Feature

The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

VanguardIn the first of a three-part report on Mexican border issues, Vanguard correspondent Christof Putzel embeds with desperate migrants making a dangerous crossing into Arizona, then coaxes a few trade secrets out of some of the “coyotes” who are paid to lead them. Parts 2 and 3 look at how Mexican drug cartels are moving their operations across the border onto U.S. federal lands. Mondays, Nov. 15–29, at 9 p.m., Current TV

Independent Lens: Lost SparrowIn 1978, two Crow Indian boys were struck and killed by a train in Little Falls, N.Y., just one day after running away from the Baptist family that had adopted them. This film by their adoptive brother investigates what might have driven the boys, 11 and 13, to their deaths. In the process, it uncovers a dark family secret. Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

NOW on PBS: Fixing the FutureHost David Brancaccio travels America seeking novel and environmentally sustainable strategies for combating the woes of recession. Among his finds: a women’s catering co-op in Texas; a lender helping to rebuild a Midwestern community; and a “time bank” whose customers exchange labor and services with one another. He also taps economists—including Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz—for ideas. Thursday, Nov. 18, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Bored to DeathAs this quirky comedy series completes its second season, amateur detective Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) contends with a woman who wants to move in after their first date, a stalker threatening his friend Ray (Zach Galifianakis), and a sneering rival (John Hodgman) at the magazine that employs them. Deft supporting work, particularly by Ted Danson, helps keep this offbeat series fresh and funny. Thursday, Nov. 18, at 10:30 p.m., HBO

Top GearAn institution in Britain, this irreverent series about cars and their culture debuts in a new U.S. version featuring comedian Adam Ferrara (Rescue Me), racer Tanner Foust, analyst Rutledge Wood, and a masked test driver known as the Stig. The premiere episode features Lamborghinis in a desert showdown, and a race between a Dodge Viper SRT and a Cobra attack helicopter. Sunday, Nov. 21, at 10 p.m., History

Other highlights

NOVA: Secrets of StonehengeAt an ancient stone circle recently discovered about a mile from Stonehenge, NOVA joins researchers trying to determine the monument’s original purpose. Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Glory DazeThis new comedy follows four freshmen as they adjust to life on an Indiana college campus in 1986. Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 10 p.m., TBS

Mystery of the Hope DiamondFifty years after the world’s most valuable diamond was donated to the Smithsonian, this documentary recounts the gem’s history and legend. Sunday, Nov. 21, at 8 p.m., Smithsonian Channel

Recommended

Hondurans vote for new president as incumbent faces extradition
nasry asfura poster
Victory or prison

Hondurans vote for new president as incumbent faces extradition

10 things you need to know today: November 28, 2021
xiomara castro
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 28, 2021

Omicron strain reaches U.K., Germany, Italy, and Czechia
airplane
It's spreading

Omicron strain reaches U.K., Germany, Italy, and Czechia

Planes from South Africa carrying COVID-positive passengers land in Amsterdam
schiphol airport
omicr-on a plane?

Planes from South Africa carrying COVID-positive passengers land in Amsterdam

Most Popular

7 cartoons about Thanksgiving inflation
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 cartoons about Thanksgiving inflation

Who pays America's taxes?
Taxes.
Briefing

Who pays America's taxes?

Neal Stephenson recommends 6 books on information manipulation
Neal Stephenson.
Feature

Neal Stephenson recommends 6 books on information manipulation