So much for “don’t sweat the small stuff.” The documentary-style series “Mary Mary” (9 p.m., WE) follows the daily routine, business and family drama of Grammy-winning sisters Erica and Tina Campbell. In addition to several gospel hits, the duo has won BET Awards, American Music Awards, a Soul Train Award and an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Gospel Artist.
So you’d think this show would be about music. And you’d be wrong. This is reality television, where the focus is petty drama — with an emphasis on “petty.” Instead of hearing many soaring performances, we’re asked to invest our time and emotions in matters of hair, makeup and wardrobe. The prospect that a particular dress might not arrive in time for a performance is treated like the wait for a heart transplant. Mary Mary’s manager, Mitchell, spends much of the show looking nervous.
‘‘Mary Mary” is timed to promote the duo’s new single, “Go Get It.”
In mining tension from minutiae, unscripted reality shows like “Mary Mary” make the performers seem far less affecting than their music. The medium diminishes the message. “Mary Mary” is boring boring.
Tonight’s other highlights
• One minus nine on “American Idol” (7 p.m., Fox).
• Becca’s best friend, Mary (Aunjanue Ellis), arrives and gums up the works on “Missing” (7 p.m., ABC).
• Liz tries to shake her habits on “30 Rock” (7:30 p.m., NBC).
• A new subject leads two lives on “Person of Interest” (8 p.m., CBS).
• A homeless man appears to share Jake’s gift on “Touch” (8 p.m., Fox).
• A desert hides murder evidence on “The Mentalist” (9 p.m., CBS).
• Britten’s methods fall under scrutiny on “Awake” (9 p.m., NBC).
• “Independent Lens” (9 p.m., PBS, check local listings) looks at life with Alzheimer’s in the film “You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t.”