Unlike most documentary series cropping up on the tube nowadays, "AIR" (which stands for America's Investigative reports) isn't as groundbreaking and effective like "Frontline" but it has some novelties. The show focuses on two reporters who muckrake various issues in America and abroad. But one of the best things about the show is how determined and persistent the reporters are. For instance, in one episode, there was a story on police brutality in Los Angeles involving the death of a African-American male by police whose actions were questionable and another where an officer was involved with stealing millions of dollars worth of drugs from the evidence room. Although the story was revealed, the reporters still had more ground to cover in the case. Although they get frustrated and angry, their determination to get to the bottom of things is what makes the show. I like how each episode ends with room for more future developments, making you wanting to see the next episode. "Frontline", arguably the best documentary series on TV, ends with a coherent conclusion to its many stories and sometimes with continuation on others, but this new show leaves you wanting more. It's this style of reporting with the focus being on the reporter's actions that set it apart from "Frontline".
The one episode that got to me the most was the report on US soldiers suffering mental combat stress in the Iraq war. Stories of soldiers committing suicide and not getting the treatment they need, is both haunting and disturbing, especially those who have loved ones serving in this one-sided, meaningless war. Its a poignant tale that really makes you think.
"AIR" is one documentary series that should be watched for those who are interested in seeing issues from the reporters POV. While it may not have the style and substance of "Frontline", it stands on its own merits alone in its one style and content. It may take a while for viewers to catch on in this new series, but as a new series, it shows a lot of promise.
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