Tubegazing: Notable TV this week
'Meadowlands' follows a British family inside a witness-protection program. 'Black Grace: From Cannon's Creek to Jacob's Pillow' explores the history of an unconventional New Zealand dance troupe.
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(Showtime, June 17, 10 p.m.): This eight-part series about a British family fleeing a tragic past into an uncertain future in a witness-protection program is an unsettling mix of the familiar and the foreign. Each character is a "pioneer with the potential for a brand new life." At the same time, the lurking threat that sent them into protective custody means a reckoning must come – somewhere, sometime, somehow. The waiting is what makes everyday life in the seemingly bucolic community of Meadowlands so fraught with anxiety. Edgy and dark, this is the shadow version of "The Waltons." Grade: A–
Black Grace: From Cannon's Creek to Jacob's Pillow
(PBS, June 21, check local listings): Black Grace, an all-male dance troupe from New Zealand, produces the kind of roars normally reserved for big-name rock stars. This documentary follows this remarkable group of Pacific Islanders and Samoans as they evolve into dance gods, eventually being invited to one of the dance world's most prestigious festivals, Jacob's Pillow.. The six-man troupe (with some guest female dancers) combines the brute sensuality of traditional rhythms with the rigor of European ballet training, reminding one where dance came from, and where it needs to go to stay vital. Watch it and roar. Grade: A