They drive home the point that as soon as a star starts producing iron it's toast, in that split second it goes nova.
The reasoning is it absorbs too much energy allowing gravity to overcome the push (outward force) of fusion.
Very few stars reach the point of creating iron, and then going into a core collapse, type-II supernova (a nova, without the super, and type-I supernova a related to white dwarf stars in a binary star system). Stars with a mass similar to the Sun will switch from hydrogen burning to helium burning, but not get beyond that. Without being several times heavier than the Sun, stars won't be able to burn the carbon & oxygen that is produced from helium burning. Stars that are unable to burn heavier elements will have the core plateau in temperature while fusion still goes on in outer layers, which shuts down convection and allows the heat produced in outer layers to expel gas out of gravitational confinement. You get a planetary nebula instead of a nova.
Thank you for that. I was hoping somebody would jump in and answer that.
They (documentaries) push the *novas, mention our Sun and the others of "it's class" as going Red Giant or planetary nebula in passing,
then back to the *novas; Making it sound (to me at least) as if our Sun and others of it's size were in the minority, not as sensational I guess.