This week's TV highlights 

9 p.m. Saturday, July 29
Turner Classic Movies (Comcast Ch. 30)
n Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to like this movie, what with its ’twernt-all-that-bad take on slavery, cartoonish depictions of blacks and enshrinement of the Old South, but I can’t help it. About once a year, I just have to sit down and watch all 222 minutes of this flowery, fiery and feisty film. Though its politics have gotten a little moldy and problematic over the years (a fate deservedly suffered by the landmark, pro-KKK silent film “Birth of a Nation”), it’s still an epic in every sense of the word: full of marching armies, burning cities and smoke-filled skies. Figure into that the love triangle between tough-as-nails Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), shrewd and manipulative belle Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), and the unabashedly pantywaisted Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) and you’ve got one hell of a movie — a flick that stands the test of time, even if its racial sensibility hasn’t.

8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)
n Though it’s been more than 40 years since the legendary Edward R. Murrow signed off and headed for that big newsroom in the sky, his influence can still be felt in broadcasting and print journalism. No-nonsense, chain-smoking, wholly dedicated to the people’s right to know, Murrow was one of the few public figures of the 1950s with enough cojones to call Red Scare bully Joseph McCarthy on his shifty facts and dubious methods (a conflict dramatized in last year’s Oscar-nominated film “Good Night, and Good Luck”). Here, in an Emmy-winning 1990 profile, documentary filmmakers follow the course of Morrow’s career, including his moving reporting on the Korean War and World War II, his influential “See It Now” program, and his on-air duel with McCarthy. Tune in to learn more about this consummate newsman.

9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2
FX (Comcast Ch. 59)
n One of our favorites from last season is back for a sophomore year: “30 Days,” the groundbreaking reality show from filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (of the documentary “Super Size Me,” which had him eating McDonald’s food for a month straight). The idea behind the show is simple: Change someone’s life by putting them in the situation they fear or hate the most for 30 days. Highlights of last season found an admitted homophobe moved into San Francisco’s heavily gay Castro District for a month (complete with a gay roomie), and Spurlock and his fiancee attempting to live for a month on minimum wage. This season promises to be just as tasty, including a border-patrolling, anti-immigrant Minuteman living with a family of illegal immigrants, and Spurlock sentenced to a month in a state prison. Though the two usually don’t go together, this is good reality TV.
— David Koon



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