Absurd, obscure, and proof that Netflix and Netflix stars can do just about anything they want, the bizarre mockumentary “Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein” deserves your attention.
David Harbour, well known as the town sheriff on “Stranger Things,” stars here as an actor, like himself, who has become obsessed with his father’s legacy and reputation. Dad (also played by Harbour) was a famous, if pompous, actor who created a television series based on plays famous and obscure. His last and most controversial work gives this half-hour faux documentary its utterly confusing name.
The father is at least half-based on Orson Welles during his decline, when the bloated former boy wonder made frequent TV appearances that revealed his outsized appetites.
The makers of “Monster” had a blast creating the production values of ambitious 1970s televised drama, the kind you might find on PBS at the time. The film stock and video quality leave everything slightly out of focus, an apt touch for a story so convoluted and purposely baffling.
Among other deft touches are the corporate underwriters for these pretentious productions. One is a chain of restaurants called “London, USA,” which specialized in beef Wellington.
Why make a weird half-hour documentary about bad acting and reproduce the gauzy feel of dated dramas? Why not?! If “Stranger Things” can evoke the spirits of Stephen King and Steven Spielberg, why not spoof the era that gave us “Masterpiece Theatre”?
- Having devoured large swaths of the entertainment industry, ABC/Disney doesn’t need to be subtle about synergy and cross-promotion, hence the “news” special “The Lion King: Can You Feel the Love Tonight With Robin Roberts” (7 p.m., ABC).
In contrast, CBS returns to its glory days with “Man on the Moon: A CBS News Special” (9 p.m., TV-14), recalling a time when news anchorman Walter Cronkite’s experience and avuncular appeal gave him unmatched influence.
- Set in the distant future, 2199, to be exact, the new sci-fi series “Pandora” (7 p.m., CW, TV-PG) stars Priscilla Quintana as Jax, or Pandora, a young beauty from a ruined world who finds companionship at an elite academy on a far-off planet called Earth.
Has she come to save the world or destroy it? “Pandora” seems best appreciated for the producers’ vision of future gadgets and technology. Unless, of course, you’re hooked on dramas about teens discovering their “destiny.”
- The documentary “Behind Closed Doors” (7 p.m., HBO, TV-MA) explores the murders of a teenage girl and a family servant. The crime and subsequent coverage galvanized India for decades, revealing fissures of caste, class and culture.
- Farouk evades capture on “Blood & Treasure” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
- “JFK Jr.: The Final Year” (8 p.m., A&E, TV-14) recalls a 1999 tragedy.
- “American Pickers” (8 p.m., History, TV-PG) puts the accent on summertime finds.
- Damon and Ricky audition to go on the road with Madonna on “Pose” (9 p.m., FX, TV-MA).
- The 1989 documentary “For All Mankind” (9 p.m., TCM, TV-PG) offers first-person accounts from the astronauts who traveled to the moon.
Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly play Laurel and Hardy facing the bitter end of their fabled career in the 2018 biopic “Stan and Ollie” (8:55 p.m., Starz).
Tropical distractions on “Love Island” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Cuts are made on “America’s Got Talent” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) .
Hen glances back on “9-1-1” (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14) ... Things get a little too real on “black-ish” (9:30 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG) ... Open mikes on “Bring the Funny” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
Awkwafina, Donny Deutsch and the Mountain Goats are booked on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Chance the Rapper, David Crosby and Cameron Crowe on “The Tonight Show” (10:35 p.m., NBC).
Dax Shepard, Weyes Blood and Raghav Mehrotra visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (11:35 p.m., NBC).