In going behind bars of Georgia's correctional system, each episode of this series examines one aspect of the state's paramilitary approach to their prisoners, the idea being treat them like highly disciplined soldiers and they will stop acting like criminals. Over the course of a year, cameras capture both those who work in the system and those housed within it -- from nonviolent offenders in a boot camp to hardened criminals in "Hi-Max," the environment that allows the most extreme disciplinary methods.
Cameras follow the action along Arizona's Sonoran Desert, one of the busiest border crossings in the country, as officers and agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection fight terrorism, apprehend drug smugglers and intercept people entering the United States illegally. The series also embeds with Customs and Border Protection, and with local law enforcement, as units patrol near and on the border in South Texas.
"Lockdown" plunges viewers headfirst into life in the "big house," the gritty underworld of America's maximum-security prisons, where gangs are prevalent, predators stalk their next prey and inmates are armed with deadly weapons. But prison officials have their own weapons in the form of modern surveillance and old-time isolation -- plus steel batons and pepper spray -- to help keep the peace in these miniature war zones.
Patrolling America's largest state is the job of roughly 400 troopers in one of the toughest law enforcement agencies in the nation. Essentially, these cops say, nearly every Alaskan resident is armed and they know how to use their weapons, which makes any scenario a trooper encounters a potentially fatal one. Follow along as the "blue shirt" Alaskan State Troopers police the towns and villages, and the "brown shirt" Alaska Wildlife Troopers enforce regulations covering both commercial and sport fishing and hunting activities.
How does the drug trade work? Can it be stopped or should it be regulated? And what are the personal costs? Those are just some of the questions asked in this series, a comprehensive look at society's most abused drugs: cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana. First-person perspectives from traffickers, dealers, users, law enforcement and medical professionals detail how the drugs are processed and moved onto the streets, and the effects they have on the human body. It's a raw, eye-opening documentary about a billion-dollar industry.
The old Dolly Parton hit "9 to 5" isn't a tune worth humming for the blue-collar pioneers featured in "Filthy Riches." The series spotlights ingenious Americans who skirt a conventional workplace in favor of making a living in the deep rivers, soggy mud flats and wild backwoods of the U.S. Ray Turner, for example, has been catching eels in Delaware for 30 years. He uses a self-made smokehouse in the woods to cook the critters and sell them. Billy Taylor and his sons hunt for prized ginseng root in the Appalachians. Taylor, a fully licensed wild ginseng dealer, promotes sustainability by planting its berries. In Maine, Jim Campbell and Andy Johns make the coastal mud flats their office, as they dig for valuable bloodworms to sell to fishermen. And Greg Dahl and Albert DeSilva are burl hunters. A burl is a hard, unwieldy outgrowth on a tree, usually at the trunk. Burls have value because of the spectacular patterns found in them when cut open.
Julia Child melded TV and food 50 or so years ago. Now with scads of celebrity chefs, cooking shows, and networks devoted to it, cuisine is even more popular. National Geographic Channel's six-hour miniseries salutes its history, science and culture. Each episode tackles a central theme: revolutionaries, meat, sugar, seafood, junk food, and grains -- with stories and reflections by a smorgasbord of chefs, authors, scientists, etc. Interviewees include Padma Lakshmi, Nigella Lawson, Simon Majumdar, Rachael Ray, Marcus Samuelsson, Anna Boiardi and Graham Elliot.