AMERICAN JUSTICE: LARRY FLYNT
8 p.m. Thursday, April 21
A&E (Comcast Ch. 51)
While not many of us are well adjusted enough to publicly profess a love of “Hustler” magazine, lots of First Amendment fans in recent years have gained a grudging respect for “Hustler” publisher Larry Flynt. Born poor in rural Kentucky, Flynt used his wits to build an empire in one of America’s long-standing growth industries: sex. And, while he’s inarguably someone you wouldn’t want to end up sitting next to in coach, a feature bio-pic and several well-publicized legal battles over indecency and self-expression have seen Flynt reborn in middle age as a cultural icon, champion of sexual freedom and defender of Free Speech. Here, A&E details Flynt’s legal wars and tries to see whether he is a symbol of the American way, or simply the ultimate self-promoting huckster.
ARKANSAS QUIZ BOWL 2005
5 p.m. Saturday, April 23
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)
While this writer was something of a layabout in high school, our annual Academic All Stars Team tends to keep us reminded that there are some smart cookies lurking out there in Arkansas classrooms (most of them don’t even have Coke-bottle-lensed glasses, bow ties, or heads twice the size of a normal kid’s noggin). Given that we also find ourselves reporting often on the generally atrocious state of Arkansas education, it never fails to amaze us just how much mileage the lads and lassies are able to get out of our meager tax contribution. Here, for the 20th year running, AETN’s “Quiz Bowl” puts the state’s best and brightest high school students to the trivia test, with 10 teams competing for the title of State Champion.
MODERN MARVELS: BATHROOM TECH
8 p.m. Wednesday, April 27
The History Channel (Comcast Ch. 70)
Anyone old and rural enough to recall contact with an outhouse seat on a chilly February morn can tell you: Thank God for the indoor bathroom. Still, the benefits go far beyond comfort. With the modern toilet — and the clean, efficient handling of waste it provides — 20th century man (or woman) was finally able to rise up out of the muck. Without that humble fixture, modern cities and suburbs could simply not survive, at least not in the form we know today. Join the History Channel on a stroll through the plumbing department, spelling out the history of the most private room in the house.