'Food, Inc.' on PBS, 'SpongeBob's Last Stand' to save Bikini Bottom, 'Burma VJ' harrowing documentary on HBO, and more top picks.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures
SpongeBob Squarepants may be off the air except in reruns, but the bright yellow hero manages to reappear at just the right moments – this time on Earth Day. "SpongeBob's Last Stand," a half-hour special, airs April 22 on Nickelodeon at 8 p.m. With 1960s-style protest songs, the sponge-with-a-heart must rally the denizens of Bikini Bottom to see that a new superhighway cutting across Jellyfish Fields is not in their best interests.
"Burma VJ: Reporting From a Closed Country" is a harrowing look at the efforts of the country's struggling journalists to report on the 2007 uprising. The 90-minute documentary reminds us that the heart of a free Burma is still beating, but against great odds. Shot with hidden cameras amid the constant threat of imprisonment, it was a 2010 Academy Award nominee. It airs April 20, 9:30 p.m., on HBO.
In the PBS documentary "Dirt! The Movie," we learn that just one teaspoon of the stuff contains a billion organisms all working together to create a vital substance that's used for agriculture, beauty, and medicine. Inspired by William Bryant Logan's book "Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth," it uses science and humor to explore how humans have abused and taken for granted such a valuable resource – and offers some solutions. Airs on "Independent Lens," April 20 at 10 p.m.