HBO delivers the new TV movie "You Don't Know Jack" Saturday night at 9 p.m. It stars Al Pacino as Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the "suicide doc" who is arguably the country's biggest proponent of euthanasia.
Kevorkian is a pretty polarizing figure -- people either love or hate the guy, because there's not a lot of room for in-between (except for me, because I'm indifferent toward most things).
I tend to be wary of biopics, because there's always a tendency to paint the subject in a more positive light so that the audience can sympathize with him or her. I don't know if that's the case with 'Jack' because I haven't seen it, but it's a general rule.
Take "A Beautiful Mind," for example (please), which totally distorted or ignored a lot of the details of John Nash's life to make him more sympathetic.
On the flip side, HBO tends to do a very good job with its TV movies, particularly with those based on factual events, such as "Recount." And "Jack" has a terrific cast with Pacino, Susan Sarandon and John Goodman among others.
WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: Two quasi-reality shows wrap up tonight as Spike Lee is the subject of "Who Do You Think You Are?" (NBC, 8 p.m.), while Jamie Oliver finds out that once he leaves, his subjects in West Virginia go back to their old eating habits in "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" (ABC, 9 p.m.)
The character of Maxwell Lord makes his first appearance on "Smallville" (CW, 8 p.m.)
On cable, "Stargate Universe" and "Merlin" are both new from 9-11 p.m. on SyFy.
Starz returns the much buzz-about comedy series "Party Down" at 10 p.m., minus former cast member Jane Lynch, now kicking some butt on "Glee." It's followed by the debut of the new dramedy, "Gravity," about a self-help group for people who have attempted suicide. It's done by writer/actor Eric Schaefer, one of the few people who can probably pull off such a concept.
On Saturday, the Doctor (Matt Smith) takes Amy (Karen Gillan) to Britain in the far future, where the entire populace lives on a spaceship on "Doctor Who" (BBC America, 9 p.m.). Last week's episode was the highest-rated show in BBC America's history.
On Sunday, "The Amazing Race"(CBS, 8 p.m.) is down to four teams, followed by the TV Movie "When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story" starring Barry Pepper and Winona Ryder as the couple that eventually would create Alcoholics Anonymous.
"The Simpsons" (Fox, 8 p.m.) celebrates Earth Day with an ecology themed installment.
On ABC, "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters" are new, beginning at 9 p.m.
NBC offers its pseudo-reality wiith "Minute To Win It" and "Celebrity Apprentice."
On cable, "The Pacific" (HBO, 9 p.m.) continues, as does "Treme" at 10 p.m., which I have to say has been something of a disappointment considering the talent involved on both sides of the camera, at least to me.
Showtime, meanwhile, brings a new "Tudors" at 9 p.m.