Elvis Presley: The Searcher (HBO)

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Elvis Presley: The Searcher (HBO) – Premieres 14th April – Miniseries

A two-part documentary about Elvis Presley where it looks at the music that influenced him, how he used aspects of them in his act and how his career developed.

As the documentary follows Elvis throughout his life it uses archival footage of him along with interviews from Priscilla Presley and family friends, through to historians and fellow musicians that are used to narrate Elvis’ life.

As music documentaries go it’s an in depth and interesting watch. And even if you’re not into the work of Elvis it’s still something that would keep your attention.

/10

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Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas (HBO)

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Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas (HBO) – Premieres 13th April

A comedy current affairs show hosted by Wyatt Cenac, where he goes through some of the issues that are effecting people in the US.

The main difference from this to the other similar comedy shows is that there is no audience during the between segment bits, leaving Cenac doing his thing on a set that looks like it’s from a 70’s science programme. Though with the actual segments he goes through are more in the vein of Last Week Tonight, than The Daily Show.

While show is like a more serious version of Last Week Tonight in the way the main segment of the show is put together and delivered. It still has some funny moments in it and is a decent enough watch.

4.6/10

The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (HBO)

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The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (HBO) – Premieres 26th March – Miniseries

Two part documentary of the life and times of comedian Garry Shandling, where his long time friend Judd Apatow retraces Shandlings career and personal life.

In the programme it starts of with footage showing Shandling going through his journals, after which entries from them are used to link his life story together.

The documentary covers his entire life, where with interviews of friends, family and co-workers, show the main pivotal moments in his career, how incidents in his youth effected him in later life and his relationships.

It’s an in depth documentary and even for a 2 hour episode doesn’t ever begin to drag. It’s well worth a watch.

6.6/10

Here And Now (HBO)

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Here And Now (HBO) – Premieres 11th February – Cancelled

A drama centered on the dysfunctional Bayer-Boatwright family, where the dad Greg is turning 60 and in a pit of depression from questioning whether his lifes work has any importance. His wife Annie who has self diagnosed herself with mental health issues, and has passed her neurosis onto their youngest daughter Kristen. And their three adopted children, where Duc and Ashley who both are having relationship problems and resent the fact that they were used as symbols of their parents progressiveness, and their brother Roman has recently started receiving having visions and hallucinations that he can’t explain.

During Gregs birthday celebration Roman has another hallucination in front of of everyone that cause his parents to take him to a psychiatrist. and during the session he notices that there is a framed picture of the woman he has been seeing in the office, and finds out that it’s the psychiatrists mother he has been seeing.

For a first ep it comes over as a bit disjointed, where it appears to have a strange supernatural angle tacked on to a standard drama about family relationships. That along with the slow pacing of it makes it a bit of a grind to get through, especially with most of the characters appearing to be quite dislikable.

3.5/10

2 Dope Girls (HBO)

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2 Dope Girls (Netflix) – Premieres 2nd February 

The TV spinoff of the 2 Dope Queens podcast and hosted by Jessica WIlliams and Pheobe Robinson, this is a mix between podcast, stand up and chat show filmed in a live setting.

The show kicks off with Jessica and Pheobe doing about 15 minutes of podcast style chat, then switches over to them introducing some live stand up. In between the act the pair have an interview with a well known comic from the area, where along with the chat get them to do an additional bit of participation japery.

For what it is the show feels like the comics on show are given a longer set than show like All Def Comedy & Hart Of The City, meaning you can get more into the routine, and that’s always a good thing.

5.0/10

Mosaic (HBO)

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Mosaic (HBO) – Premieres 22nd January – Miniseries

Starting off with the discovery of the body of Olivia, a childrens author, and revealing that the police are looking into two potential suspects.  This is a whodunit that follows Olivia over a four year period leading up to her death, while showing the possible motives of the people around her.

Starting off four years before the incident, Olivia is at a fundraising event for her childrens charity hosted by her neighbour. There she meets budding artist Joel who is working the bar. After chatting to him Olivier offers him a job as a live in handyman at her home, where he would be able to use her studio in return. Soon after Joel moves in Olivia discovers that he has a girlfriend leading her to feel jilted, while Joels girlfriend notes of the weird situation he’s in.

At the same time Olivias neighbour Michael has discovered that the land her home is on contains a rich deposit of rare metals, and after having his offer to buy the property turned down devises another way to her Olivia to sell.

After finding out about a conman named Eric who managed to romance a woman to leave him her inheritance, Michael hires him under the guise where Eric believes that a wealthy woman living abroad wants the buy the property. Though during the con Michael and his associates begin to believe that Eric is falling in love with her and potential jeopardising the job.

As murder mysteries go this is a seriously slow burning affair, where during the first episode not too much happens of note. That said, it still keeps your interest even though at time there are some jumps between the storylines that feel a bit jarring.

6.2/10

All Def Comedy (HBO)

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All Def Comedy (HBO) – Premieres 1st December 

A 30 minute standup show compèred by Tony Rock. Based from an LA theatre where four established acts each get about a 5 minute set, similar to the setup of Live At The Apollo and Hart Of The City.

The show does exactly what you’d expect and is a decent watch, though it could do with the comedians being given a longer set so you can get more acclimatised to their routine.

4.7/10