Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas (HBO)

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

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

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America Inside Out With Katie Couric (Nat Geo)

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America Inside Out With Katie Couric (Nat Geo) – Premieres 11th April

Docu-series hosted by Katie Couric where she heads off across America to look into some of the more sensitive recent cultural events that have been happening around the country.

In each episode Katie looks into a particular subject, where she heads off to the town/city/region where the recent outrage has been occurring. From there Katie talks to the locals about what has been happening, and then chats to various experts about how the events started off and why it is escalating.

As the programme goes on Couric talks to people on both sides of the argument, along going into the history of the events by visiting places that are trying to give a complete unbiased coverage to help with the education of the community. Then when everything is done Katie gives her final thoughts on what she covered.

The show has some similarities with programmes like Divided States & America Divided with its investigation to US current affairs. And while it does what it does well, it still lacks the watchability of America Divided.

5.6/10

Divided States (A&E)

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Divided States (A&E) – Premieres 5th March

A docu-series that looks into the how racial tensions and hate crimes are impacting places in the US and Europe, and how local communities effected are trying to rectify the problems.

In each episode it focuses on a particular event, and after recapping the incident and how it arose, follows the people involved as they go through the aftermath of the event. Along interviewing the victim and their family and finding out how it effected them, the programme also talks to the community where they talk about how they find the situation and how they perceive the media attention the event had caused.

Then over the period of a year the documentary highlights the changes that occur along with the problems that arise while trying to change the ingrained opinions of certain areas. Overall, while the programme does highlight serious issues, what is shown barely goes into any real depth. And along with the slow pacing of the programme does make it a bit of a slog to get through.

3.3/10

BET’s Mancave (BET)

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BET’s Mancave (BET) – Premieres 18th January 

Talk show hosted by Jeff Johnson, where he is joined with comedian Slink Johnson, R&B singer Tank & music producer Kosine. Where the four talk about current news stories through to getting their perspective of everyday things. It’s like a male version of Loose Women or The View.

The show begins with the four chatting about certain news stories, ranging from the serious to the silly, that have appeared during the week and give their opinions on what’s happened. After that segment, a celebrity guest is introduced where they have an interview about their life and get their outlook on certain pivotal moments.

It then moves on to the four asking light hearted one-or-the-other questions to the guest and is wrapped up with a pre-recorded Mancave Mission, where two of the four go to a location to create something for the show, then going back to the studio where everyone gets to sample it.

As chat shows go it’s lightweight to the extreme, and is akin to something that would be aired during the daytime. It’s all very forgettable.

1.1/10

I Love You America (Hulu)

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I Love You America (Hulu) – Premieres 12th October – Renewed

A comedy talk show hosted by Sarah Silverman where along with interviewing a guest, heads off to to meet folks with differing outlooks to see why they back the thing they do and what common ground they have with each other.

The show is like a watchable version of Chelsea, with Silverman actually listening to her guests answers and not talking over them at every opportunity.

It’s not too bad.

4.8/10

The Rundown with Robin Thede (BET)

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The Rundown with Robin Thede (BET) – Premieres 12th October

A weekly topical comedy show in a similar vein to Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, where host Robin Thede goes through a selection of things that have happened in the news while giving her take on things.

As well as the usually satirical stuff in front of an audience there’s also a musical performance, and all in all, the show does what you expect and for a comedy it gets the job done.

5.1/10

The Putin Interviews (Showtime)

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The Putin Interviews (Showtime) – Premieres 12th June – Miniseries

Made up from 12 interviews taken over a two year period, Oliver Stone talks to Vladimir Putin where they cover, amongst others, his assent to leadership, Americas foreign policies, Russias recent history of civil unrest and the growth of Al-Qeada.

Before each main change in the conversation news footage is used to set the scene of the topic they’re about to delve into. Then Stone asks questions and Putin offers the most diplomatic of responses.

It’s a interesting bit of TV.

6.3/10