Rob Lowe narrates “The 80s: The Decade That Made Us” (8 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, National Geographic), a six-part flashback to a formative period. The commentary surrounding the recent death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher reminds us of some of the stark choices of the period, a time when leaders in both the United Kingdom and the United States began to enthusiastically extol the virtues of market forces and downplay or demonize the more distributive government actions of previous decades.
“80s” blends history with nostalgia, dredging up memories of Pac-Man and glasnost in nearly equal measure, emphasizing the changes in technology and the marketplace that still reverberate. “80s” also looks at other events and phenomena that defined the times: AIDS, hip-hop music, exotic televangelists and crack cocaine among them.
• “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” (8 p.m. Sunday, CNN) brings the host of “No Reservations” back on the road. Tonight: a trip to Myanmar. When not appearing on contrived cooking competitions, Bourdain makes for smart and engaging television. He has opinions and is not afraid to share them.
Sunday’s other highlights
• Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (6 p.m., CBS): Toronto Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey; Marfa, Texas; the manhunt for Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.
• A glance backward on “Once Upon a Time” (7 p.m., ABC).
• The 2013 MTV Movie Awards (8 p.m.) features Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Selena Gomez.
• Selfridge uses the ballerina Anna Pavlova to give the store prestige on “Mr. Selfridge” on “Masterpiece Classic” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings).
• Tyrion’s burdens grow on “Game of Thrones” (8 p.m., HBO).
• A bus accident fills the wards on the series premiere of “Nurse Jackie” (8 p.m., Showtime).
• Eddie’s deployment sparks a change in Caroline on “Army Wives” (8 p.m., Lifetime).
• Don quarrels with a client on “Mad Men” (9 p.m., AMC).
• Ragnar’s crew rattles England’s elite on “Vikings” (9 p.m., History).
• Vatican intrigue mounts as Pope Alexander clings to life on the season premiere of “The Borgias” (9 p.m., Showtime).