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TV Highlights Dec. 1-3 

AIDS IN ARKANSAS
8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)

Though AIDS was long thought of as an urban disease — something caught by promiscuous club-hoppers in big cities — the truth is that it can spread anywhere there is a shared needle or unprotected sex. Still, that kind of it-can’t-happen-here thinking led to the unfettered spread of the disease in states such as Arkansas, with rural residents who suffer from AIDS and HIV often far from treatment and ostracized by their communities. Here, a panel of experts discusses AIDS and its impact on Arkansas. Followed immediately by “Ending AIDS: The Search for a Vaccine,” narrated by Richard Gere.


EASY RIDER (1969)
12:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
AMC (Comcast Ch. 31)

With motorcycles, guns, sex and AWOL lawyers, it’s hard to imagine a more complete road movie than “Easy Rider.” One of the classic movies of the 1960s, it’s the story of two drug dealers (Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda) who take to the road on tricked-out Harley Davidson choppers, searching for the American Dream in their own, acid-tripping fashion. Directed by Hopper, it’s an often-surreal trip down some decidedly different back roads. Though some scenes are inarguably dated after all these years, it’s mostly a time capsule of a world that really doesn’t exist anymore — a terrific film with deep themes about individual freedom, the American West and the open road.


GET DOWN TONIGHT: THE DISCO EXPLOSION
2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)

Though disco music has mostly become a punchline in recent years — and spawned more embarrassing photos than 50 years of junior high school proms — there is a growing appreciation of the music of the 1970s. Free and fun, a welcome respite after 12 years of the Vietnam War and dreary protest music, disco was what the country needed, when we needed it, and there’s no shame in that. Here, in a repeat of a 2004 concert broadcast from Asbury Park, N.J., some of the greats of disco get together for a reunion concert, including Leo Sayer, Martha Wash, Wild Cherry, A Taste of Honey, KC and the Sunshine Band, Donna Summer and the Bee Gees.

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