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Worth Watching: ‘Wellington Paranormal,’ Chernobyl Tapes, ‘Planet California,’ ‘Umbrella Academy’ Returns, ‘Obi-Wan’ Signs Off

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Fans of What We Do in the Shadows will want to check out a new season of the New Zealand horror-comedy mockumentary Wellington Paranormal. An HBO documentary features interviews with survivors and witnesses of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. A two-part nature series explores California’s biodiversity. Fantasy fans can welcome back Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy for a third season while saying goodbye to Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Wellington Paranormal

Season Premiere9/8c

FX’s vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows won’t return until next month, but this New Zealand spinoff of sorts delivers much the same brand of spooky-silly thrills. Clueless officers O’Leary and Minogue (Karen O’Leary and Mike Minogue) are back on the paranormal beat for a third season with back-to-back episodes. In the first, they encounter a very handsy invisible entity, and then it’s into the woods to track down a hairy beast that their boss (Maaka Pohatu) believes to be a Sasquatch-like creature from Maori mythology.

Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes

Documentary Premiere9/8c

The network that won Emmys for its Chernobyl docudrama returns to the scene of the 1986 nuclear disaster for a revealing and chilling documentary from Emmy-winning director James Jones. Lost Tapes sifts through newly discovered footage and recorded interviews with survivors and witnesses to reveal the extent of the explosion’s damage and how far the Soviet government went to cover up and deny the human and environmental cost. Among those interviewed: a miner, a helicopter pilot, a 10-year-old schoolboy, the wife of a first responder and the Deputy Chief Engineer of the Chernobyl Power Plant.

Planet California

Special10/9c

Over two Wednesdays (concluding June 29), this nature special roams from mountains to oceans, deserts and forests to capture the Golden State’s incredible biodiversity. The first hour, “Rivers of Gold,” focuses on the threats posed to California’s ecosystem by drought and fire.

Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison Hargreeves, Elliot Page, Tom Hopper as Luther Hargreeves, Aidan Gallagher as Number Five, David Castañeda as Diego Hargreeves, Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves

The Umbrella Academy

Season Premiere

The third season of the fantasy-adventure series brings the time-tripping adopted sibling superheroes back to the present—where they learn that stopping the apocalypse might have created other side-effects. Adding to their woes: challenges and battles with the rival Sparrow Academy and the presence of a nasty new destructive entity which they may have caused.

Inside Wednesday TV:

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (streaming on Disney+): Leaving so soon? The Star Wars spinoff starring Ewan McGregor as the legendary Jedi Knight drops its final episode. But the streamer is hardly bereft of superhero action, premiering the box-office hit Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • ExxonMobil at the Crossroads (10/9c, CNBC): David Faber reports on the embattled global energy company as it strives to address climate change and the world’s dependence on fossil fuels while also appeasing shareholders.
  • Snowflake Mountain (streaming on Netflix): An intentionally humorous reality show follows a group of pampered young adults as they learn to fend for themselves without Wi-Fi or even running water during a rugged wilderness survival retreat. The participant who shows the most change gets a cash prize and can go back to their bubble.
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