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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of October 4

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It is October.  Well and truly October.  Not only does that mean that we're that much closer to the Winter – a time of year I truly despise – it also means that I'm heading to New York for my annual pilgrimage.  I'm not going to be there until the fifth, but I think it's okay for me to let the cat out of the bag at this point.


Sunday, October 4:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Supersize Crocs.” I can only hope that these are the kind that you flush down the sewers if you live in New York City and have them grow up to be huge man-eating things. Or was that an alligator? Is there really a difference? Does it matter?

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Mystery! – "Inspector Lewis, Series II – The Allegory of Love."  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 (this week there's a Czech barmaid whose death needs investigating).  I'll certainly be watching (or will have watched it already depending on how things work out).

 10:30 – 11:00PM

Ribbon of Sand. Things change. It's the way of the world. It just happens. Things change. Get used to it. In this documentary Meryl Streep tells us all about how things change off the coast of North Carolina, in North Carolina's Outer Banks, to be specific. The sand shifts, the beautiful islands that exist now may not exist in the future. Things change.


Monday, October 5:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Spokane (Hour One)". Wow. I am amazed. This week the Roadshow is in Spokane. Spokane! Washington! Spokane, Washington! Say it with me one time: Spokane, Washington! Spokane, the town that can! Spokane, the town with a plan! Spokane, where a man can be a man! Spokane, where they have lots of old stuff for the Roadshow.

9:00 – 11:00PM

Inventing LA:  The Chandlers and their Times.  No, not Chandler Bing and his lovely wife Monica Geller, this isn't about them.  Plus, those two folks, as great as they were, lived in New York.  It was Joey who unsuccessfully moved to Los Angeles.  This is instead about the family that ran a newspaper called the Los Angeles Times.  You may have heard of it.


Tuesday, October 6:

8:00 – 10:00PM

Nova – "Darwin's Darkest Hour". Were it I, I might suggest that today is Darwin's darkest hour, what with people not accepting his Theory of Evolution (that's right, it's a Theory, not a theory, like my theory that one day I'll figure out how to make a soufflé).  Instead, this is about his decision over whether to go public with his Theory and stars Henry Ian Cusick.

10:00 – 11:00PM

The Buffalo Flows.  See, if you're me, when you here about Buffalo flows you think of Buffalo runs and then you wonder exactly what the Buffalo ate that gave the Buffalo the runs (or flows if you will).  Instead, this is about the Buffalo River and conservation groups wanting to stop the damming of said river.


Wednesday, October 7:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Craft in America – "Origins." I have issues with crafts. I'm not afraid to admit that. In fact, I'll admit it readily. I don't know why I dislike them so much, I just do. I've never been into them and can't imagine I ever will. Stop. I take it all back, this is about the craft movement, and this episode looks at how it all began.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Craft in America – "Process." Oh look, another episode!  Another episode!  I would be more excited, but I don't like crafts (have I mentioned that) and no matter if this is about a movement or not, I can't quite shake the feeling that this has to do with the whole "arts &" variety that I was forced to do back in the day.  You know, about the process of creating what craft folks create.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Art in the Twenty-First Century – "Compassion."  Is there art in the 21st Century?  Is there?  I don't know.  Certainly this show argues that there is, and this week's episode focuses on those artists who explore "conscience and the possibility of understanding and reconciling past and present."  Yeah, you know, folks like William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo, and Carrie Mae Weems.


Thursday, October 8:

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 – "Spokane (Hour One)". Wow. I am amazed. This week the Roadshow is in Spokane. Spokane! Washington! Spokane, Washington! Say it with me one time: Spokane, Washington! Spokane, the town that can! Spokane, the town with a plan! Spokane, where a man can be a man! Spokane, where they have lots of old stuff for the Roadshow.

10:00 – 11:00PM

The Power of the Poor.  A small – and possibly humble (I couldn't say) – group of economists managed to defeat the Shining Path in Peru.  They got the government to make reforms, they angered people.  The show reveals how "corruption and bureaucracy" have combined to keep huge numbers of people down and out.  How exactly?  You'd like to know, wouldn't you?  You'll have to watch to find out.


Friday, October 9:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4914. 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 Double Dutch Chocolate ice cream.

8:30 – 9:00PM

NOW on PBS #541.  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 #1325. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,325th 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

Unnatural Causes:  Is Inequality Making Us Sick?  – "In Sickness and in Wealth."  In this country the rich tend to be more healthy.  That's not the case everywhere, and there are in fact many countries far more poor than ours where everyone is far more healthy.  Why is that?  What is it that we're doing wrong?  Is it the lawsuits?  Is it the cost of meds?  Is it something totally and completely different?


Saturday, October 10:

11:00PM – 12:00AM

Austin City Limits – "Ben Harper and Relentless7."  Oh man, it's not just Ben Harper here – I mean, Ben Harper is great all by himself, but still – it's also his brand-spanking new band, Relentless7.  Are there seven of them?  Are they relentless?  I'm dying to know, just dying to know.  However, I'm going to have to do just like you and watch it to find out.  I do hope we'll find out. 


Why New York?  Why an annual pilgrimage?  Well, because New York is the land of real pizza (if you can't fold it, it's just bread sauce and cheese – sorry Chicago-types, delicious yes, but not really pizza) and bagels.  What could be better than that? Well, there's post-season baseball, but I'm not counting any chickens until they hatch.



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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.