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The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching
The best TV programs this week
 

Independent Lens: Stranded
In October 1972, a plane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team crashed in the Andes. When 16 of its 45 passengers were rescued 72 days later, it was revealed that to survive they had fed on those killed in the disaster. Thirty-five years later, a childhood friend of several of the survivors interviewed them for this gripping saga of endurance, which grapples thoughtfully with fundamental ethical issues. Viewer discretion advised. Tuesday, May 19, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Loot
This fine documentary follows ­parallel stories of two World War II veterans out to recover troves of loot that they’d hidden during the chaos of war 60 years earlier. In their quixotic quests to dig up treasure—one in Austria, the other in the Philippines—the two men instead wind up unearthing hidden truths about themselves. Wednesday, May 20, at 8 p.m., HBO2

Blueprint America: Road to the Future
Correspondent Miles O’Brien travels from New York City to Denver to Portland, Ore., to report on three different approaches to dealing with population growth, transportation needs, and land use. As he interviews residents and policymakers, he finds that the American love affair with the automobile may be ending, as cities are shifting from emphasizing car travel to building such alternatives as light rail systems, bike paths, and walkways. Wednesday, May 20,
at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings


Lynch
Filmed over two years, this documentary follows director David Lynch as he works on his 2007 film Inland Empire. The admiring profile is often as cryptic and surprising as such Lynch works as Blue Velvet and Eraserhead, but it reveals much about one of cinema’s most idiosyncratic artists, whose eccentric energy seems fueled largely by caffeine and nicotine. Thursday, May 21, at 10 p.m., Sundance Channel

Head Case
In the season finale of this dark, unscripted comedy, psychiatrist-to-the-stars Dr. Elizabeth Goode contends with the kidnapping of her office mate (Steve Landesberg), as well as with an aggressive book agent (Ann Magnuson) who wants the celebrity dirt in her patient files. Guest stars in “The Big Book” include Jerry Seinfeld, Melina Kanakaredes (CSI: NY), and The New Republic’s Leon Wieseltier, but Alexandra Wentworth remains front and center with her madcap portrayal of Dr. Goode. Friday, May 22, at 10 p.m., Starz

Other highlights

Without a Trace
In the season finale, Martin Landau returns to his role as Jack’s (Anthony LaPaglia) father. Tuesday, May 19, at 10 p.m., CBS

Live From Lincoln Center:
New York City Ballet’s Romeo + Juliet

Peter Martins’ staging of Prokofiev’s groundbreaking ballet score will be broadcast live. Lesley Stahl hosts. Thursday, May 21, at 8 p.m., PBS

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

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