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TV highlights March 23-29 

BIG LOVE
9 p.m. Sunday, April 2
HBO (Comcast Digital Ch. 301)


While we all tend to wonder what’s up behind our neighbors’ curtains, most of us don’t have anything nearly as big to hide as the folks on the HBO series “Big Love.” Detailing the day-to-day lives of the Henricksons — a family of modern-day polygamists and their kids — the show’s tales of jealousy, interfamilial machinations and good old-fashioned sex have us hooked. Here, Bill Paxton plays paterfamilias Bill, with his three wives: Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn), Nikki (Chloe Sevigny) and child-bride Margene (Gennifer Goodway). The owner of a growing chain of Utah home stores, Bill also must keep at bay his predatory relative Roman (Harry Dean Stanton), an old snake who has been creeping around since episode one, looking to claim a tithe for the big, inbred compound he governs like a demigod. While it ain’t quite “Sopranos in Utah” (maybe “Desperate Mormon Housewives”), there is a lot of fun to go around.



P. ALLEN SMITH’S GARDEN HOME
11 a.m. Saturday, April 1
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)


For the past few years, we’ve had sort of a love/hate relationship with Little Rock gardening guru P. Allen Smith. Love, because we really dig what the guy can do with some seeds, a little dirt and a shovel. Hate, because of what the guy can do with some seeds, a little dirt and a shovel. What we’re saying is: While he makes it look consistently easy, we mostly end up with either a frustratingly bare patch of ground, or — at best — a shriveled stalk with a few sickly leaves that look nothing like the picture in the gardening magazines. Still, we’re going to keep watching and reading Mr. Smith. We figure that some of his magic dust has to rub off on our black thumb sooner or later. Here, Smith walks us through what seems to have become a hip-and-with-it trend in horticulture in recent years: the creation of “garden rooms,” each with its own sense of decor and style.



FRONTLINE: THE METH EPIDEMIC
8 pm. Tuesday, April 4
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 4)


One look at the newspaper — much less a trip to our overcrowded and perpetually broke county jail — will tell you: Meth is a scourge. Pretty much able to be made by any jackleg chemist who can lay hands on the ingredients, crystal meth is the terror drug that the “Reefer Madness” gang imagined pot to be in the 1930s: a hugely addictive high that turns its users into toothless zombies, clamoring after their next fix and willing to do pretty much anything to get it. “Frontline” focuses on Portland, Ore., where meth use and manufacture have become epidemic. Talking with addicts, manufacturers, cops and health-care providers, they try to sort out why a drug that is so bad for you wins new converts every day — including a discussion of how the drug works at a molecular level.

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