Here And Now (HBO)

HereAndNow

Here And Now (HBO) – Premieres 11th February

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

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Our Cartoon President (Showtime)

OurCartoonPresident

Our Cartoon President (Showtime) – Premieres 11th February

Animated comedy that follows the adventures of Donald Trump going about his daily business being a bumbling moron with a twitter account while sort of running the country.

In the show it has Donald watching Fox News where their subject of the day becomes Trumps biggest worry. Leading to his members of staff trying to temper his more outlandish ideas with something more sensible, all while trying to make it seem like his idea.

As this is going on, the Beavis and Butthead take of Don Jr and Eric are in the background trying to make Donalds original idea work, but managing to make the situation worse. Though by the end they manage to get one thing to work leading to Donald achieving his goal of getting the appraisal of Fox News.

For a comedy based on Trump it is better than The President Show, with the caricatures of everyone involved feeling like an amalgamation of everything that’s been done on programmes like The Daily Show, The Opposition and any other late night chat show. That said it the jokes don’t seem to hit as often as they should do and is all a bit predictable.

3.1/10

Gritty to Pretty (HGTV)

GrittyToPretty

Gritty to Pretty (HGTV) – Premieres 10th February

Property restoration goings on where home flipping builder Jeremy Cole buys up a near derelict property in Kalamazoo, renovates it and then selling it on for a healthy profit.

In the show, after buying the property Jeremy takes his real estate agent around the building explaining what he intents to do, then gets some confirmation that he renovation will get the price he’s after.

It then follows Jeremy as he gets his building team in where they start making everything liveable, where during the construction there’s the usual problems that pop up and get solved within the budget. And when everything is done, the real estate agent is given another viewing and a brief recap is given saying how much everything cost and the profit they made selling it.

For what it is it’s the standard renovation shenanigans, and doesn’t really have anything that makes it standout from the other property shows that have been released this year.

2.5/10

Grand Prix Driver (Amazon)

GrandPrixDriver

Grand Prix Driver (Amazon) – Premieres 9th February

A four part documentary about the McLaren F1 team during the 2017 preseason, as they go about getting their car and drivers ready for the upcoming season after a few years bumbling around near the back of the grid.

During the show it follows the drivers Fernando Alonso and newly promoted Stoffel Vandoorne as they get fitted for the new car, perform contactual appearances for sponsors and give their feedback on the car in simulation sessions.

As well as looking at the drivers it also interviews the teams bigwigs as they talk about how they are trying to improve the teams fortunes. Which includes a management restructure after ousting former chief Ron Dennis from the company, and talking about how they are attempting to revitalise their sponsorship situation.

For a behind the scenes look at an F1 team, the documentary is following one of the duller, more corporate teams where it just comes across as a mundane PR exercise. If it was about Force India or Sauber you feel it would have a more interesting angle due to they’re the teams that have been struggling with getting money in to support the team.

All-in-all it’s one that would only really be of interest to McLaren fans.

3.0/10

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

Bethany & Fredrik (Bravo)

BethennyAndFredrik

Bethany & Fredrik (Bravo) – Premieres 6th February

Reality property gubbins where real estate agent Fredrik Eklund has offered a partnership deal to former client Bethenny Frankel after being wowed by her property development skills.

In the show Fredrik has decided the time is right to flip a property he purchased in a new build, where he has already hired a team of designers to draw up plan to renovate the place. After Bethenny turns up and begins to pick holes in what has been missed and the general amount of cash Fredrik want to throw into the project, Fred offers the partnership deal.

After some conflict of opinions in front of the lawyers as the deal is being drawn up, the pair compromise between the stake Bethenny puts in and the amount of money that should be put into the project. All the while this plays out, it’s interspersed with the usual reality show talking head interviews and overplayed drama of regular situations.

It’s all very tedious.

1.0/10

Crawford (CBC)

Crawford

Crawford (CBC) – Premieres 2nd February 

Comedy set in the Canadian town of Crawford where it follows the family of the former police chief as their home becomes infested with raccoons.

After being woken with what he believes is a home invasion, Owen, who can’t speak due to a bullet wound, sends an alert to the police who accidentally take down his son Kyle. Who has just returned home from tour after his band has split, leaving him in debt to his parents after spending his college tuition on funding the group.

After the police leave, Owen is insistent that he can hear scratching in the walls, where his wife Jill, who along with looking after him is having an open affair, believes he is making it up.

At the same time Kyle is adamant that he is not returning home. Though agrees to stay for a while after listening his younger brother Brian, who has a hatred of bald men due to him beginning to lose his hair, pleads to him to stay, along with his sister Wendy who welcomes his return.

After an incident in a shop that leads to Kyle and Brian being arrested, Owen turns up to smooth out the situation. And when return home Kyle also hears the scratching leading them to find the raccoons and for him to find out that he has a talent with handling the critters.

As comedies go this is weird one, a very weird one. Joke wise there’s not too much going on, and it holds back the main part of the premise until the very end. And even then it doesn’t reveal much, making it the show feels incomplete.

1.8/10