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TV Highlights Nov. 10

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ALASKA: SILENCE
AND SOLITUDE
8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3,
Broadcast Ch. 2)


While we’ve never been the type to chuck it all, pack what we can fit in a duffel bag, and split for Alaska, there is something about this last American wilderness that calls to people. Mostly uninhabited and untouched by development, one of the last places on the North American continent where animal populations still rival the glory they once had elsewhere, Alaska is a place where people go to test their mettle — against nature, against the elements, against themselves. Here, the PBS documentary series “Nature” takes viewers along for the ride into the deepest heart of the Alaskan bush. Tag along to the Land of the Midnight Sun and leave your parka behind.


CLEOPATRA (1963)
9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16
Turner Classic Movies
(Comcast Ch. 30)

We’ve got a thing about powerful women. They’ve just got that something that makes us want more. In the history of mankind and film, no woman had more power than Cleopatra. The “It Girl” for all time, Cleopatra was seducing emperors before it was cool, and looked great while doing it — right up until her unfortunate meeting with an asp in a basket. Here, in the lavish, four-hour biopic of Cleopatra’s life and loves (the most expensive movie ever made at the time), Elizabeth Taylor plays the dark-haired Egyptian queen, in all her glory. With Taylor opposite Richard Burton, sparks flew both on and off the set. Tune in to catch both the story of one of history’s most significant women, and one of the splashiest movies of all time.


RISKY BUSINESS (1983)
1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13
Bravo (Comcast Ch. 50)


Though Tom Cruise has done a lot of great things — “Top Gun,” “Mission Impossible,” somehow getting Katie Holmes pregnant without actually having intercourse with her — nothing is ever going to top his star-making turn in “Risky Business.” It is, in a nutshell, the story of a whole repressed generation. Here, Cruise plays the naive Joel, an Ivy-League-bound straight arrow who phones up a call girl to lose his virginity one weekend when his parents go out of town. Things go awry, however, and before long, he’s running his own cathouse, on the lam from a murderous pimp, and pulling his father’s Porsche out of Lake Michigan, all while trying to pass his college entrance interview. A subtle and nuanced take on the haves and the have-nots of the world (and what the latter will sacrifice to become the former), it’s a classic in every sense of the word, and a must-see.

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