Paths of Glory 8 p.m., TCM
David Simon has said that this dark classic from 1957 was an important influence on his series “The Wire,” as it shows how institutions can work against the individuals who depend on them. The antiwar film was co-written and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on a 1935 novel by Humphrey Cobb. Starring Kirk Douglas (pictured), it’s about a suicide mission during World War I and the true meanings of cowardice and bravery.
The White Queen Saturday at 9 p.m., Starz
I’m still shamelessly hooked on this costume drama, which is so heated-up that it takes the mellow out of melodrama. Two notes: Amanda Hale’s sour-lemon face rivals Renée Zellweger. As Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry Tudor, Hale (left) puts on some major bitterface. Also, Aneurin Barnard (right) plays the Duke of Gloucester, King Edward’s youngest brother, but the makeup and costuming artists have him looking a lot like Edward Scissorhands.
Side by Side: The Science, Art, and Impact of Digital Cinema 9 p.m., Channel 2
Digital heroes never really die, too.
Do No Harm Saturday at 9 p.m., NBC
Another case of NBC burn-off cured.
Breaking Bad Sunday at 9 p.m., AMC
Jesse, I can easily change my mind about you.Matthew Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert