Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story (Paramount Network)

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Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story (Paramount Network) – Premieres 30th July Miniseries

A documentary the looks at the case of Trayvon Martin, and how his murder caused a public uproar, by highlighting some of the injustices within the US legal system.

The programme begins with the parents of Trayvon talking about his background and the reasons behind how he ended up at his fathers at the time of his death. From there it goes through the evening in question, where along with showing the 911 calls, goes through the sequence of events that resulted in his murder.

After that, the programme brings in interviews of the some of the police force that worked the case, along with the legal representatives of both sides. They then explain how the legal side of the case was hindered, highlighting Floridas Stand Your Ground laws as the stalling point to arrest George Zimmerman.

This leads to Martins family hiring Benjamin Crump to help with them get justice with Zimmermans arrest. Ending up with the case getting national coverage and becoming the start of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The programme is a solid documentary, that shows some of the major inefficiencies of the US legal system. Altogether it’s an interesting bit of viewing.

6.1/10

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Dark Tourist (Netflix)

DarkTourist

Dark Tourist (Netflix) – Premieres 20th July

Hosted by documentarian David Farrier, who made the film Tickled, this follows him as he heads off around the world to check out the more unusual tourist spots some folks visit.

During the programme David visits two countries, where he samples some of the weirder attractions and customs that have become popular with a niche group of tourists. While there Ferrier chats to the locals to find out what’s going on, and why it’s gained popularity. Along with him partaking in the events, where he occasionally gets freaked out, discovers the appeal or tries to find why it’s something someone would want to visit.

With Farriers approach of hosting being similar to Louis Theroux, it gives the programme a Weird Weekend vibe to it all. And with his approachability, and the lesser known things he visits, make this an interesting watch.

5.9/10

No Passport Required (PBS)

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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

Post Radical (Viceland)

PostRadical

Post Radical (Viceland) – Premieres 10th July

A skateboarding centric docu-series, hosted Rick McCrank of Abandoned fame, as he heads off around the world to look at various skateboarding sub cultures and how it has crossed over into the mainstream.

In each episode McCrank visits two separate places where skateboarding has influenced the area in different ways. And while he is there interviews the main people behind it, follows them as they go about their daily business and compare it to how it was like when he first started skating.

The programme itself is a slow going affair, which does lead to it becoming a bit of a chore to get through. And while some of the stuff is interesting to watch McCranks hosting style does take away from it all as he doesn’t appear to really want to interact with the folks he meets.

2.3/10

1968: The Year That Changed America (CNN)

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1968: The Year That Changed America (CNN) – Premieres 27th May – Miniseries

A continuation of the series that made The Seventies, this is a four part documentary with looks in detail at the events that occurred in the US during 1968.

During the episode the documentary looks into the the current affairs of the time which include the protests of the Vietnam war, and the civil rights movement, the presidential candidacies of Bobby Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Through to the pop culture of the time and how it was reflecting the current climate.

Each topic while commented on by historians, experts and people who were there at the time, is shown through news and archival footage to highlight the various topic the documentary is covering.

Compared to the The Seventies this is a more in depth that takes it time in going through what happened, and is all the more interesting for it. It’s worth a watch.

5.0/10

Christine Amanpour: Sex & Love Around the World (CNN)

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Christine Amanpour: Sex & Love Around the World (CNN) – Premieres 17th March – Miniseries

A docu-series where in each episode journalist Christine Amanpour travels to a specific country and talks to women how the countries culture to sex and relationships affects them. 

In the show Amanpour visits a variety of people where their views range from the conservative to the more outlandish, and explain how cultural and technological influences have altered their personal life.

The programme is like a mix between a more conservative take on Slutever with the travel and interaction with the locals of Watt’s World. While it’s an easy enough bit of viewing, it’s not something you go out of your way to watch.

4.7/10

Earthworks (Viceland)

Earthworks

Earthworks (Viceland) – Premieres 2nd June – Miniseries

A miniseries that follows a musical act as they head off to a part of the world where they want to document on what is happening to the region. During their time there, the act highlights what is going on and meet up with the locals to talk about how the recent events have effected them, and take some time to create some songs influence on what the’ve seen.

As a documentary it’s pretty light on any real content, as any of the information mentioned is usually the stuff that’s been mentioned numerous times before on any nature programme of worth. The show is more about showing how the trip gets to influence the songs being created, and even then they only show snippets of the tunes recorded.

The programme is a weird meld of two different types of documentaries and neither does enough to really keep any interest.

2.8/10