Feature

The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

The Nine Lives of Marion Barry
In 1990, Washington, D.C.’s Mayor Marion Barry was filmed smoking crack in a hotel room with an ex-girlfriend, and then arrested in an FBI sting. But despite a six-month jail sentence and other misadventures, he was re-elected to a fourth term as mayor in 1994 and remains influential­ today, with a seat on the city council. This lively documentary traces Barry’s remarkable life and career, from sharecropper’s son to political ­phoenix. Monday, Aug. 10, at 9 p.m., HBO

Generation Islam
More than half the people living in the Gaza Strip are under age 18; about 45 percent of Afghans are under 14. Correspondent Christiane Amanpour visits an orphanage in Afghanistan, a Gaza preschool, and the home of a Palestinian obstetrician whose three daughters were killed by Israeli shells. Her reports document the battle for the hearts and minds of youth of the Muslim world, whose experiences leave them vulnerable to the influence of extremist groups. Thursday, Aug. 13, at 8 p.m., CNN

Woodstock, Now & Then
Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, USA; Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing) directed this new look at the music festival/cultural earthquake that took place 40 years ago. The film incorporates archival footage to trace Woodstock’s tumultuous preparations and often-chaotic events, and interviews contemporary musicians and activists who comment on its still-looming presence in popular culture. Friday, Aug. 14, at 9 p.m., VH1

Great Performances at the Met: La Cenerentola
The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Rossini’s comic opera based on the Cinderella legend eschews special effects, but still offers plenty of vocal pyrotechnics, including ­challenging bel canto arias. Mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca tackles the title role. In high-def; with English subtitles. Saturday, Aug. 15, at noon, PBS; check local listings

Mad Men
One of the best shows on television right now, the dark saga of 1960s adman Don Draper (Jon Hamm) returns flush with kudos, including­ ­multiple Emmys, two Golden Globes, and a Peabody. In the third season, the spotlight turns to the British takeover of Don’s Madison Avenue agency, which may affect his own status. The episode will be presented with limited commercial interruption. Sunday, Aug. 16, at 10 p.m., AMC

Other highlights

NOVA: The Deadliest Plane Crash
NOVA analyzes the collision that killed 583 passengers and crew on the Spanish island of Tenerife in 1977. Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Let’s Get Lost
This portrait of the tumultuous life of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker was Oscar-nominated for Best Documentary in 1988. Thursday, Aug. 13, at 10 p.m., Sundance Channel

Chinatown Mafia
A look at the war between police and the gangsters who once ruled San Francisco’s Chinatown. Sunday, Aug. 16, at 10 p.m., National Geographic Channel

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