This week, the calendar turns to a new month, and also will mark the halfway point of 2020. Yes, this year that has lasted for centuries is half over already.
Thankfully, there’s new reality TV to carry us through—though considerably less than last summer. Here’s your weekly look at what’s premiering in reality TV, unscripted series, and documentaries airing on television.
Chopped will be airing episodes that fans choose, starting tonight and continuing weekly (Food Network, Mondays at 10 and 11). Viewers will vote on Instagram every Wednesday (here were the choices for tonight’s episodes).
Also on Food Network, a chef will help restaurants but also be undercover, and while I am not sure how that’ll work, we’ll find out on Undercover Chef (Food Network, Thursdays at 10).
NBC is previewing Cannonball tonight at 10 p.m., ahead of the competition show’s premiere on USA Network next week. I’ll have a review Monday. Here’s a preview of my review: There are no cannonballs on a show called cannonball! WTF?
In big nostalgia news, Netflix is bringing back the 1980s show Unsolved Mysteries starting Wednesday.
While I can’t recall any of the mysteries from the many episodes I watched back then, its 1980s synthesizer theme song is burned into my brain, and so is Robert Stack’s host persona and narration.
This new version won’t have a narrator. Each of its six episodes will have one mystery each, and they’ll be presented as a standalone documentary, without recreations. That’s very different than the original.
Early reviews for the revival aren’t great. Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said it was “Bloated and still inconclusive,” while Gamespot’s Chris Hayner tweeted, “Things not in the Netflix #UnsolvedMysteries ‘reboot’: Narration. Re-enactments. More than one mystery per episode. Fun. Entertainment.”
It’s not all bad: Decider called it “just as captivating as the original series” even though” the revival doesn’t follow the same formula as its predecessor.”
Also streaming this week: Southern Survival (Netflix, Friday) follows a team that “tests out products designed to help people survive dangerous situations,” according to Netflix, and Say I Do (Netflix, Friday), on which experts help couples with their weddings zzzz.
And She Could Be Next (PBS, Monday and Tuesday at 9) was filmed over two years, and follows Stacey Abrams, Rashida Tlaib, and others who are part of a “defiant movement of women of color, transforming politics from the ground up,” according to PBS.
Lost on Everest (National Geographic, Tuesday, June 30 at 9) looks at “what happened to the great explorers Andrew ‘Sandy’ Irvine and George Leigh Mallory, who set out on June 8, 1924, to attempt the first true summit of Mount Everest,” and it’s followed by Expedition Everest (National Geographic, Tuesday, June 30, at 10) which “follows a team of international scientists, climbers and storytellers to the top of the world’s highest peak to conduct the most comprehensive single scientific expedition in Mount Everest history.”
Outcry (Showtime, Sundays at 10) follows the story of a high school football player who spent three years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
A new series will follow Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris: Unfiltered: Paris Jackson & Gabriel Glenn (Facebook Watch, Tuesday).
Finally this week, two shows are returning for new seasons:
- Counting On (TLC, Tuesdays at 9), because people still want to watch the Duggars, and TLC still wants to give them a platform
- Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition (WE tv, Thursdays at 9), because celebrity couples still need attention.
- Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour, but while it’s technically returning, it’s with old episodes airing on a new network (AXS, Thursdays at 9).