TV Smarts


Some broadcast and cable programs contain material included in the public school curriculum and on standardized examinations. Here are some weekend home-viewing tips:

* Thursday. “The National Hate Test” (USA 7-8 p.m., repeating Saturday 12:30 p.m.) In this provocative documentary, based on the results of a Yankelovich national poll and hosted by Gregory Hines, two dozen people ages 18 to 54 of various races and cultures provide illustrations of the many forms of discrimination plaguing our society. Segments are co-hosted by Adam Arkin, Scott Bakula, Christine Lahti, Mario Lopez, Greg Louganis, William Macy and James McDaniel. Also, from 8-11 p.m. KLCS will air all three documentaries in the series “Exploring Your Brain”-- Part I, “Men Women and the Brain”; Part II, “Memory: Alzheimer’s Disease”; and Part III, “Fear and Anxiety.”

* Friday. “In Search of History” (HISTORY, 5-6 p.m., repeating 9-10 p.m.) This documentary describes the methods of deception used by Americans, British and the Allies in 1944 to keep the Germans from knowing the truth about the planned invasion of Europe. Today’s movie special-effects people and Washington’s current spin doctors have yet to improve on these masterful old tricks that, at the time, faked the existence of an armed force of 1 million.


Also, “The Dragons of Galapagos” (KNBC, 8-9 p.m.). Richard Kiley narrates this documentary about the unique iguanas that live on the islands and in the waters of the archipelago made famous by Charles Darwin.

* Saturday. “The Homes of Frank Lloyd Wright” (A&E; 10-11 a.m.) This documentary answers the intriguing question: What should an architect--in this case one considered America’s greatest--design when faced with the prospect of having to dwell in the place?

Also, “Crocodiles!” on KCET 7-8 p.m., an episode of “Nova,” shows how these canny monsters operate together to not only to hunt but to protect their young--even attacking lions when necessary. David Attenborough hosts.

* Sunday. “My Left Foot: the Story of Christy Brown” (MOVIE CHANNEL, 2-4 p.m.) Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar for his performance in this true story of an Irish man who, through astonishing tenacity, overcame physical adversity (the effects of cerebral palsy) to become an accomplished writer and artist. Also available on video.

--Compiled by Richard Kahlenberg in consultation with Crystal J. Gips, associate dean, College of Education, Cal State Northridge