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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of February 8

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Do you remember last week? Last week I discussed my upset and my distress at not being able to draw. I think the ability to draw would really help move forward my concepts for The Sword in the Stone ride. Think about it – if I could draw, I could show you exactly what I saw the ride as being; I really think I might be able to convince you that the idea was genius. That is, if you don't believe already.

Sunday, February 8:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Drakensberg:  Barrier of Spears.” The Drakensberg Mountains are, I've been told, "southern Africa's Alps." That sort of statement always makes me wonder why the Alps couldn't be Europe's Drakensberg Mountains. Seriously people, why does it have to be that Africa's mountains are compared to Europe instead of vice versa?

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Classic – "Sense and Sensibility (Part Two)." Do you remember back in the Spring of 2008 when Masterpiece aired what they referred to as "The Complete Jane Austen?" Well, this originally aired then, they're not so much repeating that "Complete" thing, but they are re-airing this bit.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Get Ready for Digital TV. Two lovely gentleman from This Old House, Norm Abram and Kevin O'Connor, are here to tell you all about getting ready for digital TV (as the transition is coming in February 2009). Pretty much the answer is that if you have cable or satellite you're fine and that if you don't you're probably going to need a converter box and the government will give you a coupon to buy one.

Monday, February 9:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Dallas (Hour Three)." I wonder if people will be bringing cans of oil from the 1950s to the Roadshow. I could see that. Maybe Miss Ellie will even show up. Maybe she'll bring the gun that shot J.R. Maybe someone will bring a baseball from that game the Texas Rangers won that one time, you remember, I think it happened back in 1993.

9:00 – 10:30PM

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln: American Experience. Just two months after Abraham Lincoln said something along the lines of "With malice for none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right let us strive on toe finish the work we are in. Let us bind the nations wounds, care for him who shall have borne the battle, and his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations," he was assassinated. Learn all about it.

10:30 – 11:00PM

PBS Previews: We Shall Remain: American Experience. I always find it funny when PBS promos a future miniseries by airing, repeatedly, these half-hour deals. I understand the notion behind previewing something like this series — which explores the Native-American perspective on pivotal moments in U.S. history — but they air them so many times I wonder if some of the magic of the actual piece is lost.

Tuesday, February 10:

8:00 – 10:00PM

Nova - “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial”. In 2004, a mere 3 years ago, the school board in a town in eastern Pennsylvania (not even western Pennsylvania) ordered its science teachers to teach intelligent design. This theory suggests that because we're so very complicated evolution must have had some help on its way. Bad things happened. This two-hour extravaganza gives the low-down on exactly what happened. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

Independent Lens – "Tulia, Texas." Back in the day — 1999 to be exact — an undercover narcotics agent busted 46 residents of Tulia on charges of suspected drug dealing. Thirty-nine of the residents the agent and his task force arrested were African American. Learn exactly what happened and its ramifications.

Wednesday, February 11:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work – “The State Visit (Part Two).” As a whole, the series takes an inside look at the British monarchy. Up tonight, the show delves into exactly how people here in the colonies deal with a visit from the Queen. It goes into preparations in the White House for a white tie dinner and an archeologist at Jamestown getting ready for the Queen's visit among other things.

9:00 – 11:00PM

Looking for Lincoln. Henry Louis Gates Jr. takes some time and explores the man, the myth, the legend. In my mind, this whole think unravels a lot like Looking for Richard (or Looking for Richard Crenna, but that's been seen by far fewer people). It probably doesn't, but I definitely think it would be great if it did.

Thursday, February 12:

8:00 – 9:00PM

The This Old House Hour - Episode TBA. It’s This Old House and Ask This Old House. It’s like maintenance…for your home. Wait, no, that’s exactly what it is. That doesn’t mean it’s not awesome though. Seriously, The This Old House Hour is one of the finest home improvement hours on PBS. No joke.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Dallas (Hour Three)." I wonder if people will be bringing cans of oil from the 1950s to the Roadshow. I could see that. Maybe Miss Ellie will even show up.  Maybe she'll bring the gun that shot J.R.  Maybe someone will bring a baseball from that game the Texas Rangers won that one time, you remember, I think it happened back in 1993.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage – "Seal." Whenever I think of Seal two people come to mind – Heidi Klum and Val Kilmer. I like Val Kilmer, and even enjoy a lot of Seal's music, but I really like Heidi Klum. I don't approve of her referring to herself as "the body," I think that moniker definitely belongs to Elle, but I still like Heidi.

Friday, February 13:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4832. Another whole week has gone by and good old Gwen Ifill and National Journal are here to fill us in. For the record, I like to pretend the National Journal is a sidekick, like Robin to Batman, Starsky to Hutch, or chocolate sauce to chocolate ice cream.

8:30 – 9:30PM

NOW on PBS #507. It’s the Emmy award-winning weekly newsmagazine. It looks at issues facing our democracy. The show is hosted by David Brancaccio. And, even better, they still send me e-mails (I think that makes me cool and them nice). Thanks, Now, you guys are awesome!

9:00 – 10:00PM

Bill Moyers Journal #1244. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,244th journal (not really, but I’m not going to explain to you the way in which TV shows are numbered at this point in time, maybe later if you’re nice). He’s a good journalist so I assume this will be good journalism (at least the odds are it will).

10:00 – 10:30PM

PBS Previews: We Shall Remain:  American Experience. I always find it funny when PBS promos a future miniseries by airing, repeatedly, these half-hour deals. I understand the notion behind previewing something like this series — which explores the Native-American perspective on pivotal moments in U.S. history — but they air them so many times I wonder if some of the magic of the actual piece is lost.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Get Ready for Digital TV. Two lovely gentleman from This Old House, Norm Abram and Kevin O'Connor, are here to tell you all about getting ready for digital TV (as the transition is coming in February 2009). Pretty much the answer is that if you have cable or satellite you're fine and that if you don't you're probably going to need a converter box and the government will give you a coupon to buy one.

Saturday, February 14:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Sarah McLachlan/Duffy." Sarah McLachlan hasn't, perhaps, achieved the status of "legend," but she's certainly getting there. Duffy is much more of a new face, but is definitely getting bigger. Will Duffy one day achieve Sarah McLachlan status? Who knows? Certainly not I.

It's possible, just possible, that if I were a "computer ace" I'd be able to draw my The Sword in the Stone ride conceptual bits of artwork with a computer program. Sadly, while I know about computers, and while I once built myself a computer, I am not that sort of "computer ace." I wish I were. Think of the things I could accomplish; they would be truly fantastic.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.