Random Acts of Flyness (HBO)

RandomActsOfFlyness

Random Acts of Flyness (HBO) – Premieres 4th August

A 30 minute sketch comedy programme hosted by Terence Nance, where each piece differs in style while focusing on black centric issues.

The show is interlinked with Nance doing a continuing series of short skits. And while the main marts of the programme are longer in format to other sketch shows, they range from Adult Swim style surrealness to a more serious stance.

Even though the programme isn’t an out-and-out comedy it is a an easy bit of watching. And with each sketch having such a variance in look and approach, it does keep your interest throughout. It’s worth checking out.

5.6/10

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Sharp Objects (HBO)

SharpObjects

Sharp Objects (HBO) – Premieres 8th July

A thriller where functioning alcoholic Camille Preaker, a reporter for a St Louis newspaper, is given an assignment to cover a story in her home town of Wind Gap. Where a girl has been murdered and another is currently missing.

As Camille heads off to Wind Gap she has constant flashbacks of her childhood, which begin to intensify the longer she is there. And after arriving ends up staying with her mother, Adora, who is in constant fear of what the rest of the town thinks of her. As well as having a reluctance to move on from the past, as she has kept the room of Camilles sister Marian as it was from when she died. While transferring her overprotectiveness onto Camilles step-sister Amma.

As Camille works on the story she interveiws the parents of the missing girl, and soon after, along with a couple of other towns folk, find the missing body staged near the town centre. After being interviewed by the towns new detective Richard he confirms that he believes a serial killer is in town.

For an opening episode, it’s very much a slow burner where for an hour long programme not too much really happened. Though in the way that it’s made, it’s like Rectify where the slow pacing manages to keep your interest and make you want to check out another episode. It’s a decent watch.

6.9/10

Succession (HBO)

Succession

Succession (HBO) – Premieres 3rd June – Renewed

Drama that follows the Roy family, where the father Logan is the founder of a large media and entertainment company. With is health slowly deteriorating his son Kendall is now running the business in everything but name. And believes that his father will soon hand over the company to him.

On the day of Logans birthday, Kendall is working on a company acquisition of digital media company, who end up backing out of signing the deal at the last minute. As Kendall and the management try to work on a new offer to get the deal back on track, he decides to leave to attend his fathers party. Where after arriving, Logan reveals that his decision to leave the negotiations before the deal is wrapped up shows that he isn’t ready, and has decided to stay as the head of the company.

After receiving the news Kendall goes back to the office to resurrect the failed bid, where he offers a deal that that gives the owner a role on the board. As the offer is accepted Kendall is unaware that his father is taken ill, and the deal that has been accepted gives the person the chance to mount a leadership challenge.

For a first episode it plods along at a slow pace, and along with none of the family being in any way likeable, doesn’t really grab your interest fully.

4.3/10

Elvis Presley: The Searcher (HBO)

ElvisPresleyTheSearcher

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

Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas (HBO)

WyattCenacsProblemAreas

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

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)

TheZenDiariesOfGarryShandling

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)

HereAndNow

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