Catch up on Whale Wars, Dirty Jobs, 16 and Pregnant during Labor Day marathons

This is Past Forward, a look at last week and the week ahead:

The Past

The Forward

  • Sunday, Sept. 6
    On the penultimate episode of HGTV’s Design Star, the judges better dump Dan after keeping him around just because he’s pretty and can talk well on TV, even though he spent $11,000 of a $5,000 budget on an ugly pergola last episode. Meanwhile, Ruby [Style, 8 p.m.] ends its second season run, while Homeland Security, USA ends probably forever [ABC, 5 p.m.] after ABC burned off episodes this summer on Sunday afternoons after pulling the series, for which producers had “unprecedented access,” off the air last spring.
  • Monday, Sept. 7
    Among the many TV marathons that will air over the weekend, Labor Day offers three reality show marathons worth watching that are actually about labor: Discovery will air Dirty Jobs all day starting at 9 a.m. and going to 3 a.m., although episodes start repeating at 11. From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., MTV will air 16 and Pregnant‘s entire first season, and gets mad props for its creative wordplay (Get it? Labor? Labor Day?). But if you missed it, the day is really your chance to watch the entire second season of Whale Wars [Animal Planet, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.].
  • Monday night, three documentaries will air: Manson [History, 9 p.m.] looks at Charles Manson, while The Last Truck: The Closing of a GM Plant [HBO, 9 p.m.] is about, well, the closing of a GM plant. If you get the NFL Network, it will air the first US broadcast of Working on a Dream: A Super Bowl Journal [8 p.m.], which is a behind-the-scenes look at Bruce Springsteen’s performance at the Super Bowl last February. Also, it’s Oscar week on The Rachel Zoe Project [Bravo, 10 p.m.], and guess who will just die repeatedly?

  • Tuesday, Sept. 8
    Big Brother 11 [CBS, 9 p.m.] will air a special Tuesday live eviction, and start the ridiculous endurance competition that is usually the first of three final HOH competitions. How long can someone hold onto a giant flesh-covered tube while being blasted with white foam?
  • Wednesday, Sept. 9
    So You Think You Can Dance [FOX, 8 p.m.] returns for its first-ever fall season. Is it too soon since the summer? Can it withstand the competition? Can our eardrums take more of Mary Murphy without sufficient healing time? Who cares! It’s network TV’s best talent competition. At the same time, Top Model [The CW, 8 p.m.] debuts with a two-hours of its new, short models, while Wipeout [ABC, 8 p.m.] will air a special episode featuring the Australian edition but with US hosts John Henson and John Anderson narrating/making fun of contestants. Someone, please leave them behind in Australia. Later that night, The Real World Cancun [MTV, 10 p.m.] ends, but alas, not for good.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.