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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of August 16

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Holy macaroni, the summer is almost finished, nearly finished, practically finished, its finish is nigh.  I have no idea where it went.  What did I do?  Where did I go?  Nowhere fast.  Nowhere slow either.  Oh, I'm not complaining, I'm just telling the truth.  I did however spend some hard time on The Rock.

 

Sunday, August 16:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Horse and Rider." There's a certain bond that has to exist between horses and their riders, or, if you prefer, riders and their horses. That's actually an interesting question. Does the horse choose the rider or the rider the horse? I don't know if the show will answer that question, but it should.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Mystery! – "Inspector Lewis, Series I – Old School Ties."  For those of you not steeped in British police drama culture, "Inspector Lewis" is a spinoff off of "Inspector Morse."  For his series, Lewis heads to Oxford to solve crimes.  I'll certainly be watching (or will have watched it already depending on how things work out).

 10:30 – 11:00PM

Atchafalaya Houseboat. Now that is great name, Atchafalaya. For those of you who are unaware, Atchafalaya is a swamp in Louisiana which measures a million acres. A writer, Gwen Roland, built a houseboat by hand 30 years ago. Wow. She's like the Noah of Louisiana.

 

Monday, August 17:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow  – "Los Angeles (Hour Two)".  Did you know that there was a time I lived in Los Angeles.  It's strange, but true, I lived there.  It's quite the movie town, everyone seems to be an actor or a writer or a producer.  It's all quite fascinating.  Plus, just about everyone has some sort of movie memorabilia.  I wonder if that's what we're going to see on the Roadshow, a Marilyn Monroe-signed bottle of Chanel, that sort of thing.

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

Objects and Memory.  I'm not quite sure who or how, but what this show has done is take items recovered from the events of September 11 and "other national tragedies" and shown them to people in order to examine the response.  They also explore exactly why it is that people value the objects they value.

 

Tuesday, August 18:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – "Hunting the Hidden Dimension". When I was a but a lad we had this fractals program on our computer. My understanding is that a fractal is a picture that describes a mathematical equation. Of course, my understanding is probably incredibly flawed. Happily, that's exactly where Nova comes in — they're going to correct my understanding and quite possibly yours, too.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Nova scienceNOW – "Episode 406."  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 tailor-made algae cells.  No, not TaylorMade, tailor-made.

10:00 – 11:30PM  

P.O.V. – “P.O.V. Shorts Program.”  It's a big night people, a big night!  We're getting not one, not two, not three, but four, that's right four P.O.V. shorts.  That's like four times the fun, four times the enjoyment, four times the learning.  Essentially, I think what we're really talking about here is getting four times the points of view.

 

Wednesday, August 19:

8:00 – 10:00PM

Time Team Special Edition.  Remember that great show, Time Team America?  Well, it turns out that Time Team America is based on Time Team from England.  This two-hour doozy of a special is said British version of the show, however, oddly in the first part of this special the Time Team is going to the United States.  Weird. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

Wide Angle – “TBA.”
 

Thursday, August 20:

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  – "Los Angeles (Hour Two)".  Did you know that there was a time I lived in Los Angeles.  It's strange, but true, I lived there.  It's quite the movie town, everyone seems to be an actor or a writer or a producer.  It's all quite fascinating.  Plus, just about everyone has some sort of movie memorabilia.  I wonder if that's what we're going to see on the Roadshow, a Marilyn Monroe-signed bottle of Chanel, that sort of thing.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Chasing Churchill: In Search of My Grandfather – "The Other Country." Celia Sandys is the granddaughter of one Winston Churchill. Well, not "one" Winston Churchill as much as "the" Winston Churchill. In this three part-series, Celia looks at her grandfather's art and literature in attempt to better understand the man she traveled with (or so I'm told) towards the end of his life. 

 

Friday, August 21:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4908. 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 #534.  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 #1319. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,319th 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 – "Air Show.”  That's actually quite a misleading title, you see, this isn't about an air show, it's about the air show, AirVenture Oshkosh.  That's the largest air show on the planet, more than 10,000 aircraft are there, more than half a million people attend.  Want to learn more?  I think you know what you have to do.

 

Saturday, August 22:

11:00PM – 12:00AM

Austin City Limits – "Nick Lowe/The Swell Season:  Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova."  If you ask me, and I assume you do, the "swell season" just ended about a month ago.  I'm not saying that Oscar-winners Hansard and Irglova aren't swell too, I'm just saying that for me, the swell season is Christmas time and the ever-popular National Forget Your Family, Love Your Television Day. 

 

You see, over the course of my summer vacation I actually got to go see Alcatraz, somewhere I've always wanted to go and until this summer never got to.  I live on the West Coast now and consequently, as a semi-local, I'm told we don't go to The Rock.  Of course, I spent the first few decades of my life in and around New York, which means I haven't done the Statue of Liberty either… maybe if I ever take a trip back that way I'll manage to fit it into my touristy schedule.  Only time will tell.

 

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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.