CATFISH: THE TV SHOW. 10 p.m. Monday, MTV.

WHAT WE think of as history has probably been slanted since the first cave artist added extra heft to the bison that got away.

So when I say "Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States," a 10-part series that premieres Monday on Showtime, may reflect some of the biases of the filmmaker who gave us "JFK," "Nixon" and "W," it's neither a slam nor a warning.

All history's skewed. The more we learn, the more we understand that truth is complicated.

It's particularly complicated when you think about of the ways things might have gone, as Stone does in his look at the political sidelining of former Franklin D. Roosevelt vice president Henry Wallace and at the effect his replacement by Harry Truman may have had on our relationship with the Soviet Union.

"Christ, I miss the Cold War," remarks Judi Dench's "M" in "Casino Royale," a clip not found in Stone's series, whose first four episodes look at World War II and its chilly aftermath, distractingly punctuated by clips from Frank Capra movies and propaganda films.

Narrated by Stone, "Untold History" cuts Truman fewer breaks than it does Soviet dictator Josef Stalin (and takes shots at David McCullough's Truman and the 1995 HBO film with Gary Sinise).

Did Truman bomb Japan not to save American soldiers but to terrify the Russians? Would a Wallace presidency have brought détente decades earlier?

I was far from convinced, but was left curious to know more about Wallace, which is maybe as much as anyone can expect from a TV show like this.

American University professor Peter Kuznick, who collaborated with Stone on the series and a companion book published last month, has taught a course on "Oliver Stone's America" since 1996.

In a news conference nearly two years ago, Kuznick called Stone's films "very provocative" and said he "didn't necessarily agree with everything that Oliver said in them."

In the class, "we interrogate the material. We debate it," he said.

"Untold History," too, should get some conversations started.

Hooking a 'Catfish'

Truth's even more of a moving target on MTV's latest "reality" series, "Catfish: The TV Show."

Yaniv "Nev" Schulman, whose online relationship with someone who wasn't who she said she was the focus of the 2010 documentary "Catfish," is now helping others separate fact from fiction in the age of Facebook.

There have always been fabulists - I once roomed with someone who talked on the phone for hours to people who turned out not to exist - but the Internet may have made more far-reaching fantasies easier to stage. You'd think, though, it would also have made them easier to expose, assuming the person being duped is interested in knowing the truth.

Unlike the original "Catfish," where there was a sense early on that the filmmakers knew something was, well, fishy, Monday's premiere, "Sunny & Jamison," features a young woman from Arkansas whose lack of suspicion of her too-good-to-be-true online beau is breathtaking. And possibly unbelievable (given that she's called in a TV show for help).

Yet somehow not interesting.

Schulman seems desperate to extract meaning from the situation, but this isn't "Undercover Boss": The only prize available for the deceived is the attention for which they may already have proven a little too hungry.

Contact Ellen Gray at graye@phillynews.com or 215-854-5950. Follow her on Twitter @elgray. Read her blog at EllenGray.tv.