‘Mars’ Finale, Acorn Draws ‘Blood,’ ABC’s ‘Year in Memoriam’

Nat Geo

A critical checklist of notable Monday TV:

Mars (9/8c, National Geographic): In the season finale, the Lukrum crew goes too far in reckless exploitation of Mars for corporate profit, with results endangering both colonies. Back in the present on Earth, NASA’s Operation Icebridge is studying Arctic sea ice to heighten awareness of the dangers of global warming. For those who’ll listen.

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Blood (streaming on Acorn TV): Imagine if Eugene O’Neill had written an Irish murder mystery, it might feel something like this grim six-part Irish tragedy. The seeming accidental death of her physically impaired mother brings estranged daughter Cat Hogan (Carolina Main) back home for an uneasy reunion with her siblings and her dad, Jim (Adrian Dunbar), a popular local doctor. Defying her brother and sister at every turn, Cat begins poking holes in Jim’s story about the circumstances of their mom’s death, and Jim’s reactions goad her to question whether he may have murdered her. The truth sets no one free in this dark drama, where a little knowledge turns out to be a dangerous thing.

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The Year in Memoriam 2018 (10/9c, ABC): Robin Roberts and Jimmy Kimmel co-host a look back at many of the beloved entertainers and world figures who left us this year. Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin is remembered by Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Kelly Clarkson and Smokey Robinson, while Burt Reynolds is saluted by John Schneider, Marilu Henner and ex-wife Loni Anderson. The Bushes (Barbara and President George H.W.), Sen. John McCain and Stephen Hawking are among other notables paid tribute.

Inside Monday TV: Some sobering documentaries to consider: HBO’s Bleed Out (8/7c) is an investigation into the state of the American health-care system, focusing on the third leading cause of death: medical error… Dan Rather is executive producer of the Starz documentary Fail State (9/8c), an exposé on the political policy decisions that led to the rise of predatory for-profit colleges, often leaving students with useless degrees and crushing debt… PBS’s Independent Lens presents Man on Fire (10/9c, check local listings at pbs.org), which looks at the effect on the community of Grand Saline, Texas, when 79-year-old white Methodist minister Charles Moore set himself on fire in 2014, explaining his public suicide as a protest against the town’s (and nation’s) virulent racism.