-- Few people watch nature documentaries for the comedy. But I find something strangely amusing about the "Spy in the Wild" returning to "Nature" (8 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings).
Most startling nature photography inspires the universal question: "How did they get that shot?" "Spy" builds the approach, technology and perspective right into the title.
John Downer Productions has created dozens of animatronic animals outfitted with sophisticated camera technology and planted them in the wild so that bashful critters might approach them and fall under their surveillance. They're not entirely lifelike. In fact, they look like something you might see in the old-fashioned section of Disneyland. The gopher in "Caddyshack" is more lifelike.
But the real animals don't know that, and they see these "spies" as real. Or certainly more approachable than a bunch of human beings holding video cameras and sound booms. It's the sight of noble creatures cozying up to robotic dummies that gives this a bizarre poignancy. Or absurd humor. The "prey" captured by these ersatz playmates include Komodo dragons, hummingbirds, King penguins, pygmy elephants, koalas, quokkas, seals and polar bears.
-- Executive-produced by Ryan Murphy, the heart-breaking Netflix documentary "A Secret Love" is all the more moving because it includes so many small details of normal life. "Secret" begins as the ailments of old age force Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel to consider leaving their Illinois home and moving into a senior facility.
Together for decades, they had met in the 1940s when both played in a professional women's baseball league, the kind that inspired the 1992 movie "A League of Their Own." Now facing old age, Terry had only recently told her family that she and Pat were more than just "roommates" and that they had been lovers since their baseball days.
"Secret" is a touching look at people coming out very late in life, the reaction of family seemingly blindsided by the obvious, and a fascinating look at gay life for two lesbians in the years and decades before Stonewall and other political eruptions brought gay life into the open.
We see them discussing their options with gay friends of long standing in Chicago, and exchanging rather chilly conversations with family back home in Edmonton, Alberta, where Terry grew up. A beloved niece promises to help her through any ordeal. Other family members feel betrayed and deceived, without giving much thought to the kinds of dangers Terry had lived with, including fears of being fired, ostracized and even arrested for her way of life.
Even supportive family members couch their reaction in terms of the most tepid toleration. How does anyone react when the secret love of a lifetime is greeted with such phrases as "It doesn't matter." Or "We had no idea." And "We just don't care."
-- Convicted of killing her pimp and abuser as a teenager, a woman receives a second hearing after years behind bars in the documentary "Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story," streaming on Netflix.
TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
-- A patient's pain therapy sparks a debate on "Chicago Med" (8 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).
-- A fire at a detention center seems suspect on "Chicago Fire" (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).
Schemes and deceptions on "Survivor" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Celebrities under wraps on "The Masked Singer" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) ... Jimmy Kimmel hosts three helpings of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" (8 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG).
Jimmy Fallon welcomes Shailene Woodley and Maluma on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Rosie O'Donnell visits "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC).