Tuesday, Jan. 27
"Why Can't We Be a Family Again?" (PBS, check local listings) Another in the fine Independent Lens series, this documentary tells the truth about the horrible cost of drug abuse on one family. Two little boys and their grandmother become discouraged that their daughter/mother will ever recover from her addiction. And yet, none is willing to give up hope.
Dance in America Presents "Acts of Ardor: Two Dances by Paul Taylor" (PBS, 10 - 11p.m., check local listings) The first of these breathtaking dances is Black Tuesday, an homage to the resilience of the American spirit even in time of national crisis - specifically, the onset of the Great Depression. This sharp, jazzy ballet moves to the tunes of the times such as "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" ("the anthem of the Depression," Taylor says) to the comic "Underneath the Arches." The result is a Tin Pan Alley story sculpted in dance. The second ballet, "Promethean Fire," sends one's spirit soaring on the wings of J.S. Bach's transcendent music. Photographed so viewers can pick up every nuance of expression, the film still manages to ensure that one's view of the dance, as a whole, is never blocked.
Marvin Anderson's Nightmare: Stories from the Innocence Project (Court TV, 10-11 p.m.) Only DNA evidence can save some innocents, even when all the evidence seems to point to someone else's guilt. Mr. Anderson spent 15 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, and only a pro bono legal assistance organization had the wits to save him. Gripping television, hosted by Richard Dreyfuss.