the occasional reenactment.

As crime documentaries go it’s an interesting watch.

5.8/10

Who Killed Tupac? (A&E)

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Who Killed Tupac? (A&E) – Premieres 21st November – Miniseries

Similar to crime docu-series The Eleven & Unlocking The Truth, civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump set out to go over the cold case of the Tupac Shakur murder. After Crump puts his team consisting of reporters that originally covered the case together, they head off to interview Tupacs family and friends piece together the sequence of event that lead to murder.

After talking to the police that worked the crime scene they begin to narrow down the list of suspects and begin to look into who performed the shooting and what influencing circumstances where behind the hit.

As crime documentaries go, this follows the usual setup though is an interesting bit of viewing even if you only have a passing interest in rap.

5.7/10

The Eleven (A&E)

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The Eleven (A&E) – Premieres 19th October

Another crime documentary along the lines of The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway, The Murder of Laci Peterson & The Disappearance of Maura Murray where investigators Lise Olsen and Fred Paige are looking into the disappearance of eleven teenage girls from around Galveston County in the 70’s.

Their investigation is based on a confession they discovered from convicted murder Edward Bell, where he talks about abducting the girls. This leads the two visiting the family and friends of the victims to retrace their final steps, and to link their disappearances to the letter and to find out what exactly happened.

As crime documentaries go the first episode took an age to really get going, even with them managing to get an interview Bell. All together it’s pretty disappointing.

4.5/10

The Murder of Laci Peterson (A&E)

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The Murder of Laci Peterson (A&E) – Premieres 15th August

Crime documentary that looks into the case of Laci Peterson who went missing on Christmas Eve 2002, and which led to her husband Scott getting found guilty of her murder and given the death sentance where he is still currently on death row.

The programme begins with showing the known timeline of the day that Laci was last seen, then begins to delve into what happened after Laci was reported missing. And the show interviews family members, police officers involved and reporters that followed the case. From there it begins to show that the news coverage began to warp the public opinion of those involved, and that the police may have not done the most thorough of jobs in finding out what happened.

As a crime documentary it has more in common with Making A Murderer and The Keepers, as in how it introduces the crime and how the investigation played out. It’s a solid opening episode.

6.3/10