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The Circle, Couples Therapy, and Mark Wahlberg return to reality TV this week

This week, my go-to-competition this spring, Tough As Nails, ends its (mostly) terrific second season. A third season is on the way, thankfully.

But also starting this week, there will be four hours of reality TV competition to watch every Wednesday, as the American version of The Circle returns (Netflix, Wednesdays).

That’s a batch of four episodes each week for three weeks, followed by the finale (which last year was super-bloated) a week later. I really enjoyed the first season, which premiered in the Before Times of January 2020, and am curious how I’ll respond now to watching people locked in rooms and communicating only via screens.

Dr. Orna Guralnik on Couples Therapy
Dr. Orna Guralnik on Couples Therapy (Photo via Showtime)

Speaking of sitting in rooms and talking: Couples Therapy, one of my favorite shows of 2019, returns with a new season (Showtime, Sundays at 10).

It takes us into couples’ sessions with therapist Dr. Orna Guralnik. If you have Amazon Prime, season one is free to watch for the rest of this month. Highly recommended.

Elsewhere, Biography returns with a new season (A&E, Sundays at 8) that’s entirely focused on “WWE Legends.” It starts with a documentary about “Stone Cold” Steve Austin—who, fun fact, I thought was named “Stone Cold Steve Boston,” because I was first introduced to him while interning in Boston in 1998. Here’s my story, which I’d guess is slightly less interesting than the Biography episode.

That’ll be paired with WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures (A&E, Sundays at 10), on which Stephanie McMahon and Paul “Triple H” Levesque “hunt for some of WWE’s most iconic missing memorabilia including Kane’s original mask, Ric Flair’s Butterfly Robe, Andy Kaufman’s neckbrace,” according to A&E.

Also returning for new seasons:

  • The Ghost Brothers: Lights Out (Discovery+, Saturdays) follows the only team of Black paranormal investigators, who move from Travel Channel to Discovery+
  • Miz and Mrs (USA, Mondays at 11)
  • Expedition X (Discovery, Wednesdays at 9)
  • Tiny World (Apple TV+, Friday)
  • Earth At Night In Color (Apple TV+, Friday)

Food Network’s latest attempt to make Martha Stewart happen again is Chopped: Martha Rules (Food Network, Tuesdays at 9) on which “Martha calls the shots and changes all the rule.” Sure, Jan.

Mark Wahlberg returns to reality TV with Wahl Street (HBO Max, Thursday), which follows him as he manages his businesses and acting career.

Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta’s Joseline Hernandez gets her own show, Joseline’s Cabaret: Miami (WE tv, Thursdays at 10), which follows her as she creates her own cabaret.

Couples over the age of 40 in six different countries were followed with cameras for a year for My Love(Netflix, Tuesday).

American Insurrection (PBS, Tuesday, April 13, at 10) is Frontline’s looks at the people and groups responsible for the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

This book is the basis of the new documentary Our Towns (HBO, Tuesday, April 13, at 9), which goes into small cities and towns and, HBO says, “introduces us to a wide range of civic leaders, immigrants, educators, environmentalists, artists, students, and more, witnessing their love for their communities and the innovative ways they are improving them.”

Picture A Scientist (PBS, Wednesday, April 14, at 9) draws its title from the experiment I wrote about here, and follows a chemist, a biologist, and a geologist who explore why so few people in STEM are women, and what women who are in STEM experience, “from outright harassment to years of subtle slights,” as NOVA says.

The Year Earth Changed (Apple TV+, Friday) explores how the planet was helped by the shutdown last year, Nature: The Leopard Legacy (PBS, Wednesday, April 14, at 8) follows a leopard mother raising cubs in Zambia, and

Ben Lecomte’s swim across the Pacific Ocean is the subject of The Swim (Discovery+, April 15).

Pray, Obey, Kill (HBO, Mondays at 9) investigates what HBO says is “one of the most bizarre and confounding crimes in modern Swedish history.”

Finally, in murder reality TV this week, we have:

  • Oxygen’s week-long “Serial Killer Week”
  • Down a Dark Stairwell (PBS, Monday, April 12, at 10), which “chronicles the tragic shooting of Akai Gurley and the trial and subsequent conviction of NYPD officer, Peter Liang, casting a powerful light on the experiences of two marginalized communities thrust into an uneven criminal justice system together,” according to Independent Lens.
  • Why Did You Kill Me? (Netflix, Wednesday), which follows a family who uses social media to try to find who killed a 24-year-old mother of two,
  • and Confronting a Serial Killer (Starz, Sundays at 9), which follows a journalist who tries to identify serial killer Samuel Little’s victims.

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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