Spend the week touring America’s national parks, starting with the Grand Canyon, in a five-part National Geographic series. The jilted bachelors speak up in the “Men Tell All” episode of The Bachelorette. The U.S. Open begins, featuring Serena Williams in what may be her last stand. An ESPN+ documentary charts the rise of lacrosse from a niche sport to a professional league.
America’s National Parks
Apparently fewer than 5% of those who visit the Grand Canyon ever make it past the scenic overlook. Thanks, then, to National Geographic for taking its cameras through the million-acre national treasure for the first in a five-part docuseries (airing nightly through Friday) celebrating some of the nation’s most notable protected parks. With Garth Brooks providing soothing narration, the Grand Canyon opener builds its narrative around the birth of a California condor chick as it bides its time on the canyon’s soaring cliff face until it’s time to take wing. Tracking the seasons in a territory so vast it creates its own weather, the episode gets up close and personal with mountain lions, elk, rattlesnakes and a very hungry Gila monster. Future episodes travel to Yosemite, Big Bend, South Dakota’s Badlands and Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. (All five episodes can be streamed on Disney+.)
More raspberries than roses as the jilted bachelors reconvene to hash out grievances with Gabby and Rachel and relive the season’s controversies. Making cameo appearances: Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane of the upcoming LGBTQ romcom movie Bros.
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US Open Tennis
For the next two weeks, all eyes will be on tennis action at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The most pressing question: How far will Serena Williams, a six-time Open winner, make it through what is likely to be her final appearance at a Major event? Her first-round opponent will be unseeded Danka Kovinic from Montenegro. (Those wishing to see Serena in her prime can sample a “Best of Serena” collection of 15 classic matches on ESPN+.)
Fate of a Sport
The development of lacrosse from a niche sport into the professional Premiere Lacrosse League (PLL) is the subject of an ESPN Films documentary from director Michael Doneger. The film follows lacrosse star Paul Rabil, who after more than a decade at the top of his game teamed with brother Mike to establish the PLL, poaching key players and raising capital to realize his dream. (The film will premiere on ESPN on Sept. 15, and on ABC on Sept. 18, leading into the broadcast of the PLL Championship Game.)
Inside Monday TV:
- American Ninja Warrior (8/7c, NBC): It’s the end of the National Finals in Las Vegas, as the remaining athletes move on to Stages 3 and 4 to compete for $1 million and the Ninja Warrior title.
- Keep This Between Us (9/8c and 10/9c, Freeform): A sobering four-part docuseries, concluding with two parts on Tuesday (and streaming afterward on Hulu), profiles Cheryl, a woman who re-examines an inappropriate relationship she had with her high-school teacher and then discovers this is part of an ongoing national epidemic of “grooming.” The series finds U.S. high schools lacking in administrative procedures to curb the abusive practice.
- Darby and Joan (streaming on Acorn TV): The Australian light-mystery series wraps its first season with two episodes, in which Joan (Greta Scacchi) is blindsided when her daughter arrives to urge her to return home from London, then Jack (Bryan Brown) is knocked for a loop by a hit-and-run driver.