What's on TV


Sunday 4/27

What's Going On? Child Soldiers (Showtime, 7:30-8 p.m.): The documentary series examines global issues through the eyes of children. In this episode, the children who were kidnapped from their families and forced to fight and kill in a brutal civil war in Sierra Leone, are now being united with their families. Hosted by Michael Douglas, these particular stories all have happy endings. In one story, an 11-year-old who was kidnapped from his mother when he was 6 has all but given up hope that he will see her again. When he finally does, it's a profoundly moving spectacle. The worst details of the children's past experiences are not described, but what we see is difficult enough. TV-PG

Eloise at the Plaza (ABC, 7-9 p.m.): Little Sofia Vassilieva plays the mischievous Eloise (from the kids' books by Kay Thompson and illustrator Hilary Knight) with some charm and a large portion of ham. It's not too hard to understand why a precocious 6-year-old would get into so much trouble when she can charge everything, but why does her nanny (played gracefully by Julie Andrews) let her wander around the Plaza without supervision? Ah well, that's the way the books have it, and it's a fun family film. Because as naughty as she can be, Eloise does tend to fix everyone's life just in the nick of time. When a young foreign prince arrives at the Plaza, Eloise scoops him off, pressing him into service as a playmate. But the little boy's angry royal papa can't stay mad when father and son are reunited in new affection. TV-G

A Painted House (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Paint may bring a family and their migrant workers together, but painting a farmhouse is only a part of the story. The coming-of-age tale is primarily about a boy and his family trying to survive as cotton farmers in 1950s Arkansas. The family not only has to worry about making a profit, they also have to deal with a difficult and lazy worker. While their son, Luke (Logan Lerman) - mature beyond his 10 years - helps out with the tedious work of picking cotton, he has other things going on in his life: He has a secret crush on a teenage girl, wants to save enough money to buy a St. Louis Cardinals jacket, and he always seems to witness perilous situations. Based on the bestselling book by John Grisham, this drama is loosely based on Grisham's own childhood. Its pace is slow, but the story is heartfelt and thoughtful. The fight scenes are surprisingly brutal. TV-PG-V

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