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The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching
Plus, Other highlights; Show of the week; Movies on TV this week
 

Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work
What do royals do all day? This four-week series offers an unusually intimate look at the lives of Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the British royal family. Far from lives of leisure, theirs turn out to be a busy round of official visits, charity events, and public ceremonies. The first episode centers on preparations for the queen’s visit to America, including the Bush administration’s first (and only) white-tie dinner. Wednesdays, Nov. 12­–26, at 8 p.m., PBS

CNN Presents: Escape From Jonestown
In 1978, more than 900 followers of the Rev. Jim Jones—almost a third of them children—died in Guyana in a mass suicide-murder pact. Yet some 30 members of Jones’ Peoples Temple escaped the massacre, including two mothers who walked dozens of miles through the jungle with their children. In this report by correspondent Soledad O’Brien, one woman returns to Jonestown to relate how she got away. Thursday, Nov. 13, at 9 p.m., CNN

Independent Lens: Lioness
Official U.S. military policy bans women from direct ground combat. But in Iraq female soldiers have been regularly “attached” to combat units since 2003 to reduce tension between male soldiers and Iraqi women. Though these “Lioness” soldiers lack the training of their male counterparts, they have seen some of the bloodiest action of the war. This eye-opening report follows five of these American heroines. Thursday, Nov. 13, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Unlocking the Great Pyramid
For centuries, the Great Pyramid of Giza has confronted scholars with a mystery: How did the ancient Egyptians get 2.5-ton limestone blocks to the top of the 480-foot pyramid? Using 3-D software, one architect has come up with a radical new theory: spiraling internal ramps. This brisk documentary goes to Giza to put his theory to the test, and uncovers another surprising secret. Sunday, Nov. 16, at 9 p.m., National Geographic Channel

Masterpiece: Filth
A funny performance by the wonderful Julie Walters anchors this droll Masterpiece import about one straight-laced woman’s crusade to hold back the tide of cultural revolution in 1960s Britain by pressuring the BBC to purge prurient content. Hugh Bonneville co-stars as Mary Whitehouse’s beleaguered network adversary in the fact-based comedy. Sunday, Nov. 16, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Other highlights

Frontline: Boogie Man, The Lee Atwater Story
A colorful portrait of the late, guitar-playing Republican consultant, whose aggressive campaign tactics still resonate. Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Deliver Me
The reality series, which follows three female doctors at a Los Angeles OB/GYN practice, returns for a second season. Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 10 p.m., Discovery Health

Ricky Gervais: Out of England—The Stand-Up Special
The creator/star of The Office and Extras makes his American stand-up debut in a performance taped at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Saturday, Nov. 15, at 9 p.m., HBO

Show of the week
Body of War
Two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Tomas Young enlisted in the Army, hoping to fight al Qaida in Afghanistan. Instead, he was sent to Iraq, where he was paralyzed by a sniper’s bullet after only five days. He now lacks control of many bodily functions and relies on ice packs to regulate his body’s temperature. This documentary follows Young’s life after his return, when despite his injuries, he got married and became an outspoken member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Co-directed by talk-show host Phil Donahue, the film makes no secret of its political sympathies, but its emotional force is undeniable—especially on Veterans Day. Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m., Sundance Channel

Movies on TV this week

Monday, Nov. 10
Juno (2007)
This offbeat comedy about an unplanned teenage pregnancy won an Oscar for its original screenplay, as well as nominations for Best Picture and Actress (Ellen Page in the title role). 10 p.m., Cinemax

Tuesday
Enchanted (2007)
A fairy-tale princess is exiled from her animated fantasy realm into flesh-and-blood Manhattan in Disney’s clever, affectionate sendup of its own mythos. Amy Adams stars. 9 p.m., Starz

Wednesday
Blue Velvet (1986)
David Lynch’s graphic and often unsettling film noir earned him
a Best Director Oscar nomination. With Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, and Dennis Hopper. 11:15 p.m., IFC

Thursday
Come and Get It (1936)
Based on an Edna Ferber novel, this love-triangle melodrama is one of all too few chances to see the acting of Frances Farmer. Edward Arnold and Joel McCrea also star. 11:15 p.m., TCM

Friday
To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
Director William Friedkin’s West Coast counterpart to his French Connection is just as hard-boiled. It features a young William Petersen, and a car chase against traffic. 8 p.m., Flix

Saturday
The Company of Wolves (1984)
Director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) adapted stories by Angela Carter into this fantasy portraying the Freudian subtext of “Little Red Riding Hood.” 9 p.m., TMC

Sunday
Hairspray (2007)
The good-natured film adaptation of the Broadway musical based on John Waters’ sendup of 1960s Baltimore. Starring John Travolta ... in drag. 6:30 p.m., HBO

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

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