Feature

The Weeks guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

Hemlock GroveThink Twin Peaks with a dose of True Blood. Netflix continues its rollout of original programming with a new horror series from producer Eli Roth. When the mangled body of a teenage girl is discovered in a down-and-out steel town, every resident seems to be hiding a secret, some of them supernatural. Beginning April 19, all 13 episodes will be available for streaming.

Brain Games Your own mind can’t be trusted. It operates according to its own rules, screening out data that might be overwhelming if it all registered. In this new series, host Jason Silva and “deception specialist” Apollo Robbins will explore the limits of human intelligence and offer puzzles that will help viewers map their own mental lacunae. You’ll want to pay attention to the first episode, which is all about focus. Monday, April 22, at 9 p.m., National Geographic

The Island PresidentJust as his political career crested, democratic activist Mohamed Nasheed realized that the country he had freed from despotism was in danger of sinking below the surface of a rising ocean. This stirring documentary about the former president of the Maldives highlights his efforts to rally an international response to global warming—a foe that threatens to turn the low-lying Maldives into a modern-day Atlantis. Monday, April 22, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Frontline: The Retirement Gamble Many Americans have lost faith in the future of Social Security, but how should they feel about their 401(k)s and IRAs? Conventional wisdom tells workers to load up their retirement savings accounts, but there’s little talk about the risk that the money could disappear in fees and misplayed gambles by the firms that manage the accounts. In this sobering investigation, Frontline looks at the ways we save for retirement and asks if there might be a better way. Tuesday, April 23, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Naked CastawaySurvivor contestants wouldn’t stand a chance against former British army Capt. Ed Stafford, who decided to test his ingenuity by stranding himself on a desert island for 60 days without bringing in supplies—even clothes. He did carry a camera to film his adventures, though, as can be seen in this excellent new series’ third episode.Sunday, April 28, at 10 p.m., Discovery

Other highlights

James May’s Man LabThis show’s science-junkie host is on a mission to restore man’s reputation as a doer. In this episode, May and his team learn the art of felling a tree to make paper.Monday, April 22, at 10 p.m., BBC America

Knife FightIf Iron Chef took place between smack-talking chefs in a restaurant after hours, it might resemble this cutthroat new cooking competition on Esquire magazine’s new TV network.Tuesday, April 23, at 9 p.m., Esquire Network

Air Disasters: Bad AttitudeAfter a Korean Air flight banks inexplicably into a crash, an investigation reveals that a rigid military culture doomed all aboard. Sunday, April 28, at 8 p.m., Smithsonian

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