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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of November 22

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I'm not going to get into it, but the pecan pie thing is done, and it's not done.  It's one of those things that has to do with the difference in time between my writing this and your reading it.  What I'm going to tell you next is true, however, or, at the very least, it will be true.  The pecan pie went really well, not perfectly, but really well.  Why?  Read on, MacDuff.

 

Sunday, November 22:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – "The Cheetah Orphans.” After two cheetahs are orphaned a documentary filmmaker just happens to adopt them. He plans on returning them to the wild, but will he or will he grow too attached? Either way, he'll be able to make a film about it and pocket some change.

9:00 – 10:30PM

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.

10:30 – 11:00PM

PBS Previews: National Parks. Soon, but not yet, PBS will airing a Ken Burns special all about our national parks. Apparently he thinks they were one of America’s best ideas. I know that because “America’s Best Idea” is the subtitle for the series. I’m like Sherlock Holmes.

 

Monday, November 23:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Relative Riches."  Did your grandmother once tell you that her great-great-granduncle got your favorite footstool from his grandfather, IKEA?  It may or may not be true.  This episode takes a look at some allegedly ancient and certainly handed down under the auspices of being so "antiques."  Find out if said objects were in fact antiques. 

9:00 – 10:00PM

American Experience – "The 1930s – Seabiscuit."  In the fourth portion of a five-part American Experience experience, the 1930s continue to unspool.  This particular episode deals with that thing Spider-Man rode (but I never actually bought that he was on a horse), you know, Seabiscuit.  Seriously, have you seen the movie? 

10:00 – 11:00PM

Elbert Hubbard: An American Original.   PBS' obsession with the Craft Movement, continues!  I don't know why they spend so much time on the Craft Movement (perhaps if I watched more of the shows I would).  Hubbard was actually the guy responsible for founding the Roycroft artisan community in East Aurora, NY.  I know, I can tell, you're excited.

 

Tuesday, November 24:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova - "What are Dreams?"  I think everyone should know the answer to this, my daughter certainly does.  A dream is a wish your heart makes when you're fast asleep.  In dreams you can lose your heartache, whatever you wish for you keep.  Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow will come smiling thru…

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – "The Card Game."  Back in the day (which I'm counting as being at least one week ago), Lowell Bergman did a whole thing on the secret history of the credit card.  Well, now that the laws have changed and the economy has tanked, just how are the credit card companies going to eek out a living?  That's a great question, I'm glad you asked.  I'm not going to tell you though, you're going to have to watch if you want to know.

10:00 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens – "Objectified."  This is in fact not about sex, at least not solely about sex, it's about how we as individuals, a society, as people interact with manufactured objects – cell phones, toothbrushes, couches, that sort of thing.  Don't kid yourself, we all have a relationship with stuff, so maybe you should learn just how it works.

 

Wednesday, November 25:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – "Mumbai Massacre."  One year ago, terrorists descended on the city of Mumbai.  We all followed it on TV over the course of the 60 hours during which it unfolded.  It was, according to this episode, an attack made possible by stuff like cell phones and text messages and other forms of modern technology. 

9:00 – 10:30PM

American Masters – "Woody Guthrie."  All my description for this says is that Guthrie's music has been recorded by folks like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and U2.  I'm going to guess that we're going to get some of those performances, probably that and we'll learn more about Woody Guthrie himself.  Maybe even Arlo.

 10:30 – 11:00PM

PBS Previews: National Parks. Soon, but not yet, PBS will airing a Ken Burns special all about our national parks. Apparently he thinks they were one of America’s best ideas. I know that because “America’s Best Idea” is the subtitle for the series. I’m like Sherlock Holmes.

 

Thursday, November 26:

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

Great Performances – "Sting: A Winter's Night."  This performance was recorded at Durham Cathedral near Sting's hometown of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the north of England.  Oh yes, it's true.  And, if what we've all heard about Sting is true this performance, even though it's in winter, could go all night long.  Okay, old joke, but it works.

10:00 – 11:00PM

The Story of India – "Spice Routes and Silk Roads." 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 episode this evening delves into India in the days of the Roman empire.  Watch and learn exactly what happened.

 

Friday, November 27:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4921. 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 #548.  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 #1332 It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,332nd 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 the Dead – "Mumbai Massacre."  One year ago, terrorists descended on the city of Mumbai.  We all followed it on TV over the course of the 60 hours during which it unfolded.  It was, according to this episode, an attack made possible by stuff like cell phones and text messages and other forms of modern technology.

 

Saturday, November 28:

11:00PM – 12:00AM

Austin City Limits – "Tribute to Bluesman Jimmy Reed". Jimmie Vaughan and company pay tribute to Jimmy Reed, who was a composer of blues songs. Maybe it'll even have Jimmie Someone too, and Jimmy Even. That way it'll cover its Jimmy base.

 

The reason it worked is my secret ingredient – chocolate.  You see, I didn't make a pecan pie as much as I made a chocolate pecan pie.  You know it, I know it, everyone knows it – chocolate makes everything better.  I never understood (and refuse to believe) that more people prefer chocolate vanilla to chocolate.  Sacrilege, I tell you, sacrilege.

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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.