Showtime wades into the documentary field in a big way with “The World According to Dick Cheney” (8 p.m.) directed by R.J. Cutler.
The film offers the first glimpses of the former vice president since major heart surgery and features extensive interviews with Cheney, his longtime colleague Donald Rumsfeld and his legal adviser David Addington, author of some of the more controversial policies of the early years of the war on terror.
Cheney remains defiant and remarkably sanguine about his years in public service. His contempt for the media is palpable. “If you want to be loved,” he asserts, “go be a movie star.”
Democrats are largely unmentioned. The disappointment at the center of this film is how much Cheney and his policies were sidelined and ignored during the second Bush administration. President George W. Bush does not appear here and “World” informs us that relations between the two men remain frosty.
The documentary begins with his basic biography and a whiff of personal revelation. Cheney flunked out of Yale twice and spent time behind bars for drunk driving before the love of a good woman (his future wife, Lynne) apparently straightened him out. He returned to college and graduate school and rose as a political adviser at a remarkably fast clip.
“World” focuses almost entirely on foreign policy and national security matters.
We hear nothing about Cheney’s rather secretive orchestration of energy policy during the Bush years, or his embrace of debt-ballooning tax cuts. It would have been interesting to hear from contemporary conservatives, who might chafe at Cheney’s infamous line, “Reagan taught us that deficits don’t matter.” It would also be interesting to hear from those who have a problem with Cheney’s philosophy of limitless executive authority, particularly now that such authority rests in the hands of Barack Obama.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Bank robberies share a theme on “Grimm” (8 p.m., NBC).
• Greek traditions die hard on “Kitchen Nightmares” (7 p.m., Fox).
• Martin gets assistance from a friend on “Touch” (8 p.m., Fox).
• Random strangers share a grim affliction on “Blue Bloods” (9 p.m., CBS).
• Lucas mulls a major decision on the season finale of “Banshee” (9 p.m., Cinemax).
— Copyright 2013 United Feature Syndicate, distributed by Universal Uclick.