Normally I’m not a fan of the kind of nature movie that anthropomorphizes species in the wild, giving them names, imagining family tales, squabbles and epic struggles. But the photography is so striking in the Japanese Alps and the subjects — snow monkeys, with their expressive and too-familiar faces — so compelling it makes for an especially engaging episode of “Nature” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings).
It follows the tale of one troop of snow monkeys surviving the beautiful snows of winter, and settling into a local hot springs like a bunch of satisfied old men at the sauna. It particularly follows the super cute newborns, who look to their mothers for direction and free rides, though one youngster, Hiro, ups his status by hitching a ride with the grouchy leader Kuro-san. It keeps up interest as winter turns to spring and fall. Liam Neeson’s narration brings a touch of detached bemusement, as if this is a tale we don’t have to take too seriously.
Primates also pop up in the final installment of “Your Inner Fish” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings), the fascinating four-part science series, as Neil Shubin traces human traits to early species in the episode titled “Your Inner Monkey.”
As remaining players get the usual sentimental messages from home on “Survivor” (CBS, 8 p.m.), a new season starts for Joseph Teti and Cody Lundin, teaming up on another rough season finding civilization from remote locations on “Dual Survival” (Discovery, 9 p.m.). I always wonder about those shows where people are dropped into remote areas with nothing — except camera crews. But on the new “Marooned” (Discovery, 10 p.m.), Ed Stafford is dropped into harsh environments, has to find a way to survive and a way out — and has to operate his own camera as well.