Death by violence is also the starting point for The Legacy: Murder & Media, Politics & Prisons (Tuesday, June 1; 10 to 11:30 p.m.; Channel 13). In the first installment of the new summer season of P.O.V., Michael J. Moore interviews everyone who will sit still in order to tell the story of how, in California, the carjacking murder of 18-year-old Kimber Reynolds and the abduction-murder of 12-year-old Polly Klaas led their bereft fathers to campaign for tougher legislation against violent felons; how Polly’s father and her grandfather came to realize that a “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law was filling the prisons with nonviolent offenders sentenced for 25 years to life and thus broke with Kimber’s father, bent on vengeance; how the NRA came to lobby for Three Strikes as a way of heading off restrictions on guns; and what this country’s exploding prison population – a 450 percent increase in the past two decades – says about us.
Fast, Cheap, & Out of Control (Monday, June 7; 9 to 10:30 p.m.; Channel 13) comes then as a welcome relief. Made by Errol Morris with the help of “American Playhouse” public-TV money, this indie film looks at four men – a lion tamer, a topiary gardener, a mole-rat photographer, and a robot scientist – who are all so weird that winning and killing seem not to have been their point. The surprisingly playful Morris crosscuts their obsessive stories with hilarious footage from circuses and old sci-fi films.