Tune in Tonight: Max doc explores dark side of fast fashion

Kids these days! As long as there have been teenage trends, there have been older people, all of them former teenagers, who have judged the younger generation’s behavior and shopping habits. Beach movies from the 1960s, mall-set satires from the 1980s and high school movies and shows from every era satirize teenage materialism.

Streaming on Max, the HBO documentary “Brandy Hellville and the Cult of Fast Fashion” takes a multifaceted look at a clothing line, Brandy Melville, that has used social media to conquer a large slice of the teen girl apparel market.

At first, we meet former customers, young women who felt compelled to buy Melville outfits because they were all over their Instagram and TikTok feeds and the most popular outfits among their classmates. Not unlike every teenager who has ever existed, one customer said she bought the clothes because “she wanted to look like everybody else.”

A visit to the Melville warehouse in Italy reveals a caste system dictated by age, race and size. Upstairs, the “influencer” class is invited to sample wares and have themselves photographed right on the factory floor amidst forklifts and other signs of industrial chic. The influencers are described here as an ideal type: the “skinny white girl.”

Deeper in the bowels of the facility, workers with darker skin and larger bodies do most of the heavy lifting.

The film reveals a corporate culture at Brandy Melville that hints that the racial caste system may go deeper. Evidence of vile, racist emails and texts, and Nazi sympathies among the higher-ups suggest a blending of fashion and fascism that the filmmakers found alarming.

Finally, the film broadens its perspective, examining the global and environmental impacts of fast fashion, the quick creation and even faster consumption of plastic fantastic outfits made to be worn once or twice and then consigned to the landfill.

Suddenly, we’re far from teen concerns like looking good and fitting in, and knee-deep in labor exploitation in dark Chinese factories and oceans filled with plastic and microbeads that are the by-products of instantly disposable shirts and skirts.

“Hellville” is a purposefully sober look at “fun” fashion trends and an indication that at least some consumers want to know the truth behind the Instagram curtain.

— Also on Max, the comedy special “Alex Edelman: Just for Us,” finds the standup fresh from a Broadway run and concerned about the uptick in anti-Semitic taunts and threats he has received online. Out to get to their source, he infiltrates a White Nationalist meeting in nearby Queens. There, he not only discovers the source of so much trolling, but also some unintentional comedy.

— “Nature” (8 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) invokes horror imagery and Sergio Leone movies with its new episode, “Raptors: A Fistful of Daggers.” These magnificent creatures, including our national bird, the bald eagle, are natural born killers. Armed with a hooked beak and razorlike talons, they are a terror to rodents, small creatures and other birds.


— An accident increases the case load on “Chicago Med” (8 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).

— A young fire-starter strikes on “Chicago Fire” (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).

— “A Brief History of the Future” (9 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) explores paradigm shifts that point to possible change.

— Contestants search for Thunderbird cars in Santiago, Chile on “The Amazing Race” (9:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).

— Torres returns on “Chicago P.D.” (10 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).

— Maternity and celebrity may be part of a much larger mystery on “American Horror Story: Delicate” (10 p.m., FX, TV-MA).

— “NOVA” (10 p.m., PBS, r, TV-PG, check local listings) explores an abandoned Mayan metropolis.


A manager’s (Robert De Niro) meticulous schemes are undone by his wife’s (Sharon Stone) allegiance to a sleazy former lover (James Woods) in the 1995 crime drama “Casino” (8 p.m., AMC, TV-14), directed by Martin Scorsese.


“Survivor” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) … “The Masked Singer” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) … Shoplifters strike on “The Conners” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) … Softball journalism on “Not Dead Yet” (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-14) … Kennel cough on “Animal Control” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … Do not reply on “Abbott Elementary” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) … Peter channels Brad Pitt on “Family Guy” (9:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … “The $100,000 Pyramid” (9:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).


Jimmy Fallon welcomes Adam Levine, Ella Purnell, Liam Gallagher and John Squire on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC) … Kirsten Dunst, Sean Casey and Ryan Dempster visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC) … Taylor Tomlinson hosts “After Midnight” (12:35 a.m., CBS).