Feature

The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

SamuraiThis colorful documentary follows American martial arts champion Mark Dacascos to Japan, where he searches for a spiritual connection to Miyamoto Musashi, a 17th-century samurai who turned from violence to poetry and philosophy late in life. Along the way, Dacascos visits Japanese landmarks, learns secrets of samurai sword-making, and trains with modern masters of Musashi’s two-sword fighting style. Tuesday, March 16, at 8 p.m., History

JustifiedIn this new drama, former Deadwood sheriff Timothy Olyphant is well cast as a steely United States marshal who’s none too pleased to be reassigned to his hardscrabble Kentucky hometown after killing a fugitive—an act he insists was justified. Based on tales by Elmore Leonard, this neo-Western is filled with compelling characters and dark wit. Tuesday, March 16, at 10 p.m., FXReal Sports With Bryant GumbelAs the NCAA basketball tournament gets underway, correspondent Jon Frankel talks with inspirational Michigan State coach Tom Izzo about his Spartans’ prospects for a second consecutive run to the championship game. Also: a profile of Paralympic skier Mike May, who recently regained his sight via a groundbreaking procedure. Tuesday, March 16, at 10 p.m., HBO

Afghan StarMusic and television were anathema in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, but after the regime’s defeat Afghans got their own equivalent of American Idol, called Afghan Star. This documentary, winner of two awards at Sundance, follows four finalists who risk their very lives to compete on the show—particularly during a controversy caused when a female contestant lets her head scarf slip. Thursday, March 18, at 9 p.m., HBO

Breaking BadAs this distinctive drama returns, schoolteacher turned meth maker Walter White is grappling with guilt over a disastrous airplane collision for which he is indirectly responsible. Meanwhile, he still struggles to hang on to his crumbling family. Bryan Cranston, who has won two Emmys in the starring role, also directed the atmospheric third-season premiere. Sunday, March 21, at 10 p.m., AMC

Other highlights

South ParkStill stuck in fourth grade, the foulmouthed tykes of South Park, Colo., return for a 14th season of animated satire. Wednesday, March 17, at 10 p.m., Comedy CentralFlashForwardThis sci-fi series—about the effects of a worldwide precognitive “flash forward”—has returned from hiatus, and will continue with new episodes to the end of the season. Thursday, March 18, at 8 p.m., ABCCold CaseThe cold case investigators hope a 2006 arson case is the key to their missing teammate’s whereabouts. This episode of the police procedural features the music of Pink Floyd. Sunday, March 21, at 10 p.m., CBS

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