March 17, 2012 12:00 AM
It isn’t easy being green. Two cable channels offer leprechaun movies for very different audiences. The Hallmark Channel celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with “Chasing Leprechauns” (8 tonight, TV-PG). Lifting a plot from every single Hallmark movie ever made, Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes”) stars as Michael, a harried corporate overachiever sent to a small Irish town where a fetching bar maid (Amy Huberman) and wee green creatures teach him that there’s more to life than spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.
The Irish imps in “Leprechaun’s Revenge” (9 tonight on Syfy, TV-14) aren’t quite so beguiling. in this shocker, a teenage girl unwittingly unleashes a killer leprechaun on an unsuspecting small town. He’s out to kill everybody who might know where his gold has gone missing. to add a ticking clock to this bubbling pot o’ blarney, the girl and her family have only four days to kill the angry emerald runt or die from an ancient curse. it stars Billy Zane (“Titanic”) and William Devane (“24″).
Turner Classic Movies will dedicate its daytime schedule to classic Hollywood movies from the Golden Age of Irish stereotyping, beginning with “The Key” (6 a.m.).
The best of the lot depart from the lilt, laughter and shamrocks to contend with darker fare. James Cagney stars as an increasingly violent and erratic revolutionary in the 1959 drama “Shake Hands With the Devil” (12:15 p.m.). Spencer Tracy portrays a fading Irish political boss in the 1958 drama “The Last Hurrah” (3:45 p.m.).
— a day after the year’s greenest day, Discovery Channel celebrates basic white with the launch of the seven-part epic documentary series “Frozen Planet” (8 p.m. Sunday, TV-PG). Narrated by Alec Baldwin, “Frozen” was created by the team behind “Planet Earth” and offers the same combination of gorgeous scenery, staggering scale and mind-boggling location photography.
While “Earth” often modulated between the vast and the microscopic, “Frozen” is more like a an old-fashioned Western dominated by wide-angle shots to better capture the continental scale of glaciers, Antarctic deserts and valleys carved by some of the fiercest winds on the planet.
Like any nature film, “Frozen” presents an unending succession of procreation and homicide, nurture and slaughter, and the uneasy coexistence of the fearsome and the cute. Penguins emerge as the clowns of the ice caps.
While “Frozen” shows a hands-off impartiality in the critter-eat-critter world of nature filmmaking, it tips its hand just a bit when the soundtrack playfully celebrates a penguin’s escape from the hungry jaws of a voracious sea lion.
If the film has true villains, they are the packs of killer whales who — alone among sea creatures — act as a team, flipping their powerful tails in unison to create giant waves that knock seals off protective ice floes and into the whales’ preferred killing zones of open water.
Folks worried about the viewing commitment of a seven-part series airing weeks on end should note that “Frozen” unfolds at a remarkably entertaining pace, with no critter’s profile lasting more than 10 minutes or so. Baldwin’s narrative is rather spare and matter-of-fact. He’s very good at capturing nature’s menace and blunt cruelty, but not as convincing when evoking wonder. The cinematography more than makes up for his flaw.
The show’s opening-sequence music has a frantic pace that will remind some viewers of “The Amazing Race” soundtrack; the “Frozen” soundtrack also occasionally borrows from the film scores of the “Harry Potter” ilk.
Reality television and computer-generated fantasy pale in comparison to this series and its celebration of the staggering, strange, mythic and magical corners of our world.
— The third Round of the 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament (6 p.m., TNT; 7 p.m., TBS; 7:30 p.m., CBS).
— a ghost stuck in the 1970s becomes a new tenant on “Being Human” (9 p.m., BBC America, TV-14).
— Hugh Grant, David Guetta and Ronnie Corbett appear on “The Graham Norton Show” (10:15 p.m., BBC America, TV- 14).
— Charles Barkley hosts “Saturday Night Live” (11:30 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14), featuring musical guest Kelly Clarkson.
— Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (7 p.m., CBS): the privatization of space travel; author Oliver Sacks explains “face blindness.”
— Scheduled on “Dateline NBC” (7 p.m., NBC): vitamin supplements.
— Mary Margaret is put behind bars on “Once Upon a Time” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
— Money woes and job offers on “The Good Wife” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
— “Finding the Lost da Vinci” (9 p.m., National Geographic) documents a 30-year search for a missing masterpiece.
— a funeral evokes a flashback on “Desperate Housewives” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
— “Nick News With Linda Ellerbee” (9 p.m., Nickelodeon) presents “If a School Is Broken, Can Kids Fix it?”
— Ace parts from three partners on “Luck” (9 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).
— Danger on the farm on “The Walking Dead” (9 p.m., AMC, TV-14).
— Murder and tennis on “CSI: Miami” (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
— Amanda’s past returns on “GCB” (10 p.m., ABC, TV- PG).
— Warwick consults religions old and new on “Life’s Too Short” (10:30 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).
A student (Patrick Swayze) of philosophy moonlights as a bouncer in a Missouri honky tonk in the 1989 fan favorite “Road House” (8:45 p.m. Sunday, CMT).
Legal shenanigans in a shoe store on “Harry’s Law” (8 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14) … “Wipeout” (8 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG) … The search continues on “Q’Viva! The Chosen” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) … Strange afflictions on “20/20″ (9 p.m., ABC).
“Amazing Race” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) … The case of an unprincipled principal on “Harry’s Law” (8 p.m., NBC, TV- 14) … Robots go rogue on “The Simpsons” (8 p.m., Fox, TV- PG) … Opportunity knocks on “Bob’s Burgers” (8:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
“Celebrity Apprentice” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14) … Boys’ night goes badly on “Family Guy” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … Doggone on “American Dad” (9:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at .
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