MTV (Wed., Dec. 13, 9 P.M. ET)
The channel fast-forwards through the ’80s in a teeming two-hour special that doesn’t just have a bunch of talking heads pontificating about what the decade was all about. (Okay, it does have one Talking Head, David Byrne, but he doesn’t pontificate, he quips.) Instead, MTV combines film montages with graphics, sound bites and the observations of such “witnesses” as Roseanne Barr, Jesse Jackson, Linda Ellerbee and others. The content is heavily slanted toward music and pop culture, but it’s also surprisingly political. Before the month is out, every TV outlet this side of the Weather Channel will weigh in with its own rehash of the decade, but it’s doubtful that any will be as comprehensive—or as lively.