Watching: Two Great Documentaries

Or Grover.

Author Headshot

By Margaret Lyons

Television Critic

Dear Watchers,

The reboot of “One Day at a Time” started out on Netflix, where it was canceled after three seasons. Then it moved to Pop TV for a fourth season, where it aired just six episodes and an animated special because its production season was cut short by the pandemic. Then, with a scarcity of new shows in the hopper, CBS decided to air those episodes because everything is topsy-turvy.

Now the “season finale” — which was never supposed to be a finale and which already aired on Pop TV in April — will air Monday at 10 p.m. on CBS. I like that show a lot and hope it returns in full force on some network or platform, please oh please.

Have a safe week.


I love creativity

A scene from the fifth episode of “Move.”Netflix


When to watch: Now, on Netflix.

This five-part documentary series spotlights different dancers and choreographers working in different disciplines, and it reminds me a lot of “Abstract,” Netflix’s show about designers, and of “Chef’s Table” — it’s similarly adoring and wide-ranging. Each installment of “Move” contains ethnographic snapshots, tender biography and genuinely thrilling dance sequences. If you have some pent-up frustrations or a mild case of cabin fever, watch this.


I want a meaty documentary

A scene from “City So Real.”Chicago Story Film, LLC

‘City So Real’

When to watch: Thursday at 7 p.m., on the National Geographic Channel.

Nat Geo is airing all five episodes of this superb documentary series in a row on Thursday night, though I encourage you to break it down into two sittings; chugging complexity is perhaps not the move. (It will also be streaming on Hulu starting Friday.) “City So Real” is about current-day Chicago, and it uses the 2019 mayoral election as its initial lens. Some documentaries zoom all the way out so that viewers can see the whole forest, but the director Steve James, whose other work includes “Hoop Dreams” and “America to Me,” zooms all the way in, focusing on the personal and intimate and specific — how it feels to be one of the trees.


I love breaking the fourth wall

This is from “The Monster at the End of This Story,” but it’s also how it feels to look at Twitter.Sesame Workshop

‘The Monster at the End of This Story’

When to watch: Arrives Thursday, on HBO Max.

If “The Monster at the End of This Book” has a place of honor in your household, or if you’re committed to raising a child who will some day revere “Being John Malkovich,” watch this new animated special. “Story” captures the book’s sense of mischief but adds some songs and additional familiar monsters to accompany Grover on his catastrophizing spiral.

Also this week

“Superstore” returns this week.Greg Gayne/NBC
  • Nick News: Kids Pick the President,” hosted by Keke Palmer, airs Tuesday at 7 p.m. on Nickelodeon.
  • “This Is Us” returns for its fifth season Tuesday at 9 p.m. on NBC.
  • The sixth season of “Superstore” starts Thursday at 8 p.m. on NBC.
  • “Deutschland 89” starts Thursday at 11 p.m. on Sundance TV and picks up the “Deutschland 83” and “Deutschland 86” story in 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall.


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