TV critic Madeline McInnis gives her views on the Netflix documentary series as rapper Snoop Dogg coaches an American Football team for youths from disadvantaged backgroundsWritten by mmcinnis on 11th February 2018
Top Three Reggie Yates Documentaries
Comment Editor Kat Smith takes a look into Reggie Yates' most compelling investigations
I don’t remember seeing Reggie Yates on my TV for the first time. From his early CBBC appearances to his documentaries over the recent years, he has been an omnipresent feature in our generations viewing experiences. Covering topics spanning from life in a Texan jail to the ‘white slums’ of South Africa, Yates has immersed himself in many situations, cultures and horrors. In doing so, he has created a catalogue of insightful, emotive and, at times, haunting documentaries. Although all of them are fantastic, here is a list of what I consider to be his three very best:
Extreme UK: Gay and Under AttackFocusing on the hostility met by those in the black and Asian communities when it comes to sexuality, this documentary provides a frustrating insight into homophobia in the UK. I firstly think it’s important that Reggie Yates doesn’t just create programmes about the extremities of views in other countries and cultures that we may find shocking as British viewers. He also acknowledges the extreme and problematic views many hold here in the UK. Yates’ Gay and Under Attack is a hard-hitting realisation that although we may have some of the progressive equality rights in the world, we are still a far cry from perfection. It’s astonishing to see how many people still believe that being gay is a choice.
One man, Sohail, recalls being told by his own mother that "If you murdered someone I'd still accept you. But you being gay - I can’t accept you for that." Later seeing him loving his time at a pride event is a definite highlight of an otherwise heart-breaking documentary. Yates’ broadcast of these experiences is inspiring in the way it celebrates identity without undermining the adversity still faced in the gay and transgender communities. It’s saddening and quite frankly unbelievable that this was filmed only 2 years ago, but this close-to-home documentary is well worth the watch.
Extreme Russia: Teen Model Factory
“An insightful yet saddening document that covers the many issues of teen modelling
It is an insightful yet saddening document that covers the many issues of teen modelling. It covers a wider message of the pressure we put on young people to look a certain way, the intrinsic wrongness of sexualising underage girls and the financial difficulties that lead parents to support their daughters in this career path. I loved this documentary in spite of how angry it made me because it gave a voice to every party: the child, the parents and the people photographing/commissioning the teen models.
The Insider: A Week in a Toxic Waste Dump
“It shines a light on one of the most toxic places on earth and it’s a shock to think it’s not common knowledge
Reggie encounters men selling scraps from as close to home as Wimbledon and Manchester, showing that the ‘strict’ regulations of e-waste in the UK are not being followed by everyone. This has made it to my top three documentaries because I had no idea about it before – it shines a light on one of the most toxic places on earth and it’s a shock to think it’s not common knowledge.