HBO (Mon., Oct. 5, 8 p.m. ET)
Our disease-of-the-week movies, even the best, always step so, so carefully around every controversy. Here, in a two-night miniseries about AIDS made for the BBC, we see how the British get their message across with added frankness. What’s most amazing about Intimate Contact is that the victims are at first unlikable. Daniel Massey plays a philandering executive who contracts AIDS from a New York prostitute, and Claire Bloom is his snooty wife, who worries about what her country-club friends will say. But as time and the disease progress, they learn compassion from other AIDS patients—a gay man and his lover, a hemophiliac boy and his father, a drug addict. As they come to fight prejudice and ignorance, we come to like them—and there is the moral of the story.