Critic’s picks: Television


Low Winter Sun 10:04 p.m., AMC

Too bad about this show. It wants to be “The Shield,” but the plot — about cops who secretly kill a crooked cop, making them crooked, too, kinda, sorta — drowns in noir atmosphere and pretentious dialogue. With “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” heading toward goodbyes, AMC needs some new hits, but I don’t think this show will be one.


The Man With the 132 lb.
9 p.m., TLC

Step right up to TLC, ladies and gentleman, step right up. TLC’s announcement of this special got a lot of attention, much of it critical of TLC for its bad taste. The show has also inspired a lot of Twitter bad-pun one-liners. The subject is Wesley Warren Jr., whose rare medical condition is called scrotal lymphedema. Since the filming, doctors have separated Warren from his [insert joke here].


The Life of Muhammad

8 p.m., Channel 2

This PBS three-hour documentary chronicles the life and journey of faith of the founder of Islam. It reaches from his birth to his death and his legacy. Journalist Rageh Omaar is the host.


Spell-Mageddon 9 p.m., ABC Family


The makers of this show are probably kicking themselves. They really should have named it “Spell-nado,” right? Because -nado is the new –mageddon and the new –gate, too. Anyhow, the contestants on this show have to perform in a spelling bee while running obstacle courses that involve ice-water baths and crazily blinking lights. In other words, they have to be smart while doing stupid things.


Clear History 9 p.m., HBO

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Are you jonesing for more “Curb Your Enthusiasm”? Larry David still hasn’t decided whether to bring back his HBO series. But in the meantime, you can nosh on this second-rate Massachusetts-set comedy, in which David plays a guy who quits a job and misses out on becoming a billionaire. Jon Hamm costars.


Venus and Serena
9 p.m., Showtime

This documentary looks at the remarkable Williams sisters, and how they rose to the top of professional tennis. The United States Tennis Association has been trying to block the film, based on the use of clips from US Opens, notably one of Serena exploding at a judge.


The White Queen 9 p.m., Starz

This gauzy, romantic take on the 15th-century War of the Roses, based on novels by Philippa Gregory, is juicy fun. I get a big kick out of Amanda Hale, who plays the frustrated mother of Henry who desperately wants her son on the throne. The lady has major sour-lemon face.