Monday TV: Soul Brother Number One

james-brownWhile producing the recent bio pic “Get On Up,” Mick Jagger thought to also help produce — and contribute — to an Alex Gibney-directed documentary on James Brown, “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown” (HBO, 9 p.m.). It’s certainly a story that deserves to be told again — with the electrifying music of the soul singer determined to leave his bleak life of poverty and end up on top.

A lot of the same details are recalled, and a number of smart musicologists, musicians and former band members comment on his distinctive style and manner. For his part, Jagger admits stealing as much as he could from his performances, and goes on so much about how Brown didn’t upstage the Rolling Stones at the 1965 “T.A.M.I Show” (there were different audiences for each, he claims, though the classic film of the event clearly shows Brown having decisively torn up the place), you almost think he decided to fund the film in order to make this distinction.

The film goes on from there, however, to his conquering of mainstream show business on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” his part in the Civil Rights marches, his handling of potential rioting Boston audiences after the assassination of Martin Luther King, and his embracing of Republican politics and Richard Nixon (it was all about business).

Things stop before Brown performs in the “Blues Brothers” movie, is parodied on “Saturday Night Live” or has a hit with “Living in the U.S.A.” And there’s very little of his volatile personal life. But there’s a lot see here, including the birth of funk and some candor from the band.

Another onetime black hero gets different treatment tonight in a new series that takes its cue from the early 80s “Mr. T” cartoon series. “Mike Tyson Mysteries” (Cartoon Network, 10 p.m.) is a spoof on that era’s cartoons, as Tyson’s Scooby Doo” style crime fighting team include an adopted daughter, Norm MacDonald as a crude pigeon pal, and Jim Rash as the ghost of the Marquees of Queensberry. The first mystery is literary, involving Cormac McCarthy and is pretty funny, loopy stuff.

Japanese traits of punctuality and obedience may have made a 2005 train crash in Osaka an even bigger tragedy, according to the documentary “Brakeless.” ¬†making its debut on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings). When the train conductor tried to make up being 80 seconds behind by speeding, the train crashed into an apartment, killing 107.

Now that all manner of dancing, singing, fashion design, tattoo and makeup have adapted the same competitive formats, with panels of judges determining the fate, the new “Fake Off” (TruTV, 10 p.m.) is a contest among groups who stage reproductions of pop culture moments. Yeah, it’s weird. But you’ve seen these kinds of spectacles on “America’s Got Talent.” The judging panel includes Chili of TLC, dancer Harry Shum Jr., and designer Michael Curry. Robert Hoffman hosts.

It’s accompanied by¬†“Hair Jacked” (TruTV, 8 and 8:30 p.m.) in which random customers of salons are interrupted by game show host Jon Gabrus, offering money for answers, “Cash Cab” style.

A new season starts for “2 Broke Girls” (CBS, 8 p.m.) with a guest appearance of Kim Kardashian.

Taylor Swift shows up to mentor contestants on “The Voice” (NBC, 8 p.m.). And why not? She can’t possibly be threatened by them musically.

Jonathan Bennett was eliminated from “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC, 8 p.m.) last week. Mostly for not being a star. Three other participants with lower judges’ scores are still in it: Tommy Chong, Michael Waltrip and Antonio Sabato Jr. Tonight, Halloween is the theme, with Ella Henderson singing “Ghost” and Nikki Yanofsky doing “Necessary Evil.”

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” (Comedy Central, 11 p.m.) originates this week from Austin, to cover elections. So tonight’s guest is gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.

“Jane the Virgin” (The CW, 9 p.m.) wonders whether to change her relationship with Michael.

The actress Beulah Bondi, known for playing Jimmy Stewart’s mother in four films, including “It’s a Wonderful Life” and later appeared on “The Waltons,” is featured tonight on Turner Classic Movies in “On Borrowed Time” (8 p.m.), “Make Way for Tomorrow” (10 p.m.), “One Foot in Heaven” (midnight), “The Southerner” (2 a.m.) and “Watch on the Rhine” (3:45 a.m.).

No World Series tonight, but Monday Night Football has Washington at Dallas (ESPN, 8:15 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly & Michael: Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci. Ellen DeGeneres: Taylor Swift. Wendy Williams: Caitlyn Becker, Gina Neely. Meredith Vieira: Sarah Hyland, Vivica A. FRoz, Sean Lowe. Queen Latifah: Chris O’Donnell, Jessie J, Alfonso Ribeiro.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Amy Poehler, Sens. Jeff Flake and Martin Heinrich, Mastodon, Jerry Lee Lewis. Jimmy Fallon: Ewan McGregor, Charles Barkley, Wilco, Herbie Hancock. Jimmy Kimmel: Melissa McCarthy, Frank Grillo, Billy Idol. Seth Meyers: Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Mark Consuelos, T.I. Craig Ferguson: Ray Romano, Tessa Thompson. Carson Daly: Wyatt Cenac, Porter Robinson, Margaret Brown. Tavis Smiley: Norman Lear. Jon Stewart: Wendy Davis. Stephen Colbert: Meredith Vieira. Conan O’Brien: Blake Griffin, Max Greenfield, Bear Hands.

 

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