MONDAYThe American Experience (PBS, 9-10:30 p.m.): Of all the "Do you remember where you were?" days in modern US history, Pearl Harbor may be the most grimly unforgettable - and it hits its 50-year mark on Dec. 7 (a fact sobering enough its own right to those who do remember). From the perspective of both nations, "Surprise and Remembrance" takes the long view in probing just why America was caught off guard when the Japanese bombed Pearl in 1941. The show documents how the stereotypes each side had of the ot her created hostility and taps an unusual cross section of clips and other resources - including survivors of the attack. One was a radioman aboard the USS Honolulu who is the program's narrator: Jason Robards. Star and Stripes: Hollywood and World War II (AMC cable, 8-9:15 p.m.): Film stars fell right in step when the US entered World War II. Their medium was an ideal one for exhorting, comforting, and propagandizing. There was lots of glamour for Washington to use (Dorothy Lamour), as well as humor (Bob Hope), and a list of now-legendary stars who took part in bond drives, USO tours on the front line, and - less often noted - private donations to the war effort. Recollections, classic footage, and old shorts are used in painting this stars'-eye view of the war.
WEDNESDAY National Geographic special (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): "Hawaii: Strangers in Paradise" offers an alternative image to those lush visions of beach and palm: a killing ground for native plants and animals. This edition premieres the series' new season with a study of how certain species imported by man are creating a biological crisis.
Please check local listings, especially on PBS.