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NOVA: COMET STRIKE

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'BREAKING BAD': Bryan Cranston stars, as a high school chemistry teacher turned meth cooker, in the AMC series.
  • 'BREAKING BAD': Bryan Cranston stars, as a high school chemistry teacher turned meth cooker, in the AMC series.

NOVA: COMET STRIKE

8 p.m. Tuesday, March 31

AETN

 

One of these days — given the ticking-clock nature of the universe, it's pretty much a when, not an if — every living thing on earth is gonna have a real bad day. That's the day a comet, asteroid or other large object will hit the earth. A lot depends on the size of the object. If it's big enough, it's the Big Adios for most everything — the birds and the bees and the buffalos and us. That's probably what happened to the dinosaurs, you know. Yeah, it's a downer. Thanks to modern science, however, mankind is getting closer to the ability to be able to detect these killers from the void years in advance. That might give us the precious time we need to get Bruce Willis and a ragtag team of misfits up there with a nuclear bomb, a six pack of Pabst and a roll of duct tape. Then they can blow that sucker in half at the last possible second, while Aerosmith wails in the background. That, or human civilization will be wiped out in a millisecond of blinding light and searing heat. Either way, it's better than a Jerry Bruckheimer movie, right? In this special from Nova, scientists, experts and squinting hero-types talk about ways to stop the inevitable global killer.

 

 

MONSTERQUEST: SWAMP STALKER

11 a.m. Sunday, March 29

The History Channel

 

Back in the 1970s, folks down in Little River County in the extreme Southwest corner of Arkansas started reporting that they'd seen something really, really odd: a big ol' hairy creature, something like Bigfoot. From the start, many people said a lot of it was hype and hallucination — too many swampies hitting the jug a little too hard. When a B-rated horror movie based on the sightings called “The Legend of Boggy Creek” came out, skeptics were suddenly sure that the whole thing had been some kind of hoax. The problem, however, is that there were some very reliable witnesses who had seen the creature — upstanding residents of the tiny community of Fouke. In addition, though the buzz surrounding the Fouke Monster has died down considerably since the 1970s, people are still reporting sightings of the creature along the Arkansas/Texas border. Here, The History Channel show “Monsterquest” sends a team of trackers, investigators and scientists to the swamps of Little River County, and talks to some of the most reliable witnesses. Here's a plan: put a $50 carton of Marlboros under a big, big, big box held up by a stick. When the Fouke Monster goes in after the smokes, pull out the stick and you've got him.  

 

BREAKING BAD

9 p.m. Sunday, March 29

AMC

 

Ah, meth. It is truly the made-by-high-school-dropouts nectar of the gods. Goodness springs from everything it touches, doesn't it?  Okay, maybe I'm being a little facetious. Nobody in their right mind would ever make or sell meth, right? That said, you've got to ask yourself: If your family was on the line, and you had the ability, what would you do to protect them? That's the choice faced by Walter White (the superb Bryan Cranston) in the hit AMC show “Breaking Bad.” A workaday high school chemistry teacher, White learns in the pilot episode that he has inoperable cancer. Worse, he's got a teenage son. Worse than that, a few days after his cancer is diagnosed, his wife discovers she is pregnant. Desperate to make some money to pay his medical bills and to leave to his family after he dies, White soon strikes a devil's bargain: With the help of his former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), he'll cook meth — the best and purest meth anyone has ever seen. Full of inside-baseball chemistry jokes and a lot of gallows humor, “Breaking Bad” turns what could have been a real bummer of a series into a kind of absurdist morality play. With uniformly superb acting, writing and direction, it is — week-to-week — one of the best shows on TV. Check it out. 

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