Comedy, tennis drama, tense political investigations, and deadly rain – this month has got plenty of excitment and variety enough for any taste. To help give you the low-down on what’s coming up in May is our tv-obsessed, Media Manda.
By Amanda Thornton (aka Media Manda)
HBO – Premieres May 2
From HBO Sports, this is a five-part documentary series chronicling tennis icon Serena Williams at a pivotal moment in her personal and professional life. The series will give viewers unprecedented access to Williams during her pregnancy, new motherhood, and marriage, while documenting her journey back to supremacy on the court. Viewers will experience her life from every angle as the intimate first-person show delves into her landmark career, family life, and expanding role as a businesswoman and investor in the worlds of tech, fashion, fitness, and philanthropy.
REVIEW: I’m so happy this is a series and not a one-off documentary film. I can’t wait to relive everyone’s reactions when she won the grand slam and then revealed she was also pregnant at the time. Serena is a total badass and I love that she’s married to one of the co-founders of Reddit.
A Little Help With Carol Burnett
Netflix – Premieres May 4
A Little Help With Carol Burnett features Carol, celebrity guests, and every day people receiving advice to their real-life problems from the straightest-shooters around: little kids. Celebrity guests include: DJ Khaled, Lisa Kudrow, Brittany Snow, Finn Wolfhard, Wanda Sykes, and Billy Eichner.
REVIEW: Carol Burnett is one of the funniest people alive and I am so happy she’s back on our screens. I’ve caught an old episode or two of The Carol Burnett Show on TV and man, was that series hilarious. I can’t wait to see what this series is like!
Cults and Extreme Belief
A&E – Premieres May 28
Elizabeth Vargas, alongside former members of controversial organizations, goes on a search to uncover how these sects use their influence to prey upon people’s desperation to create powerful belief systems. Each episode will take an immersive look at one currently active group through the eyes of past devotees and get perspective from believers and the leaders that are still inside.
REVIEW: Who doesn’t love a good documentary series about a cult? I love series that interviews past devotees because then you can hear all about why they chose to join the cult and what interested them to begin with. There are so many cults out there in the world that most people don’t even know about as well, so this looks to be a fascinating series.
The Fourth Estate
Showtime – Premieres May 27
This documentary series about The New York Times in the Trump era illuminates critical issues facing journalism today. A chief task for the Times, long considered the “newspaper of record,” is to find the best way to accurately and honestly cover this unconventional president, even as he tries to undermine them. Through extraordinary access and exclusive interviews, Oscar® nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus chronicles the tenacious men and women in the trenches who are fighting for the freedom of the press and America’s right to know.
REVIEW: This series looks so good. Some journalists at The New York Times just won the Pulitzer Prize for their reporting, so this will be an interesting behind-the-scenes look at why they won. Overall, I look forward to watching this series.
Science Channel – Premieres May 16
Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki, along with science “prankologists” Tamara Robertson and Jason Latimer, test out science on unsuspecting marks, drawing from chemistry, physics, technology, engineering and more, with never-before-seen pranks that will introduce audiences to remarkable and unusual scientific discoveries. From showcasing classic chemical reactions under the guise of a cooking class to controlling the movement of objects with their brains using electroencephalography, the pranks not only contain mind-blowing science but a heaping dose of chaos too.
REVIEW: Just when I thought prank shows were dying down, they’re back. This series at least sets itself apart from the other prank shows out there because of the science aspect. It looks like Science Channel will at least try and teach viewers something before pranking innocent people. I just hope the show doesn’t go too far with the pranks and no one accidently gets fake/real chemical burns as a “prank” because that’s not fun.
Abuse of Power
Oxygen – Premieres May 12
Hosted by esteemed television journalist Lauren Sivan, each episode will examine the twisted and true stories where people in positions of power and prominence took advantage of their authority to commit heinous acts of crime, all stemming from their control and unyielding power. Through emotional testimonials, never-before-seen interviews and dramatic reenactments, this series will reveal the sordid details of some of the most notorious cases of exploitation and highlight gripping firsthand accounts from the victims and their families who will stop at nothing to get the justice they deserve.
REVIEW: Abuses of power is definitely a hotter topic now than it was in recent years because of the Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby scandals. It’ll be interesting to see this series and learn about how much abuse people are subjected to all throughout the country that don’t always make the headlines.
Scripted Series to Watch for the Month
The Rain (Danish series)
Netflix – Premieres May 4
The world as we know it has ended. Six years after a brutal virus carried by the rain wiped out almost all humans in Scandinavia, two Danish siblings emerge from the safety of their bunker to find all remnants of civilization gone. Soon they join a group of young survivors and together set out on a danger-filled quest through abandoned Scandinavia, searching for any sign of life.
REVIEW: Like The 100 and Netflix’s German series Dark, this show looks right up that genre. If you’re not a fan of subtitles, you can always watch the series dubbed in English. Hopefully, this series doesn’t turn out to be the cheesy survival soap opera that The Walking Dead has become. The trailer makes it look somewhat promising.