SECRETS OF LOST EMPIRES: ROMAN BATH
5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3,
Broadcast Ch. 2)
Though the world back in the good old (old, old) days was pretty much a total hellhole, the Romans did manage to perfect one thing essential to civilization as we know it: The bath. For the Romans, bathing was much more to them than a way to get clean; it was a communal function, equal parts hygiene, recreation and debate. Roman baths were some of the most technologically advanced structures in the world, complete with heated air and water and extensive plumbing and filtration systems. Tag along as a group of engineers, historians and builders try to figure out the secrets that made the Roman baths the gold standard in a stinky world.
GRIZZLY MAN (2005)
7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4
The Discovery Channel (Comcast Ch. 53)
If you saw a grizzly bear in the woods, probably the last thing on your mind would be trying to be its pal. Then again, not everyone got in line the day common sense was handed out. Here, in this award-winning documentary, filmmaker Werner Herzog follows Timothy Treadwell, a self-styled bear researcher who believed he could live amongst the massive grizzlies of Alaska and even befriend them. In fact, he did, for 13 summers — until (and I hope I’m not ruining the ending for you) he was killed and devoured by one of the creatures he sought to study. A cautionary tale about the extent of a man’s dreams and the limits of nature’s patience, “Grizzly Man” is a landmark film, and not to be missed.
MADE IN AMERICA
6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7
The Travel Channel
(Comcast Ch. 70)
Though it seems like everything you buy these days has a sticker on it proclaiming it the product of the Pacific Rim, there are still some consumables made in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Seeking out those alarmingly few and far between factories (thanks, Wal-Mart!) every week is the Travel Channel show “Made in America,” with host John Ratzenberger. With his trusty Winnebago, he scours the country for those rare things that can still say they come from here. This week: a trip to the Caterpillar bulldozer line, a high-end shoemaker and the Meditronic pacemaker factory.