Sure, Sunday tends to be overcrowded with high-end TV, including “Game of Thrones,” “Shameless,” “Vikings” and the back-this-week “Mad Men,” but what to watch the rest of the time? Every Monday, we bring you five noteworthy highlights from the other six days of the week.
Filmmaker David Sutherland has documented life in corners of the U.S. often left off screen in long-form “Frontline” docs “The Farmer’s Wife” (1998) and “Country Boys” (2006). His new film “Kind Hearted Woman,” coproduced by “Frontline” in partnership with “Independent Lens,” is a portrait of Robin Charboneau, an Oglala Sioux woman living in North Dakota struggling to overcome a past of abuse and make a life for herself and her two children. Over five hours that chronicle several years in Charboneau’s life, Sutherland examines many of the issues that affect Native communities, including higher instances of alcoholism and unemployment.
“The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector”
Tuesday, Apr. 2 at 9pm on BBC America
After last month’s divisive HBO scripted movie from David Mamet, Vikram Jayanti’s far better documentary about the influential, notorious record producer Phil Spector provides a reminder of how the truth can be stranger and more disturbing than fiction. The film, which was produced by BBC and released in theaters in 2010, provided the inspiration for Mamet’s feature, centered around an interview with Spector that Al Pacino, who was merely acting as opposed to living this grand and self-aggrandizing Hollywood life, could never hope to touch.
“Justified,” Graham Yost’s uncommonly entertaining Kentucky noir, has already been renewed for a fifth season, so no need to invest too much of a sense of finality into this week’s season wrap-up, “Ghosts.” The episode, directed by Bill Johnson and written by Fred Golan and Benjamin Cavell, finds Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) having a final showdown with the Detroit mob while Boyd (Walton Goggins) and Ava (Joelle Carter) try to bury an incriminating secret.
A&E recently kicked off its look at the early days of Norman Bates with “Bates Motel,” and now NBC gets in the serial killer prequel game with “Hannibal,” its drama examining the relationship between Special Agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and the not-yet-unmasked forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). Created by Bryan Fuller, who also serves as showrunner, “Hannibal” looks to take a far darker tone than the writer/producer’s more whimsical earlier series “Wonderfalls,” “Pushing Daisies” and “Dead Like Me.”
“Vice”: Series Premiere
Friday, Apr. 5 at 11pm on HBO
The hipster tome turned media empire launches its full-fledged news magazine series on HBO with an episode that explores the violent political realities in the Philippines and child bombers being used by the Taliban. Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith is among the journalist-hosts trying to bring Vice’s socially aware-bro aesthetics to the small screen.
Also worth a look: Gilles Penso’s 2011 documentary “Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan” gets its U.S. TV premiere on the Sony Movie Channel on Wednesday, April 3rd at 8pm ET/5pm PT; Epix kicks off its spring doc series with Simon Ennis’ quirky film about moon obsessives “Lunarcy!” on Wednesday, April 3rd at 8pm; David Tennant and Janet Montgomery play spies and lovers in BBC America’s two-part period miniseries “Spies of Warsaw,” airing on Wednesday, April 3rd at 9pm and concluding the week after; Thandie Newton takes on her first regular TV role as an Oakland undercover cop in “Rogue,” DirecTV’s debut original series, on Wednesday, April 3rd at 9pm on the Audience Network.