The Radical Story of Patty Hearst (CNN)

TheRadicalStoryOfPattyHearst

The Radical Story of Patty Hearst (CNN) – Premieres 11th February – Miniseries

A documentary that looks into the story of Patty Hearst, the daughter of one of the richest families in the US, who was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) and then ended up joining them.

Though neither Patty or her family were interviewed, the programme talks to her fiancé about her early life and the relationship before the kidnapping. Then the programme interviews attornies, authors and a member of the SLA about the group formation and how they ended up deciding on the kidnapping plot.

As documentaries go it’s an interesting watch.

5.9/10

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The Trade (Showtime)

TheTrade

The Trade (Showtime) – Premieres 2nd February 

A documentary that follows the effect of the drug trade in the US. The show follows three different aspects, the Mexican growers of the heroin, a police department in Ohio who are arresting dealers and an addict in Georgia who is try to stop using.

As the show flits between the three stories it shows how the drug trade is the sole source of income for the small Mexican town and how it has changed the area. It shows how the Ohio police are trying to take down the dealers bringing in drugs to the area by arresting lower lever dealers and getting them to reveal their contacts. And it shows how one persons addiction is effecting their family as they try to kick their habit and how it’s wearing the family down each time they relapse.

As documentaries go it’s interesting while having some really bleak moments in it.

5.8/10

Altered Carbon (Netflix)

AlteredCarbon

Altered Carbon (Netflix) – Premieres 2nd February 

Sci-fi thriller where after being killed in his pursuit of stopping people to able to transplant their memories into new bodies, called sleeves, thus living for ever. Takeshi Kovacs is ironically brought back 250 years after he was stopped.

After vaguely coming to terms that he is in a body that’s not his own, Takeshi is taken to meet Laurens Bancroft, the man who paid for him to be brought back. There he finds out that Bancroft needs his services to find out who killed him a few days earlier. Where the scene was made to look like a suicide, but the perpetrators failed to stop the remote server downloading his memories into a new body. Meaning that Bancroft can remember everything up to the point of his last memory upload, but misses out remembering who killed him.

Bancroft gives Takeshi a day to think about the offer where either he accepts and gets his freedom, or refuses and is permanently deleted. Settling on the second option, Takeshi decides to spend his remaining time on getting wasted. Until an altercation in the hotel lobby he was signing into piques his interest in the case.

It’s a solid opening episode that goes along at a decent pace, and a plot that’s easy to keep with. Along the addition of the John Wick style hotel scene and it’s a decent watch.

7.2/10

Dirty Money (Netflix)

DirtyMoney

Dirty Money (Netflix) – Premieres 26th January

A series from famed documentarian Alex Gibney, where he looks into the scandals of certain big business. Showing how they acted illegally and how the corruption was discovered, along with levels of deception the people in charge went to to try and keep everything under wraps.

The programme beings with giving a brief outline of the scandals that’s being looked in to. Then through interviewing former workers and the people that discovered the corruption, starts to go through how the deception began and manifested itself through the organisation.

The programme also shows some of the deposition footage and reveals how the deceptions not only stayed within the company, but was wider spread then initially thought, and reveals some of the intricate ways they tried to con the system.

As documentaries go this is in depth and keeps your interest throughout. It’s well worth a watch.

6.8/10

Waco (Paramount Network)

Waco

Waco (Paramount Network) – Premieres 24th January – Miniseries

Drama based on the events that led up to, and including, the Waco siege where David Koresh and his culty cohorts faced off against the FBI and ATF.

The show starts off nine months before the siege where it shows Koresh, finding out that one of his wives is now pregnant, much to the chagrin to the womans real husband, heading out to gig with his cover band where he brings back a drummer and shows his what his cult gets up to, and sells him on his philosophies.

During the same time FBI negotiator Gary Noesner is assigned to the Ruby Ridge standoff, where after a shootout initiated by an FBI agent that lead to the death of the targets wife. Manages to diffuse the situation and peacefully end the incident. Six months later he finds out the agent who he believed escalated the situation has received a glowing report of his actions, and wrangled an additional $10 million to his department.

Also in the fallout of the report the ATF are under pressure to get a result as they were blamed of the shooting, so when they find a report that Koresh has been stockpiling weapons they see it as a way to redeem their department.

For an opening episode it’s on the slow going side, though it does set up everything nicely and is a decent watch.

6.3/10

Mosaic (HBO)

Mosaic

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

The Alienist (TNT)

TheAlienist

The Alienist (TNT) – Premieres 22nd January

Set in New York in 1896, this is a period crime drama that follows Dr Laszlo Kreizler, a criminal psychologist, and his cohort, newspaper illustrator John Moore.

After the police find the mutilated body of a child prostitute, Moore is sent by Laszlo to draw the scene for him to investigate the murder. When seeing the drawing and getting a description of the scene from Moore, Laszlo manages to interview the suspect that the police have arrested. After talking to him Laszlo concludes the man is innocent of that particular crime and heads off to inform the new commissioner Teddy Roosevelt.

During the meeting Laszlo reveals that they have the wrong man in custody, and that he believes the murder is the work of a serial killer. When Roosevelt dismisses the pair they manage to get the help of his secretary, Sara, to get the case file of a murder that happened to two children under Laszlos care that he believes are linked.

When Sara follows through and gets the files, Laszlo finds out there is nothing in them that describes the cause of death, leading to to him get the bodies exhumed and getting Roosevelt onside to donate two forensics to examine the remains. This activity also leads to the killer finding out what is going on where he begins to stalk Laszlo and taunting him into catching him.

For an opening episode it goes along at a decent pace, and along with the quality of the production makes it an entertaining bit of viewing.

6.6/10