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Top Picks: Bonnie Raitt's newest CD, a 'Frontline' feature on Wall Street, and more

'Missing' on ABC is fun for its globe-trotting, Nat Geo Wild offers an in-depth look at India, and more top picks.

April 20, 2012

Secrets of Wild India on National Geo Wild.

Sandesh Kadur/National Geographic Channel

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Raitt timing

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Slipstream, Bonnie Raitt's latest CD, brings us into her psychic living room for a reassuring aural hug. After a seven-year absence, she is back in the studio, more intimate and soulful than ever. Her familiar offerings of rockers, country blues, and ballads are here. But her signature slide guitar sound burrows deeper; the ballads are more plaintive. Collaborations with producer Joe Henry offer lush textures that underscore Raitt's musicianship and sensuous gravel-laced voice.

Unspeakably charming

Winner of the Best Picture Oscar this year, The Artist harks back to the days of swashbuckling silent film stars. French actor Jean Dujardin plays George Valentin, a Douglas Fairbanks type with panache to spare. And Bérénice Bejo, playing an actress whose star is rising as George's is falling, has a fresh-faced incandescence. Out on DVD April 23.

India's wild treasures

Secrets of Wild India, a three-part series narrated by David Attenborough, debuts on Nat Geo Wild April 29 at 8 p.m. The show displays the vast cornucopia of exotic wildlife still at play in the remotest areas of India, showcasing herds of Asian elephants, wild buffalo, one-horned rhinoceros, and the mighty king cobra. Think Rudyard Kipling's menagerie brought to vivid life.

chefs in your kitchen

"America's Test Kitchen" has been teaching the "why" behind home cooking through its magazines, books, and TV shows for 20 years. Now you can carry your laptop or tablet right into your kitchen and enroll in classes with some of their best instructors at TestKitchenSchool.com. Instructor-led classes are $39.95 a month; the self-guided option is $19.95 a month. Photos, more than 20 hours of video, and interactive tools teach you how to think as you cook.

Missing 'Missing'?

Full disclosure. We won't claim that ABC's new show Missing is going to be honored come Emmy time. Its globe-trotting, former CIA agent (now soccer mom) protagonist is played with humorless ferocity by Ashley Judd, who's searching for her kidnapped son all over Europe. The plots are completely preposterous and riddled with Bournean clichés. But oh, the globe she trots! The show's richly hued cinematography of Paris, Marseille, Rome, and spectacular Dubrovnik (in the first four episodes) makes for a memorable vicarious vacation every week. Catch up with the first four episodes on-demand and watch the last six on Thursday nights.

Inside Story

In Money, Power and Wall Street, PBS's "Frontline" takes on the decisions and complicated relationships between titans of the business world and government that have affected the effort to repair the shattered economy since 2008. This four-hour miniseries is the sort of in-depth examination that few other than PBS offer anymore. Debuts April 24.

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