Worth Watching: Nat Geo Tackles Everest, Oprah and 100 Black Fathers, ‘Betty Broderick’

Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story - Amanda Peet
Isabella Vosmikova/USA Network
Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story

A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:

Lost on Everest (9/8c, National Geographic): Returning to one of its favorite subjects and exotic locales, Nat Geo enlists journalist/climber Mark Synnott and photographer/mountaineer Renan Ozturk to try to solve an enduring mystery: What really happened when explorers George Mallory and Andrew “Sandy” Irvine perished while attempting the first summit of the mighty peak? (Irvine’s body was never found.) Battling extreme elements and notorious overcrowding, they search for Irvine’s body and camera in hopes of determining if the fabled explorers achieved their goal, which could rewrite history. The hourlong special airs commercial-free.

Followed by Expedition Everest (10/9c), narrated by Tate Donovan, following a separate team of scientists, climbers and researchers, who trek to the top to conduct experiments in climate study to gauge climate change’s affect on the mountain, its glaciers and communities below.

OWN Spotlight: Oprah and 100 Black Fathers (10/9c, OWN): TV’s spiritual Mother Courage, Oprah Winfrey, hosts a virtual forum in which she tackles the tough issues of today’s turbulent times with 100 Black fathers, a number of them famous, as they address having “the talk” with their own children while keeping hope alive for the next generation. Guests include OWN stalwart Tyler Perry, actor Courtney B. Vance, rapper/activist Michael Render and criminal justice reform activist/author Shaka Senghor.

Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story (10/9c, USA): Oh Betty, what were you thinking? Ignoring the courtroom maxim that a person who represents herself has a fool for a client, Betty Broderick (the electrifying Amanda Peet) insists on being her own lawyer as her divorce from a smug Dan (Christian Slater) proceeds. Her naivety is almost endearing — “Geez? Really?” she reacts when the judge rules that she’s being argumentative (he apparently doesn’t know that’s her default setting). But she is so over her head, and she can’t get past her own resentment and rage, so it’s probably a good thing that Dan, a lawyer, argued to close the proceedings to the media.

Welcome to Chechnya (10/9c, HBO): Winner of several film festival awards, this disturbing documentary exposes the anti-LGBTQ terror and torture campaign in the Russian republic of Chechnya, where a state-sanctioned effort to detain, torture and kill gay and transgender citizens has sent many into hiding or exile. The film tracks the efforts of underground activists who risk their own lives to protect the oppressed and endangered, and an innovative “face double” technique allows survivors to tell their stories with their faces and voices digitally altered.

Inside Tuesday TV: In his first stand-up special for Netflix, George Lopez: We’ll Do It for Half, the comedian takes on race and politics affecting the Latino community, but also finds humor in gender-reveal parties and emotional support animals… Lea Thompson directs an episode of The CW’s Stargirl (8/7) in which Pat (Luke Wilson) teaches Courtney (Brec Bassinger) and the gang all about teamwork, while the villainous ISA gathers to figure out who’s trying to take them down… The cast of OWN’s If Loving You Is Wrong, which ended its run earlier this month, gathers for a cast reunion in If Loving You Is Wrong: Oh So Right (8/7c)… CNBC looks at the effect of the pandemic on the supply chain of food and household staples in Supermarket Shock: Crisis in America’s Food Supply (10/9c).