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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of February 14

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Some have suggested that it's ludicrous to move to New York for the bagels.  I don't want to say that they're wrong, but perhaps they haven't fully considered the issue.  Bagels aren't just bagels, bagels are so much more than that.  Bagels – at least bagels in New York – can be bought with lox and a schmear at just about any place that sells bagels.  And, the odds are it'll be great.

 

Sunday, February 14:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “In the Valley of the Wolves.” This episode takes place in Yellowstone National Park. Now, if you set an episode in Yellowstone National park, don't you make it about Yogi and Boo-boo not a bunch of wolves? The wolves may be really important, but they don't do the whole picnic basket thing.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Classic – "Northanger Abbey."  Do you remember 2008?  I know that it was a long time ago, but back then PBS did this thing they called "The Complete Jane Austen."  This was originally aired then.  We imagine though, being based on a far older novel, that it has aged well.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Yellowstone: Land to Life. Forget the land, it's all about the pic-i-nic baskets (provided that darn Ranger doesn't stop Yogi and Boo Boo from getting them). Actually, I shouldn't jest, this special was filmed over the course of two years and covers every season (perhaps twice) in the park.

 

Monday, February 15:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Madison (Hour One)."  Madison, Wisconsin.  Is there a more picturesque city than Madison, Wisconsin?  Seriously, we've never been there before, but we've heard things.  Are they true?  Is the city filled old, but potential beautiful and expensive things?  Will they tell us tonight?

9:00 – 11:30PM

The Kennedys:  American Experience.  I actually think that the story of the Kennedys is terribly un-American.  Very few of us can possibly hope to achieve some of the wonderful moments that the Kennedys have experienced.  And, very few of us will have to experience tragedies as great as theirs either.  Still, the story is a fascinating one.

 

Tuesday, February 16:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Extreme Ice.”  Stop, collaborate, and listen.  Ice is certainly back, and this is certainly a brand new edition (except that it's apparently a repeat).  No longer is ice vanilla though, now ice is chocolate (chocolate being more extreme than vanilla).  Just watch this photojournalist and team of scientists show you what we mean.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – "The Warning."   There are lots of different warnings out there.  There are warnings about heat waves, cold snaps, hurricanes, bad movies.  Was there however a warning about the economic meltdown?  Was there something we missed?  Did Roger Ebert know about it before the rest of us?

 10:00 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens – "Mine/Home."  You may be tempted to believe that this is all about a bunch of dwarves who live in a mine.  It isn't.  Now, while you may be shocked by that, please try and pay attention when I tell you that these are actually both Katrina-related stories.  There are two different stories, but they're related… and without dwarves.

 

Wednesday, February 17:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. – "Becoming American."  The series is going to be using DNA testing and genealogical research to help tell the stories of 12 famous Americans.  Gates and company are going to be doing that over the course of four episodes and will delve into the history of people like Stephen Colbert and his Irish great-great-grandfather.

9:00 – 11:00PM

The National Parks: America's Best Idea – “Going Home (1920-1933).” In part four of this massive Ken Burns documentary we get to hear all about how Margaret and Edward Gehrke went traveling from park to park to park, "collecting" them. And, we'll also learn about John D. Rockefeller Jr. quietly buying land in the Teton Mountain Range in order to stop folks from destroying it. His plan, as his family already had a fortune, was to donate it to the government.

 

Thursday, February 18:

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.

9:30 – 10:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Madison (Hour One)."  Madison, Wisconsin.  Is there a more picturesque city than Madison, Wisconsin?  Seriously, we've never been there before, but we've heard things.  Are they true?  Is the city filled old, but potential beautiful and expensive things?  Will they tell us tonight?

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage – "Faith Hill, Greatest Hits."  Faith Hill.  Faith Hill, Faith Hill, Faith Hill, Faith Hill.  Try it, it's fun to say.  Faith Hill.  See?  Anyways, Faith'll is going to be playing songs from her greatest hits album, and Faith'll be doing it with a full orchestra.  We have faith it'll be a great time.

 

Friday, February 19:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4933. 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 #608.  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 #1343.  It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,343rd 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

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.

 

Saturday, February 20:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – “R.E.M.” OMG!  I love those guys.  I remember when I first heard "Orange Crush" and saw the video that accompanied it.  I didn't get it (I was young), but I liked it.  Well, the band is back and promoting their new (well, new when this episode premiered back in May of 2008) album, Accelerate.  Maybe it's up-tempo, who knows.

 

I don't want to hear any crazy ideas about how maybe, just maybe, to me the bagels represent something more – family or tradition or some such nonsense.  The bagels represent nothing more than a delicious breakfast treat, something that can be eaten with lox and a schmear or with sausage (or bacon) and egg and cheese.  There's just something wonderful about them and totally worth moving 2,800 miles.

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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.