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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of November 15

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I'm not going to lie to you, I'm a little nervous about my pecan pie.  It's a big thing making it, and I can't imagine that I'll be particularly amused if it doesn't work out.  The big question I have at this point is the crust.  You see, I have to imagine a well done homemade crust tastes better a store bought one, and yet, I think that it is also easier to destroy the whole pie due to the crust than any other piece of the pie.

 

Sunday, November 15:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – "Fellowship of the Whales."  Those poor whales.  You see, they're the last group of things that can stop the encroaching of the evil plankton.  The nine whales have to bring the kelp to the underwater mountain of doom.  The plankton, for his part, is amassing all the evil forces that he can possibly manage, bringing in armies from the North and other far off lands.  Oh yes, it's true.

9:00 – 11:00PM

Masterpiece Contemporary – "Collision."  There once was a movie named Crash.  It dealt with a crash or two or three in Los Angeles.  This should not be confused with that, this tells the story of 10 different people involved in a huge road accident, but not a crash, a collision.  Maybe that movie was based on this one.  Maybe vice versa.  Maybe they actually have nothing to do with each other.  I just don't know.

 

Monday, November16:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Louisville (Hour Three)." I imagine that this city is going to be a home run for the series. They're really going to knock one out of the park here. They're going to put a few runs on the board by going yard. They're going to, unquestionably, get the long ball working here. In short, they're going to be Sluggers. 

9:00 – 10:00PM

American Experience – "The 1930s – Surviving the Dust Bowl."  In the third portion of a five-part American Experience experience, the 1930s continue to unwind.  Oh, don't let this title fool you however, the bowl of dust isn't like the kind of bowl you eat cereal in (or even soup), it's actually a place. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

Documenting the Face of America. Is it some sort of special photography week? Well, maybe not this week, but perhaps it was the first time the episode, which deals with New Deal photographers, aired.  That's right, this is the second New Deal show in a row tonight.  Maybe it's a New Deal week.

 

Tuesday, November 17:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova - "Becoming Human (Part 3)."  Alan Thicke stars in this… I do that too often, don't I?  Sometimes I can't help it, I apologize.  This three-part special is all about all the various discoveries currently taking place that are changing the picture we have of how we became human.  And no, the evolution is still present in that picture, mostly because evolution is a reality.  I'd say I'm sorry about that, but I'm not.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – "A Death in Tehran."  As you know if you watched a single moment of television news over the summer, huge protests over the Iranian election.  One woman happened to be killed on the streets of Tehran while a cameraphone was on her.  Her name was Neda Soltani and her death helped fuel outrage.  What happened to her?  What was the result?  Learn more about it here.

10:00 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens – "No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos."  You ought to know these names – Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond.  No, you don't them?  How about Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Deer Hunter, Easy Rider, Deliverance?  These two men, who both escaped the Hungarian Revolution, helped make those films possible (at least one of them for each of the films, anyway).

 

Wednesday, November 18:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Secrets of Shangri-La.  There is a portion of the kingdom of Mustang (I'm told the kingdom is legen- wait for it – dary) there lies an area outsiders weren't allowed in.  They are now and consequently some scientists have descended upon it and gone into a bunch of caves and found several old drawings and remains and texts.  Have they learned more about Shangri-la?  Maybe, just maybe.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Lost Caves Temples of the Himalaya.  Do you see the above bit where I talk about Shangri-La and the kingdom of Mustang and the caves?  Yes, well, from the description I have this seems to deal with the exact same trip, except perhaps it is somewhat more focused on the explorers and explorations than the results of them and their grander meanings.

10:00 – 10:30PM

Mustang – Journey of Transformation.  Richard Gere narrates this story of the kingdom of Mustang and which features the Dalai Lama.  Yes, the kingdom of Mustang again.  And, yes, Richard Gere.  Well, come on now, it has to have Richard Gere, it deals with the Dalai Lama.

10:30 – 11:00PM

In Search of Myths & Heroes – "Shangri-La."  Noticed a theme, have you?  Yes, it's Shangri-La/Tibert/kingdom of Mustang night here on PBS.  This specific episode comes from a series of journeys taken by Michael Wood.

 

Thursday, November 19:

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 – "Louisville (Hour Three)."  I imagine that this city is going to be a home run for the series. They're really going to knock one out of the park here. They're going to put a few runs on the board by going yard. They're going to, unquestionably, get the long ball working here. In short, they're going to be Sluggers. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

The Story of India – "The Power of Ideas."  Michael Woods heads on a journey – and takes us along – through the history of the subcontinent.  He examines the people, the place, and the culture.  The second episode of this repeat series explores The Age of the Buddha.

 

Friday, November 20:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4920. 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 #547.  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 #1331 It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,331st 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

Secrets of Shangri-La.  There is a portion of the kingdom of Mustang (I'm told the kingdom is legen- wait for it – dary) there lies an area outsiders weren't allowed in.  They are now and consequently some scientists have descended upon it and gone into a bunch of caves and found several old drawings and remains and texts.  Have they learned more about Shangri-la?  Maybe, just maybe.

 

Saturday, November 21:

11:00PM – 12:00AM

Austin City Limits – "Pearl Jam."  I type a lot.  I don't know if you've noticed that, but I do.  Consequently, I find myself hitting backspace on a regular basis.  I don't think that makes me a backspacer necessarily, but perhaps it does.  I might have to ask Pearl Jam.  I assume that they know something about backspacers as their brand new album is entitled… that's right, Backspacer.

 

So there it is – homemade crust or store bought?  In the end, I tend to think that the best thing to do would be a dry run, to make a pie (or two or three) prior to Thanksgiving, get a feel for the crust, the innards, attempt to suss the whole thing out in advance.  I don't really want to do that though, making more pies means eating more pies, and that just doesn't seem like the right way to go.

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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.