Good Monday morning! Here’s your look at this week’s reality TV and unscripted entertainment, which includes the return of these three docusoaps for new seasons:
- The Real Housewives of Orange County (Bravo, July 10, Mondays at 9), which will air its 12th season.
- Then there’s season six of Shahs of Sunset (Bravo, July 16, Sundays at 8).
- And season four of Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood (VH1, July 17, Mondays at 8).
Three ambitious series, starting with The Defiant Ones
The subgenre that suddenly seems to be everywhere is the multi-part documentary, or a reality TV show that abandons the label as it attempts to clear the low, low bar that networks and the public have jointly set for reality TV.
Three such shows debut this week, starting with last night’s debut of The Defiant Ones. It continues tonight and concludes Wednesday, airing at 9 p.m. ET each night. (The premiere episode is, of course, available via HBO’s on-demand apps, and also repeats tonight at 8 p.m.)
The four-episode documentary series is about two people, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, who together changed music. Watch its preview:
If you think your family might be screwed up, American Ripper (History, July 11, Tuesdays at 10) follows the great-great-grandson of a serial killer who thinks his great-great-grandpa might also be Jack the Ripper.
Akil the Fugitive Hunter
Finally, there’s an A&E series about a bounty hunter. This wouldn’t make the list, especially because it includes lots of footage of maybe-innocent people with blurry faces being violently apprehended, which is about the last thing I want to watch.
Yet I’m intrigued by Akil The Fugitive Hunter (A&E, July 13, Thursdays at 10) not because its star was once in a gang, but because the show includes animated segments. Neither of the trailers A&E has released show Carl Jones’ animation, so I don’t know how it works or if it’ll somehow change this show from the pedestrian footage that appears in this trailer.
Also this week
- My favorite scripted nonfiction show, Adam Ruins Everything (truTV, July 11, Tuesdays at 10), is back with new episodes starting Tuesday.
- FYI cannot get enough marriage experiment shows, so here comes A Question of Love (FYI, July 11, Tuesdays at 10), on which three couples move in together for a month to answer tough questions and decide whether or not to stay together.
- Following last night’s Earth Live, with Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan and Hollywood Game Night host Jane Lynch, NatGeo WILD will resume its Safari Live (July 14, Fridays at 11) with a special migration-themed seven-episode event that will try to capture things such as “thousands of wildebeests crossing crocodile-ridden waters and prides of lions battling each other for food, territory and power,” according to the network.