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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of July 19

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So, the Hitchhiker's ride doesn't fit in England in EPCOT (I'm thinking there's not space) and while it might work where Star Tours is, but let's face it, they're not pulling Star Tours (and probably shouldn't).  Could it fit where that amphitheatre is between Buzz Lightyear and Carousel of Progress in Magic Kingdom?  Maybe, maybe. 

 

Sunday, July 19:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – "Superfish.” I imagine a superfish to be able to walk on land like a man, fly through the air like a bird, and stomp through the mountains like a Sasquatch. Apparently I'm wrong. Superfish are closer to marlins, sailfish, spearfish, and swordfish. Wow, what a letdown.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Mystery! – "Mrs. Marple, Series IV – They do it with Mirrors."  Yikes.  Can you imagine Miss Marple having a mirror over her bed?  I know that may not be what they're talking about here, but it sounds awfully, awfully fish to me.  Come on, doesn't it? 

10:30 – 11:00PM

Nova – "Anatomy of a Hurricane." How exactly is a hurricane constructed? What exactly is one made of? Oh! I know! The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida can tell us. They can! They can! They did! They did! This is, after all, a repeat; it originally aired back in 2006 and was filmed two years before that.

 

Monday, July 20:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Philadelphia (Hour Three).” I am hoping someone brings in the Liberty Bell — that, or the Rocky Balboa statue. Seriously, how much fun would that be, watching the appraisers take a look at the Liberty Bell, see the huge crack in it and deem it worth about $100? Good times.

9:00 – 10:00PM

History Detectives. They’re back again! Those History Detectives are going to be puzzling out clues, working the scene of the crime, and hoping against hope to solve that greatest mystery of them all: how did Fred Flintstone manage to run fast enough that his big, heavy car started to move? Seriously now, that’s a question about history and one I feel ought to be answered sooner rather than later.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Make 'em Laugh: The Funny Business of America – "Wiseguys and Smart-Alecks: Never give a Sucker an even Break." Herein lies an episode of a six-part PBS miniseries hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris. This week we get to learn all about those hard to love curmudgeons, the Larry Davids of the comedy world.  I don't find Larry David hard to love, but I guess some folks do, maybe someone like Groucho Marx (but I doubt it) who would be one of the smart-alecks the show will cover as well.

 

Tuesday, July 21:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Kings of Camouflage.” Yup, all about army surplus. Wow. Stunning, deafening silence. Bad joke. Not funny. I hereby withdraw it. Mea culpa. This is actually an in-depth investigation into the cuttlefish. The easier joke, the one about cuddling, I will avoid, having already offended your senses in this description.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Nova scienceNOW – "Episode 404."  ScienceNOW is the newest addition to the Nova family and is currently in its fourth season. Episodes in this series look at a variety of topics over the course of a single episode instead of just one thing for the whole hour.  Tonight the show, among other things profiles Tropical Ice Core Man.  How awesome is that?
 

10:00 – 11:30PM

P.O.V. – “The Betrayal (Nerakhoon).”  This Academy Award-nominated bad boy is all about Thavisouk Phrasavath's escape to America and the family he found here.  It, I'm told, took 23 years to film.  See, that's incredible, I would have thought that working on the film for 23 years would have definitely earned the award. 

 

Wednesday, July 22:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Time Team America – "New Philadelphia, Illinois."  Another week and another episode.  This time out, our team has three days… only three days… to discover everything they can about "Free Frank" McWorter, a freed slave, and the town he founded.  Can the team accomplish their mission?  I'm betting they can.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Ascent of Money - "Risky Business." Songs have been written.  Movies made.  Stars signed on with the sheer promise of.  Okay, this doesn't have—directly—to do with that.  No, instead, this is all about how the system of global finance has evolved.  This is episode two of four.  Seriously?  Only four episodes?  Don't people go to school for years to figure this out?

10:00 – 11:00PM

Wide Angle – "The Market Maker."  See, now this is an economic show.  This week the series is in East Africa learning all about the "markets-based solution" to end hunger an economist came up with.  Aaron Brown hosts.  I wonder if he travels to East Africa or remains in the studio. 
 

Thursday, July 23:

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 – “Philadelphia (Hour Three).” I am hoping someone brings in the Liberty Bell — that, or the Rocky Balboa statue. Seriously, how much fun would that be, watching the appraisers take a look at the Liberty Bell, see the huge crack in it and deem it worth about $100? Good times.  

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage – "Fall Out Boy." The description I have talks about "stadium rock riffs" and "anthem choruses."  I love that sort of thing.  Stadium rock.  Anthem choruses.  Who could not like that.  Go Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Andy Hurley, and Joe Trohman.

Friday, July 24:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4904. 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 – 9:00PM

NOW on PBS #530.  It’s the Emmy award-winning weekly news magazine. 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 #1315. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,315th 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 – 11:00PM

Inside – "Rio Carnaval.”  Her name is Rio and she dances on the… no, that can't be right, can it?  My understanding is that Carnaval is kind of like that Mardi Gras thing they do in New Orleans, but that in Rio they do it right.  Right?

 

Saturday, July 25:

11:00PM – 12:00AM

Austin City Limits – "Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings/Carolyn Wonderland." Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, it seems, have a "modern take on classic soul and funk." Carolyn Wonderland has an "incendiary blend of rock, blues and soul." Modern takes? Incendiary blends? Is nothing traditional anymore?

 

Let's assume for a minute that it wouldn't fit in the amphitheatre spot in Magic Kingdom (or that they don't want to remove that as they have plans for it).  Well, in that case I wonder if there's not space between the Beauty & the Beast Show and the Fantasmic amphitheatre at Hollywood Studios.  The big problem there is that it might be the only attraction in the area.  How to fix that…. How to fix that… we'll just have to come up with some other ride to go there too, won't we?

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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.