Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas: First Season
May 28, 2018 6:53 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas takes "a satirical look at social and cultural issues from Cenac's unique perspective. Rather than sit behind a desk, he will undertake a journey to understand some of the big issues of the moment and investigate real-world solutions."

Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas is an American documentary television series hosted by Wyatt Cenac that premiered on April 13, 2018 on HBO. The series is executive produced by Cenac, Ezra Edelman, John Oliver, Tim Greenberg, David Martin, James Taylor, Jon Thoday and head writer Hallie Haglund. On May 22, 2018, it was announced that HBO had renewed the series for a second season.

Season One Episodes
1: Space Problems, Shit Problems, Minnesota Problems
2: NRA Problems, Chicken Bone Problems, Birmingham Problems
3: Energy Problems, Millennial Problems, Community Policing Problems
4: Food Problems, Rain Problems, Skid Row Problems
5: Bank Problems, Mosquito Problems, Mental Health Problems
6: Automation Problems, Beauty Problems, Gun Problems
7: Student Problems, Sidewalk Problems, Misconduct Problems
8: Tech Waste Problems, Adhesive Problems, Drug Problems
9: TBA (June 8, 2018)
10: TBA (June 15, 2018)

AV Club review: Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas is pointedly funny, and a necessary addition to late-night
Vulture review: Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas Is a Mixed Bag
posted by elsietheeel (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love Wyatt Cenac and I love this show. I'm super excited that it was renewed for a second season.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:55 AM on May 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


This show is enjoyable even from outside the US, though some of the police bits were hard to watch, especially the misconduct one.
posted by Marticus at 5:06 PM on May 29, 2018


older HBO announcement
posted by eustatic at 9:46 AM on May 12, 2019


HBO youtube playlist
posted by eustatic at 9:52 AM on May 12, 2019


9: Research Problems, Reef Problems, Punitive Problems
10: Teacher Problems, Burial Problems, Collaborative Problems
posted by eustatic at 9:59 AM on May 12, 2019


Wyatt Cenac, vindicated in the NYT

Season One on Youtube in the wake of George Floyd's murder

Season One Episodes
1: Space Problems, Shit Problems, Minnesota Problems
2: NRA Problems, Chicken Bone Problems, Birmingham Problems
3: Energy Problems, Millennial Problems, Community Policing Problems
4: Food Problems, Rain Problems, Skid Row Problems
5: Bank Problems, Mosquito Problems, Mental Health Problems
6: Automation Problems, Beauty Problems, Gun Problems
7: Student Problems, Sidewalk Problems, Misconduct Problems
8: Tech Waste Problems, Adhesive Problems, Drug Problems
9: Research Problems, Reef Problems, Punitive Problems
10: Teacher Problems, Burial Problems, Collaborative Problems

""I thought, well, OK, maybe people will find it,” Oliver said. “That’s the beauty of HBO, right? You can come back and find it.”

But audiences did not seek out the series in sizable numbers, either. HBO renewed “Problem Areas” for a second season in which it focused on education reform, after which the show was canceled.

Nina Rosenstein, an executive vice president of HBO programming, said that “Problem Areas” was the show that the network had hoped for, but the program did not build on its lead-in show, “Real Time With Bill Maher,” on Friday nights.

..
Cenac said that going into “Problem Areas,” he was aware that late-night shows hosted by Black men tended to have brief life spans, pointing to past programs like “D.L. Hughley Breaks the News,” “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore” and “Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell,” none of which lasted more than two seasons. (There are also prominent exceptions, like Trevor Noah’s tenure on “The Daily Show,” which he took over in 2015.)

“Whatever that thing is, that thing is real,” Cenac said. “There was a pattern that existed. You’ve got two and done, and I am part of that club.”

He anticipated this with a sardonic joke in the first episode of “Problem Areas,” when he followed an interview with Hassan Beck, a community activist who is Black, with a video clip of Peter Moskos, a professor and former police officer who is white, making an almost identical point.

What he was trying to illustrate, Cenac said, is that “when a Black guy says something profound, for it to really land, you need a white guy to basically say the same thing.”
posted by eustatic at 11:14 AM on July 12


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