“Year One: A Political Odyssey” chronicles the first year of the President Joe Biden administration, but despite being well produced in almost every regard, the HBO documentary gives us no real conflict or revelations, and that results in boring time meant for the choir.
We begin on Inauguration Day following the January 6th insurrection, as Biden prepares to tackle issues like COVID, aggression from China and Russia, as well as the remains of the culture left behind by former President Donald Trump. We get interviews with VIPs like Jen Psaki, Anthony Blinken, John Kerry and more. Director Joe Maggio ensures everything looks and sounds good.
The problem here is that Year One doesn’t give us anything we don’t already have. You’re not going to learn anything, and that’s a serious infraction for a doc. We also don’t get any vocalized opposition, which means we’re looking at the photograph through one set of eyes. The ending is also an abrupt puzzler.
This documentary is the kind of college paper where the student obviously knows what they’re talking about, but writes 25 pages that outlines every detail and still gets a “C” because they didn’t answer the original question the professor was asking.
At 85 minutes, its up to you to decide if a well done but ultimately unnecessary piece of work is worth your time.
Year One: A Political Odyssey
Running Time: 1 hour 25 minutes