Picks and Pans Review: Viewer's Choice
FOX, NEVER A RICH SOURCE OF DOCUMENTARIES, uncorks a notable one in Hardwood Dreams (Sun., April 2, 7 p.m. ET). Narrated by Wesley Snipes, the film follows the five senior starters on Inglewood's Morningside High School basketball team throughout the 1993 season as they seek to repeat as California state champions. They play in a tough urban environment: Gunplay is a very real threat on the Morningside campus, and fans entering the gym must pass through metal detectors. Though not as involving as the theatrically released Hoop Dreams, this is still a powerful look at the dangers and distractions afflicting young people.
The following night, PBS initiates a 10-part series, David Attenborough's Natural World (Mondays, 8 p.m. ET). While Attenborough's epic wildlife series, The Trials of Life and Life on Earth, provided opulent overviews of the animal kingdom, each Natural World episode focuses on a single species, from the crabs of Christmas Island to the tufted puffins of coastal Alaska. As always, the photography is spectacular, the creatures fascinating.