TV highlights for the week of May 23-29. All times are Eastern; check local listings.
Pick of the week
NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT
Sunday, May 24
8-9:30 p.m. (PBS)
Discovery Kids: Mega Movie Magic (Discovery, 10-10:30 a.m.): Learn the steps and art of swordfighting from the cast of "The Man in the Iron Mask," starring Jeremy Irons and Leonardo DiCaprio. Also featured: animal trainers who helped Paulie the parrot move and talk in the movie "Paulie." (TV-Y7)
Indianapolis 500 (ABC, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.): No speeding tickets here. No blowing horns. No cruise control. But lots of vroom and tire changes. America's oldest car race (dating back to 1911), and a Memorial Day weekend fixture, hits the track.
Ballykissangel Heaven (BBC America, noon-1 p.m.): For those with access to this fledgling channel, this is a fascinating series set in the fictional Irish town of Ballykissangel, which is rich in innocence, warmth, humor, compassion, and togetherness. Rarely does television indulge in such wholesome entertainment.
Amusement Parks: the Pursuit of Fun - Thrills, Chills, and Spills! (Discovery, 8-9 p.m.): A roller-coaster journey through the best rides in amusement parks across the world. Cameras mounted on roller coasters give an edge-of-your-seat feeling. The documentary also traces the history of this 18th-century Russian invention. (TV-G)
National Memorial Day Concert (PBS, 8-9:30 p.m.): Broadcast live from the West Lawn of the US Capitol, this special looks back and salutes the American men and women who have served our country in the 20th century. The concert will feature performances by violinist Robert McDuffie and the National Symphony Orchestra, and readings by Richard Dreyfuss (shown above), Christine Lahti, Charles Durning, and Colin Powell.
The Wall (Showtime, 8-9:35 p.m.): Memorabilia left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington are the inspiration for this fictional trilogy. "The Pencil Holder" is a redemptive story of a father-son relationship, "The Badge" is about a grandmother's worries as a young man goes to war, and "The Player" is about a selfless soldier's example. These are short, sentimental, and sometimes grim. (TV-14, LV)
Miss India Georgia (PBS, time varies): This documentary follows four Indian-American contestants competing in the Miss India Georgia pageant in Atlanta and tells their stories about living as children of immigrant parents in the United States. Through interviews with Nisha, Anu, Misty, and Mini, the program examines the difficulty of fitting into American society, from dating to being accepted by their peers at school. Although slow and airy at times, it offers valuable insight into Indian culture.
Livelyhood: Working Family Values (PBS, time varies): If 75 percent of women with kids in school go to work, who's taking care of the kids? In this upbeat and interesting program, host and humorist Will Durst introduces viewers to a day-care provider, a family in Los Angeles with three kids trying to make it on $35,000 a year, and a mother-daughter business that prepares meals while Mom and Dad are at work. One bright spot: Many companies are offering employees flextime and realizing that "face time" isn't always necessary to get the job done.