9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13
TLC (Comcast Ch. 68)
To paraphrase Woody Allen, some people want to live forever through their art. I want to live forever by not dying. From the number of shows about ghosts and the paranormal on TV these days, it seems like a lot of folks must be taking ol’ Woody’s advice. As for us: no thanks. Given the choice between blessed oblivion and being a ghost — spending an eternity watching people pick their noses and scratch their butts when they think nobody’s looking — we say: oblivion, here we come. Here, in the latest reality-show spookfest from TLC, ghost hunters from the Preternatural Research Society visit some of America’s most haunted houses, looking for evidence of spirits. Look at it this way: Tune in, study up on how to haunt, and after you die, you’ll at least be able to use the TV clicker.
NOVA: EINSTEIN’S BIG IDEA
4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)
While it all doesn’t make a lot of sense to anyone around here (hey, if we knew anything about physics, you think we’d be writing for a newspaper?) we do know that Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity is a big, big deal, especially for physics-loving pointy-headed university types. Figured out mostly during his breaks as a young patent clerk, Einstein’s E=mc2 — elegant and simple enough to print on a T-shirt — tied energy, light and matter into one neat little package, and changed the world as we know it, leading to discoveries as varied as how black holes work in deep space to the development of the atomic bomb. More importantly, it was a crucial step in the development of the “Lyle Lovett Theorem,” which states that personal brilliance is in direct proportion to the craziness of your hair.
BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE
9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18
Bravo (Comcast Ch. 50)
While it’s become fashionable these days to think of documentary filmmaker Michael Moore as a loudmouthed twit, we can’t get enough of the guy. Moore, in the grandest of grand traditions, uses his art to go after what he sees as the injustices of the world, and doesn’t back down from anybody. You’ve gotta respect that. We learned to love his quirky style in “Roger and Me,” and he’s only gotten better. Here, in the documentary that won him an Oscar and took his career to the next level, Moore looks at America’s real national pastime: guns. With visits to a bank that gives a rifle with every new account and sobering riffs on the Columbine High School massacre, Moore thoroughly skewers the NRA, far right-wing Republicans and the gun-nut culture in general.