“In Defense of Food,” 9-11 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
Progress can be a
tricky thing, Michael Pollan tells us. In 30 years, Americans'
child-obesity rate has doubled; in 40, type 2 diabetes (for any age)
has tripled. Much of that comes from an industry that can now make
food that is cheap, convenient, tasty ... and lacks key ingredients.
Pollan – a skilled
journalist and storyteller – views other aproaches, including
traditional hunters and getherers in Tanzania. Diets range from the
Andes (mostly potatoes and grains) to the Arctic, with tremendous
amounts of whale and seal fat; somehow, both approaches seem to work.
“Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC.
Next week, ABC will
be back to new episodes of its terrific Wednesday line-up. First,
however, here's a rerun of the season-opener, filled with good
thoughts, Haley tries to rush and stop Andy from proposing to Beth.
Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria are frustrated by efforts to land a good
pre-school. Also, Cam supports Mitchell in his effort to switch
careers ... until money gets tight.
ALTERNATIVE: “Mozart in the Jungle” second season, any time,
Wolfgang Mozart shows up at the very start of the second season –
both his music (it's quite good, you know) and his image. A troubled
Rodrigo imagines a fretful conversation with him.
Rodrigo has many
worries. The hot-shot conductor of the New York Symphony, he's
disliked by donors (who want the old one to un-retire) and viewed
warily by the musicians, who are planning a strike. Also, he kissed
Hailey, the young oboist working temporarily as his assistant.
There's a rich broth of emotions, in a series that's beautifully
written and subtly acted ... with some fine music along the way.
ALTERNATIVE II: “Mr. Robot,” 11:42 a.m. to 11 p.m., USA.
The start of this
series was brilliant, as a young hacker (tautly played by Rami Malek)
confronted a villain. The finish of the first season was bizarre.
Now – as “Mr.
Robot” deservedly reaches 10-best lists or 2015 – you can catch
the whole season again. It runs twice, actually; the first time, from
midnight to 11:42 a.m., isn't terribly convenient.
Football, all day,
ESPN. The biggest bowl games are Thursday and Friday, but here's a
handy warm-up. There's the Birmingham Bowl at noon ET, the Belk Bowl
at 3:30 p.m., the Music City Bowl at 7 and then the day's top game:
At 10:30 p.m. ET, the Holiday Bowl has Wisconsin (9-3) and Southern
“Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. In a rerun of the two-part
season-opener, the team finds a fresh murder that fits the suspected
approach of serial-killer Gregory Yates. That leads to a trial,
blackmail, a confession, a new victim and then a runaway.
Music, 8 p.m.,
everywhere. Reruns offer pop songs via concert -- “iHeartRadio
Jingle Ball” on CW – or inside stories. Fox has “Empire”
(Cookie and Anika try to grab Pitbull's attention); Disney has its
“Descendants” movie. At 8:15, ABC Family has “Grease” (1978),
with a lame story and vibrant music.
“Code Black,” 9
p.m., CBS. This reruns the episode that introduced Cress Williams
(“Hart of Dixie”) as the new surgeon, the estranged son of Dr.
9:31 and 10:30 p.m., ABC. Neither rerun offers the usual holiday
fare. In the first, the family accepts a neighbor's invitation to
attend church; in the second, Dre and his colleagues try to create a
new holiday, Daddy's Day.
10 p.m., NBC. This rerun involves the death of a teen at a big-money