Phenoms (FOX Sports)

Phenoms

Phenoms (FOX Sports) – Premieres 25th May – Miniseries

A five part documentary the follows some of the players that will be playing in the 2018 World Cup, as they come to the end of the 16/17 season. Each episode follows a different style of player, as they talk about their life and career.

For each of the players the programme shows the highlights of their career so far, and interviews the players about their early years. Where they explain how it has effected them in later life, as well as taking about their future goals.

For a programme that’s about showcasing the up and coming players it’s pretty light on on actual footage, relying on covering the rather bland person life aspect. As a whole it’s a tedious piece of TV to get through.

2.5/10

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Being Serena (HBO Sports)

BeingSerena

Being Serena (HBO Sports) – Premieres 2nd May

A sport documentary that follows Serena Williams as she talks about becoming pregnant, and then follows her as she goes through the pregnancy and how she deals with combining motherhood along with her tennis career.

As the show follows Serena going about her daily business and recapping the events when she found out that she was pregnant. The programme also interviews her fiancé and agent who talk about how Serena is different off the court, along with Serena herself taking part in the usual talking head snippets.

As documentaries go this is a slow paced and pretty dull affair. Though it is an easy watch you’d really have to have some interest in the situation to make you want to keep watching.

2.4/10

Detail: From The Mind of Kobe Bryant (ESPN)

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Detail: From The Mind of Kobe Bryant (ESPN) – Premieres 14th April

Narrated by former LA Laker Kobe Bryant, the show has him analysing game footage of various playoff series he played in. During the episode Kobe breaks down what occurred and how over the course of the games they adapted their game plan to counteract certain situations the opposition forced them into.

As the plays are broken down and analysed, Bryant explains how certain player movements either aided or hindered the team. Highlighting in detail how each players roles we modified over time so the team gained an advantage in situations that were a problem to them previously.

For a show that goes into the minutiae of team tactics, it’s the level of details that makes the show work. And while the examination of the plays makes it come across a lecture in tactics, it’s an interesting watch for anyone that has an interest in team sports.

5.8/10

Shotmakers (Golf Channel)

Shotmakers

Shotmakers (Golf Channel) – Premieres 9th April

A golf competition where 9 teams of mixed doubles go head to head in a bid to win the grand prize of $50k.

The competition takes place at Topgolf Las Vegas, an adapted driving range where five targets are placed over the course each with a different points value that increases the further from tee they are.

Each episode covers one round of the competition all of which have a qualifier and a main event. In the qualifier the teams are given the rules then the team that amasses the most points gets a points advantage in the main event. In the main event the teams are then given the new rules to compete in, where the team that finishes top gets a bonus prize along with heading into the next round.

The two teams that finish in the bottom two place then go into the elimination round where they have two rounds to get the highest total they can. The team that finishes last is then eliminated from the competition.

While the show is not as good as Altered Course, there’s enough going on to keep it interesting. And is a more then decent way to burn 45 minutes.

5.5/10

First Team: Juventus (Netflix)

FirstTeamJuventus

First Team: Juventus (Netflix) – Premieres 16th February

A documentary that follows the players and management team of Juventus during the first half of the 2017/18 season. As the team are trying to build on the success of last season where they won the Italian League for the 6th consecutive time, and got the their second Champions League final in three years.

In the same vein as shows like Road to the Winter Classic, A Season With & All Or Nothing. It follows the club as the prepare for upcoming games, and focuses on the home life of a few of their players. Then it shows the match highlights of the games played before doing it all over again.

Like the aforementioned shows, this is an easy bit of viewing but does lack in some of the behind the scene aspects like half time team talks. That’s said it’s not too bad.

5.4/10

Little Dog (CBC)

LittleDog

Little Dog (CBC) – Premieres 1st March – Renewed

Canadian comedy that follows Tommy “Little Dog” Ross, a boxer who walked out his title fight half way though the bout, and does his best to become a forgotten man.

This ends five years later when after he leaves his pub on his birthday, he gets videoed taking down two bouncers. The footage manages to end up being played on the news, leading to the boxer he walked out on, RIco St. George, to offer him a championship fight to finally settle who is the better fighter.

As he ponders the offer his family are adamant that he shouldn’t accept as his mother found his failure tarnished the family name, along with his father being imprisoned. After getting numerous members of his family telling him that he shouldn’t do it, Tommy snaps and accepts the challenge on a TV interview.

While the show does have a couple of alright moments in it, it’s a pretty inconsistent bit of comedy where it misses more than it hits. That said it far more accessible and funnier than Crawford.

2.0/10

American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs Ninja (USA Network)

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American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs Ninja (USA Network) – Premieres 1st March

Another American Ninja Warrior spin off that has more than a little in common with Team Ninja Warriors. In this iteration there are 36 teams consisting of 3 former Ninja Warrior contestants, all competing to become the overall champion.

In each episode there are two heats, where the teams progress if the get three victories over their opponents. The heats have an initial three runs where the ninjas go against each other one on one on a special course. If there is no winner after those rounds, then relay events are played out until a winner has been decided. After the two heats the winning teams from each go against each other and the winning team from that progresses in the competition.

For what it is the show is more enjoyable to watch than Team Ninja Warriors even though the format is near identical. That said it’s still not as good as the standard American Ninja Warrior, but it’s a decent enough way to burn 45 minutes.

4.9/10