TV highlights July 6-12 

INVINCIBLE: Superman's staying power.
  • INVINCIBLE: Superman's staying power.

7 pm. Saturday, July 8
The History Channel
(Comcast Ch. 70)

What with a $300 million version of Superman’s latest adventures bursting into theaters last week, it’d probably be a good time to remember where the world’s oldest living boy scout came from. No, not Krypton — we’re talking about his real history. The brainchild of two twenty-something cartoonists, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, Superman was born in 1932 (though he didn’t get his own comic book until 1938). From there, it’s been up, up and away for the Man of Steel, with comics, radio shows, movies and television programs dedicated to his adventures. The tracks down the life story of Superman, including interviews with cartoonists, historians, writers and actors who have portrayed the little ol’ boy from Smallville. Get on your tights and tune in.

M.A.S.H. (1970)
8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 11
AMC (Comcast Ch. 31) 
Though set in Korea, it was no accident that Robert Altman’s masterful directing debut, “M.A.S.H.,” appeared at the height of the Vietnam War. A deep-black comedy, chronicling the absurdity of warfare, it’s the story of a group of doctors and nurses at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital who attempt to maintain their sanity and sense of humor while staring death in the face on a daily basis. Nominated for several Academy Awards (including Best Picture) and the basis for the celebrated television show of the same name, “M.A.S.H.” is one of the must-see films of the 20th century, and especially important now, when the crazy lords of war reign again. A whoopee cushion in a coffin, as poignant today as it was then, it’s a funny, strange and heartbreakingly effective portrait of what it takes to stay whole during wartime.

7 p.m. Wednesday, July 12
The History Channel
(Comcast Ch. 70)
Other than the Holy Grail, probably no artifact has been more coveted than the Ark of the Covenant. A golden chest designed to hold the shattered remnants of the tablets Moses brought down from the mountain after his sit-down with The Big Guy, some say it has magical powers and can strike dead anyone who touches it. Though it was once kept in King Solomon’s temple, the Ark later mysteriously disappeared from Jerusalem and has been lost ever since. Here, would-be Indiana Jones and host Josh Bradshaw goes in search of this most mysterious of ancient relics. His travels take him all over the Middle East and Africa, including a trip to Mount Sinai where it all started, a visit to the catacombs of Jerusalem where the Ark was once rumored to be hidden, and a mysterious island shrine in Ethopia’s Lake Tana, where a native band of Christians say the Ark was transported and hidden centuries ago.



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