The Education of Ms. Groves



8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28
Sundance Channel

Sundance Channel's original documentary series "The Education of Ms. Groves" can't help but remind us of the slew of theatrical films especially popular in recent years -- such outings as "Dangerous Minds" with Michelle Pfeiffer and "Freedom Writers" with Hilary Swank. The "idealistic young teacher-meets-ghetto kid" genre is convincing time and again because it's real and uplifting (on the big screen, at least). "Ms. Groves" is the real thing, the thing that all the fictions are based on, and it's a bit harder to take because it's real, everyday life. Still, it's a fascinating journey.

Monica Groves idealistic and fresh out of the University of Virginia, has been chosen among a select group of others to educate kids in a low-income community. She's black and so are her students, a fact that causes her idealism to soar. What she finds waiting for her is ever challenging to say the least.

With a relentless camera on Groves that tells the intimate details of her everyday challenge, this four-part, half-hour series is enticing, even if it drags some of the time. Welcome to the world of 21st century education.