No Passport Required (PBS)

NoPassportRequired

No Passport Required (PBS) – Premieres 10th July

A food travel show that’s hosted by Ethiopian/Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson, as he travels around the US to see how the various culture and influenced the local cuisine. Along with looking into how their shared food helps them settle into and integrate with the community.

In each episode Samuelsson goes to a town that has been influenced heavily by the local ethnic community. While there Marcus meets up with a few people who either take him to the local eateries, where he samples the food, sees how it’s made and why these places help the community. Or is invited to the persons home where they cook the food of their homeland, which helps keep  the next generation connected to their heritage.

The show is easy bit of viewing that shows how communities have taken the cultural parts of their homeland, and how they have integrated it within the US culture. The programme does drag in places but it is something you could happily sit through if there’s nowt else on.

4.4/10

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Breaking Big (PBS)

BreakingBig

Breaking Big (PBS) – Premieres 6th June

A documentary that looks into how a well known celebrity started out and how they managed to break into the mainstream.

The show interviews the celebrity in question where they talk about their early life, the difficulties they encountered and how it influenced them. Along with how they started out in their career, the show highlights the main points that raised their profile and what they are currently doing.

As well as interviewing the celeb, the programme also talks to people that have worked with them. As they explain why the person has excelled in their field, along with showing footage of their career as well as parts of their private life.

As a documentary the format is reminiscent of Uncensored, but it does go along at a slow pace, and seems to only really scratch the surface of the main points. Leaving it as something that’s you’d only watch if you were really interested in the person it’s featuring, but doesn’t offer too much in the way of new information about them.

1.7/10

Nova: Wonders (PBS)

NovaWonders

Nova: Wonders (PBS) – Premieres 25th April

A science show that looks into some of the more groundbreaking bits of research that are currently being worked on within different scientific fields.

In each show it is given a topic that it looks into, where the three presenters – scientists that work in specific areas – introduce what the folks in that field are working on. From there it has interviews with the scientists involved and shows how they are each tackling the problem. Along with showing the history of the research and how it is changing.

As a science programme it’s an interesting watch, even if it does at times start to drag a wee bit.

3.7/10

First Civilizations (PBS)

FirstCivilizations

First Civilizations (PBS) – Premieres 24th April

A documentary where in each episode it looks into one of the cornerstones of human civilisation to see how it has evolved over time, still remains relevant in modern times, and how they became prevalent in the first place.

The episode follows archeologists as they uncover evidence in how these concepts developed the early world, as well as using reconstructions to to explain the development, The programme also interviews historians as they explain the long term effects and how they can be found in modern society.

The show itself while covering some interesting points, it does have it moments where it becomes a bit of a grind to get through. Though for what it is, it does the job.

3.2/10

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Food Flirts (PBS)

FoodFlirts

Food Flirts (PBS) – Premieres 28th July

A quirky take on the travel cooking show format, where the programme is hosted by the Brass Sisters, Shelia and Marilyn. An elderly pair who visit eateries to sample and see how the food is made, along with flirting the young male chefs.

In the show the pair visit two restaurants that produce different cuisines, where they taste, and then learn how to make a particular dish. After being shown by the chef on what to do, the sisters return to their home to create a fusion of what they’ve learned. And end up presenting the results to the folks they visited.

As a cooking programme it does go into more detail than most of the stuff shown on the Food Network, and even though that isn’t much, along with the lighthearted vibe of it all makes it an easy bit of viewing.

3.2/10

Impossible Builds (PBS)

ImpossibleBuilds

Impossible Builds (PBS) – Premieres 7th February

A programme that in each episode documents the building of a project that pushes the limits of construction techniques.

The show begins with showing the architects plan for the construction as the narrator highlights the parts that are revolutionary to the build. It then switches to meeting the people who will be working on the site, where they interview them about how they see the build going and if any parts particularly worry them.

Then throughout the construction the programme highlight the pivotal parts of the build, explaining why they are doing certain things along with the logistical problems that will be encountered. Breaking up the footage of the construction the programme also shows how some of the aspects a formed off site, detailing the production process and benefits of why it is being used instead of the standard techniques.

The show is similar to Building Giants in the way it documents and explains the construction, though this one doesn’t actually show off the final reveal. And with it leaving the documenting of the project after the final troubling section, it gives the programme an unfinished feel.

2.8/10

We’ll Meet Again (PBS)

WellMeetAgain

We’ll Meet Again (PBS) – Premieres 23rd January

Hosted by Ann Curry this is a programme that in each episode it follows two people who were both affected by a certain pivotal part of history, and follows their attempts at reuniting with the person that helped them through that period.

In the show, it switches between the two different peoples search where after recounting the events that lead them to know the person that they are searching for, has them describe what they went through, and how it has shaped their life afterwards.

Along with showing archival footage of the events, as well as the photos they have from the period. It follows them as they track down the people as they piece together the information gathered, all of which culminates to a reunion.

It’s definitely a show for those that enjoy programmes along the lines of Who Do You Think You Are.

2.9/10