Drag Race All Stars, Making it, and this week's other reality TV premieres: June 21 to 27, 2021
Dear newsletter subscribers,
Good evening! It's officially summer, with the solstice arriving today, though it seems like it's been here in Florida for a while, from the clouds of heat and humidity, and the flood of summer reality TV shows that have already premiered.
And of course, there will be a steady drizzle of shows premiering all summer long. So let's look at what's ahead this week.
One of the best reality shows ever, The Mole, will be on Netflix starting Monday. I am so excited to revisit it—and recap those first two seasons in these pages—and also excited for people who've never watched to discover it.
RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars has not yet run out of drag queens to bring back and declare are all-stars, so it's back for a new season—but season six is not going to be on VH1. Instead, you'll have to pay to watch, as it's only on Paramount+, with new episodes dropping on Thursdays.
Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman are back with a new season of Making It (NBC, Thursdays at 8), and NBC says it will have the theme of "how making things brings together communities, friends, neighbors and families."
Also returning for new seasons:
Too Hot To Handle (Netflix, Wednesdays), the show on which dumb, hot people can't have any sex or they lose money.
Below Deck Mediterranean (Peacock, Mondays) comes to Peacock a week early. New episodes will start on Bravo, June 28, airing Mondays at 9, but Peacock subscribers will be a week ahead.
Put A Ring On It (OWN, Fridays at 9)
Celebrity IOU (HGTV, Mondays at 9)
Peyton Manning hosts a quiz show for college students that gives academic scholarships as its prizes. It's named for its sponsor: Capital One College Bowl (NBC, Tuesdays at 10).
Grill of Victory (Food Network, Mondays at 10) is a new barbecue competition between home cooks, while So Freakin' Cheap (TLC, Mondays at 10) follows families who "go to extraordinary lengths to save money" (sounds at least similar to the old TLC show Extreme Couponing).
Below Deck Sailing Yacht airs its reunion this week (Bravo, June 21 and 22 at 9), and Deliciousness returns for another week-long set of episodes (MTV, daily at 7).
The Parisian Agency: Exclusive Properties (Netflix, Wednesday) follows a family who runs a luxury real estate business in Paris.
Let’s turn to documentaries. In Mary J. Blige’s My Life (Amazon, Friday), the singer “reveals the demons and blessings that inspired the record and propelled her to international stardom,” Amazon says. This Is Pop (Netflix, Tuesday) says it focuses on pop stars who "explore dimensions of pop music you never knew existed."
The summer Olympics are on their way, and The Greatest Race (Peacock) focuses on "the greatest relay split of all time," which occurred during "the 4x100 men’s team relay during the 2008 Beijing Olympics," according to Peacock's description.
LFG (HBO Max, Thursday) says it is an "inside account of the U.S. women’s national team’s ongoing fight for equal pay as told by Megan Rapinoe, Jessica McDonald, Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara, Sam Mewis and others," according to HBO Max.
Two new PBS streaming short documentaries: Senior Prom (PBS) is about retired seniors at a retirement community for LGBTQ people, where they have their own prom, while When I'm Her (PBS) follows Michael Cusumano, "a luminary figure at American Ballet Theatre in New York City" who "found refuge and liberation by assuming an alter ego: a sparkly turban-wearing, Russian ballet instructor named Madame Olga," according to PBS.
Mysteries of Mental Illness (PBS, Tuesday and Wednesday, June 22 and 23, at 9) focuses on the history of mental illness and "the evolution of our understanding," PBS says.
End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock (Fuse, Friday) is about the ultimately successful four-year battle of Indigenous women who worked to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline, and Rebel Hearts (Discovery+, Sunday, June 27) follows "a trailblazing group of nuns who bravely stood up to the patriarchy of the Catholic Church," according to Discovery.
Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story (CNN, Sunday, June 27, at 9) profiles the author of more than 30 novels, while chef Wolfgang Puck is profiled in Wolfgang (Disney+, Friday), a documentary by Jiro Dreams of Sushi director David Gelb.
Who Are You, Charlie Brown? (Apple TV+, Friday) is not about the character, but about his creator, Charles M. Schulz, while Biography: KISStory (A&E, Sunday and Monday, June 27 and 28, at 9) is a four-hour documentary about the rock band.
Two Gods (PBS, Monday, June 21, at 10) follows "Muslim casket maker and ritual body washer Hanif in East Orange, New Jersey, who takes two young men under his wing to teach them how to live better lives," according to Independent Lens. Sisters on Track (Netflix, Thursday) follows three sisters in Brooklyn.
Murder by the Coast (Netflix, Wednesday) investigates a murder, and Epstein’s Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell (Peacock, Thursday) explores the relationship between the socialite and the convicted sex offender.
And finally, Yellowstone Super Volcano: The Next Pompeii (Discovery+, Thursday) sounds perfect if you need something else to worry about right now.
That's everything on my list. Enjoy whatever reality TV you watch this week!