Tipping Point: Our picks and pans
Edge of the Unknown
9:30 p.m. Mondays on National Geographic Channel
Also available on Disney+
Wow, are the athletes featured in this series amazing. The video is stunning — of Angel Collinson skiing down vertiginous mountains in Alaska, of Alex Honnold free-soloing up impossibly steep rock walls in Morocco — but so are these adventurers’ recollections of a time when things went wrong. Watching Collinson tumble like a ragdoll down a 1,000-foot slope is shocking and gut-wrenching; the saving grace is we know she survived because she is interviewed for the show. Hosting and filming much of “Edge of the Unknown” is Jimmy Chin, who, with his wife, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, made the 2018 film "Free Solo” about Honnold’s scaling of El Capitan. I will absolutely watch all 10 of this series’ episodes.
– Kristina Dorsey
From the excellent and moody “Secrets of the Beehive” album released in 1987 by David Sylvian (ex-Japan), this tune is absolutely one that should pop up each year on your autumn playlist. Somber but pretty, romantic but somehow sad, “September” seems to effortlessly capture the essence of earlier sunsets, cooler air, those first splashes of colorful foliage – and a mournful feeling that nothing lasts forever. Oddly, though it seems very short at 1:13, the song’s abbreviated length is perfect because nothing else is needed.
– Rick Koster
Inside the Mind of a Cat
I’ve never owned a cat (only dogs), and even I loved “Inside the Mind of a Cat.” This documentary by Andy Mitchell looks into the ways that cats behave and think. Some of the research seems obvious (of COURSE cats know their names), but most of it is intriguing, including how cats who live in Japan respond differently to unfamiliar surroundings than cats in America do. The movie explains why cats tend to always land on their feet. It shows how the community takes care of the street cats in Istanbul. And, of course, it uses a lot of video of cats looking adorable. If you have ever had a cat, you’ve got to watch this Netflix documentary.
– Kristina Dorsey