Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers (Oxygen)

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Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers (Oxygen) – Premieres 15th September Miniseries

A documentary that looks into the death of Jessica Chambers, a 19 year old who was set on fire and later died from 3rd degree burns. Where it follows the court case of the suspect that the police believe is responsible for the crime.

In the opening episode, the programme covers the crime and the hunt to find the perpetrator, as it interviews the the members of Jessica’s family, the people that found her, a reporter who was looking into how online amateur sleuths were accusing virtually everyone involved, the police who worked the case and the various folks who were under suspicion.

As it goes over the case, it covers the sequence of events, and looked into Jessica’s background to find any possible links to explain what happened. As well as highlighting how the online aspect heightened the racial tensions in the area and how it possibly influenced the police search.

With the show not following an investigator as they go through the case this more similar to Making A Murderer & The Radical Story of Patty Hearst in its format. And with it following a case where there are questions about the accuseds guilt makes it an interesting watch.

6.3/10

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Warriors of Liberty City (Starz)

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Warriors of Liberty City (Starz) – Premieres 16th September

A documentary that follows the Liberty City Warriors, a youth football programme that as well as producing NFL players, is primarily there to give the youngsters something to do in a place that has constant street violence.

The programme talks to and follows some of the players and members of the coaching staff, where it shows how and why the team was formed, how it’s increased to incorporate other sports and is also a place that offers additional educational help to the kids. It then looks into the lives of the those in the teams and why it beneficial to them, along with highlighting the problems that go on in the area.

While there are a couple of similarities to Coach Snoop, mainly with the personal lives of the kids that play. This one is more focused on how the club is beneficial to the community, and the problems that the area it’s in creates. It is an interesting watch, but does drag in places. That said it’s worth checking out.

5.8/10

Dopesick Nation (Viceland)

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Dopesick Nation (Viceland) – Premieres 12th September

A documentary that follows recovering addicts Allie and Frank as they help those that want to kick the habit in South Florida.

In the opening episode, the pair initially talk about how the drug problem blew up in the area, spawning recovery centres that didn’t do their job, leaving the inhabitants at risk and only interested in getting the money in.

The programme then follows Allie and Frank as they help two addicts get in to a respected recovery centre. But with the waiting list they have to help the addicts through the period, and try to keep them focused on staying clean till they get in. During this time the folks they are helping disappear for a short period, before turning up again, going into rehab and getting clean.

While the parts about the lack of regulations in the recovery centres are interesting. The main part of the show, looking after the addicts, is as slow going as you’d imagine where it’s mostly people waiting around. Overall, there isn’t too much that would make you seek out another episode it is something you would check out if it was on.

4.4/10

America To Me (Starz)

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America To Me (Starz) – Premieres 26th August

A documentary that follows the students of the Oak Park and River Forest High School over the course of a year, after the school gained national attention for the black lives matter assembly for selected students.

During the episode the programme follows a few of the students as they go about their school days where they talk about how there is a bias based on ethnicity. As well as the programme talking to their parents about they concerns of the education system and showing the difficulties occurring within the school board.

It’s a slow burner of a documentary, that never seems to really get going. And ends up being more like a version of This Is High School but with more of a focus on the race issues that happen in US schools.

3.5/10

The Disappearance Of Crystal Rogers (Oxygen)

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The Disappearance Of Crystal Rogers (Oxygen) – Premieres 11th August – Miniseries

A crime documentary that is similar in format to The Disappearance of Maura Murray, The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway & Gone: The Forgotten Women Of Ohio. Where journalist Stephanie Bauer looks into the disappearance of mother of five Crystal Rogers. Who after 4 years from being reported missing, her whereabouts have not been discovered, and her family believe the local police have given up resolving the case.

After initially meeting the Rodgers family and the local police chief, Stephanie brings in the help of former detective Dwayne Stanton. Where the pair begin to look into the timeline and what the police did with the evidence. As they got through the story of the case they find out that Crystals father, who was doing his own investigation, was killed in suspicious circumstances. Along with discovering that Crystals aunt disappeared in a similar fashion 20 odd years earlier.

With the discovery that the police didn’t process the crime scene to the standards that Stanton was expecting. The pair bring in experts to to recheck the evidence available, as they go over recorded police statements available where they discover that some viable suspects were not followed up correctly.

Altogether it’s a decent crime documentary, which is helped by the fact the case itself is so strange. Though while the story has enough to attract your interest, with the opening episode being an hour and a half long it does drag in places, which does take away from some of its watchability.

5.6/10

The Story of the Royals (ABC)

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The Story of the Royals (ABC) – Premieres 22nd August – Miniseries

A two-part documentary miniseries that looks at the recent history of the Royal family. Starting at just before the Queens coronation, through to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The programme documents the family as it focuses on certain parts of the history. Where it highlights the effects the events had on the UK and US, along with how the family itself had to adapt to the changes that were happening.

Using archive footage and having interviews with royal reporters, authors and people who worked in the family who give their own insights to events. It also looks into how the family has still kept its popularity and how they have influenced some parts of popular culture.

As documentaries go it’s very by the numbers, and with the episode being an hour and a half long, it does start to lose its appeal before it it the half way mark.

2.3/10

All Or Nothing: Manchester City (Amazon)

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All Or Nothing: Manchester City (Amazon) – Premieres 17th August

A sports documentary that takes the NFL All Or Nothing format, and follows Premier League side Manchester City during their title winning 17/18 season.

Like the NFL version, this shows the behind the scenes goings on as the team prepares for the upcoming matches. As it follows and interview the players, management and backroom team, showing the roles they play and what the usual daily routine is like.

The during the match day, the programme shows highlights from the match, the half time talk and how the side deals with the final result. As sport documentaries go, while it lacks the player interaction usually seen in the US sport equivalents, it is a lot more enjoying than First Team: Juventus. All in all if you like football it’s worth a watch.

6.0/10