The biggest hook HBO has in promoting its new comedy series, "Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas," is that one of the executive producers is John Oliver. But for viewers in the Twin Cities, the strongest draw towards its premiere will be the focus on the 2016 shooting of Philando Castile.
The series, hosted by former "Daily Show" writer Cenac, is dedicating its entire first season to policing in America. That prompted Cenac, who also stars in TBS's "People of Earth," to visit Falcon Heights and St. Paul.
Locals that were interviewed include Falcon Heights Mayor Peter Lindstrom, Ramsey County Sherff Jack Serier and community activist Chauntyll Allen.
Despite Cenac's credentials as a comedian, this is a fairly somber episode that's more interested in offering solutions than generating laughs.
Former Ramsey County Sheriff Matt Bostrom is held up as an example of someone making positive changes by leading workshops that emphasize the importance of character when hiring law-enforcement officers.
"What I know is solutions are not going to come waiting for a president or Congress to do something," Cenac says at the end of the episode, which initially airs at 10:30 p.m. Friday. "All the people in St. Paul know they have to figure it out on their own and that's what's interesting to me, to see how people try to figure it out."
(Top photo courtesy HBO)