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An image of the Costa Concordia taken Jan. 13, 2012. (Corriere Fiorentino / AP)
An image of the Costa Concordia taken Jan. 13, 2012. (Corriere Fiorentino / AP)

John Doyle: Weekend TV

A funny, searing look back at McCain and Palin Add to ...

Hunt for Justice: The Louise Arbour Story Saturday, CTV TWO, 9 p.m.

There’s an interesting contrast in two movies-for-TV tonight. This under-noticed Canadian production from 2005 is drawn from emotionally powerful material about former Supreme Court of Canada justice Louise Arbour (Wendy Crewson) and it presents her story as one of a heroic Canadian leading a UN legal mission. The mission was to indict and arrest Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic and others. The story of what happened in the Balkans during the 1990s needs to be told over and over again – the racial and religious hatred erupting into wars and pogroms resulting in mass killings and rape. But Hunt for Justice, while well-meaning, is a bit clunky and misses the mark. Contrast it with Game Change (Saturday, HBO Canada, 9 p.m.), the searing and vastly entertaining new HBO movie about the John McCain/Sarah Palin campaign in 2008. It’s simultaneously funny, smart and deeply revealing. And made by people with fire in the belly about U.S. politics.

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Cruise Ship Disaster: Inside the Concordia Sunday, Discovery, 9 p.m.

Nothing happens these days without cameras and recordings chronicling it all. This newsy new doc about the Costa Concordia tragedy off the coast of Italy promises “exclusive footage” of Captain Francesco Schettino on the bridge after the ship’s power failed. It claims to show him “oblivious to the escalating emergency and the danger faced by 4,200 passengers and crew aboard the ship.” There are numerous interviews with survivors, and then experts weigh in on what caused the accident. The circumstances of the incident remain a subject of heated debate, and it’s unlikely everything will be truly explained here. (In fact, it is hard to imagine a better chronicle of the disaster that a recent fifth estate program.)

Desperate Housewives Sunday, ABC, CTV, 9 p.m.

It’s fascinating to look in on Desperate Housewives these days, as the series draws to a close, and GCB (ABC, CTV, 10 p.m.), which is seen as ABC’s replacement Sunday-night soap, already airing. Wives has few directions left to go, and the impulse in upcoming episodes seems to be toward seriousness. On tonight’s program, the elderly and ill Mrs. McCluskey asks Bree to help her commit suicide because she no longer wants to live with terminal cancer. Assisted suicide seems an odd issue for the show, which has dwelt on relationships with some sass and smarts. Meanwhile, in an odd sideshow to the show’s ending, there’s that court case in Los Angeles in which former star Nicollette Sheridan (who played the man-hungry Edie) is suing ABC and the show’s executive producer. It’s a pity that Edie isn’t back for the final episodes. And, so far, GCB isn’t half the show that Desperate Housewives has been.

Children of the Tsunami Sunday, CBC NN, 8 p.m.

This touching and at times harrowing British doc presented on The Passionate Eye focuses on the voices and thoughts of children who survived the deadly tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear accident. First, we are told about a primary school where 74 children were killed by the tsunami and then about a school near the nuclear plant from which children were evacuated but who now live with the worries of their parents about the long-term effects of radiation. This doc is followed, at 10 p.m. and also on CBC NN, by Japan’s Tsunami: Caught on Camera, which is mainly a compilation of amateur footage filmed by locals caught up in the disaster. The remarkable thing is that so many kept filming in such dangerous circumstances.

All times ET. Check local listings.

Follow on Twitter: @MisterJohnDoyle

 
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