TV column for Saturday, Aug. 19


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Halt and Catch Fire” season-opener, 9-11 p.m., AMC.

Many shows start
well and decline gracefully; “Halt,” somehow, has gone the
opposite way. Once an OK series about the early days of computers, it
starts its fourth and final year brilliantly.

We've jumped ahead
to the 1990s, with people scattered. Gordon has a fairly successful
server company, with Joe staying in basement to dream bigger things.
Cameron, Joe's ex-lover, was supposed to be helping; instead, she's
married and living in Japan, working on games. Donna, Gordon's
ex-wife, is making a fortune funding start-ups. Tonight, they link,
with intensity, depth and warmth.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Princess Diana: Her Life, Her Death, the Truth,” 9-11 p.m., CBS.

As the 20th
anniversary of Princess Diana's death (Aug. 31) nears, TV is loading
up specials. National Geographic had a new one Monday; PBS has a
rerun and a new one next Tuesday. And now CBS, which was early with
this, reruns its own special from May.

Gayle King anchored
from Althorp, the estate where Diana grew up and is buried. She
interviewed close friends and people ranging from Diana's
public-relations chief to the choreographer of a charity performance
where the princess danced with glee.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “The Nineties,” 10 p.m. ET, CNN (barring breaking
news).

After watching the
fictional brilliance of “Halt and Catch Fire,” you'll want to see
this documentary rerun. (Don't worry, it airs again at 1 a.m. ET and
then at 8 and 11 p.m. ET Sunday.) Using hindsight, it brings focus to
the Internet world that the “Halt” characters try to master.

We see the opposite
giants – the charismatic Steve Jobs, temporarily on the outside;
the deceptively mild Bill Gates, quietly consolidating power. The
government finally squelched his monopoly, but the real change, this
hour says, was from outside: Google brought a key step to
democratizing the Internet.

Other choices
include:

Racing, 7 p.m. ET,
NBC. This NASCAR night is from Bristol, Tenn.

“The Social
Network” (2010), 7 and 9:30 p.m., Bravo. Record this film and watch
it as a sequel to all those shows about '90s Internet. Aaron Sorkin's
script sometimes toys with the truth, but brilliantly captures the
next revolution, when Facebook began in 2004.

More movies, cable.
At 7 p.m., FXX has Martin Scorsese's Oscar-nominated “The Wolf of
Wall Street” (2013). At 8, Syfy has “Terminator 2” (1991) and
FX has the fun spy film “Kingsman: The Secret Service” (2015). At
8 p.m. ET, Turner Classic Movies has a stylish gem, “The Manchurian
Candidate” (1962). And families? Freeform has an animation marathon
and, at 8 p.m., Disney repeats the vibrant musical “Descendants 2.”

“America's
Funniest Home Videos,” 8 p.m., ABC. This is, perhaps, why God
created technology: So we could keep re-seeing this home-video of a
man losing his pants while being chased by a goose.

“$100,000
Pyramid,” 9 p.m., ABC. Tentatively scheduled is a rerun filled with
football players. Cam Newton and Brandon Marshall face each other,
Eric Decker faces speed-skater Apolo Ohno and Michael Strahan hosts.

“In an Instant,”
10 p.m., ABC. Much of tonight seems to be about the Internet, for
good or bad. This rerun tells of a Las Vegas woman who met a man
online; he attacked her and left her for dead.

“Saturday Night
Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC. Jimmy Fallon hosts this fun rerun, with
Harry Styles – whom Fallon has impersonated – as the music guest.