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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of February 21

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Some have suggested that moving 2,800 miles for bagels is insane. As I pointed out last week, those folks are wrong. Others have suggested that it would be far more intelligent to move to New York for the pizza. Because, as we've discussed before, if you can't fold it, it's not a slice of pizza, but that is a story for another time. The story for this time is the necessity of moving across the country for bagels.

 

Sunday, February 21:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Invasion of the Giant Pythons.” That just sounds fantastic. It would be even better if they were human-eating ones. These particular ones live in the Everglades National Park in Florida and some weigh up to 300 pounds. That is not the sort of python you want to meet in the middle of the night.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Classic – "Persuasion." 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

Remembered Earth: New Mexico's High Desert. Filmmaker John Grabowska and author N. Scott Momaday "present a vision of hope for humankind's relationship to the natural world by interpreting the myth, beauty and power of a scarred but sacred landscape of the American West." Wow, that's quite the mouthful.

 

Monday, February 22:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow - "Madison (Hour Two)." 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 with old, but potentially beautiful and expensive things? Will they tell us tonight?

9:00 – 10:00PM

American Experience – "Amelia Earhart." We all know the story already, and this look at Amelia will bring absolutely nothing new to the table as it originally aired over ten years ago. That doesn't make it bad, just no longer groundbreaking.

10:00 – 11:30PM

American Masters – "Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun". For those unaware, Hurston was a part of the Harlem Renaissance. She wasn't always liked either. That doesn't make her good. It doesn't make her bad, either. It may just make her worth learning about, though.

 

Tuesday, February 23:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova - “Megabeasts' Sudden Death.” In Spring 2008 a scientific team announced that they had figured out about an impact from space that destroyed tons of animal life (more than 34 different types of animals in fact). It's kind of a controversial claim and deals with a comet breaking up over the Great Lakes. Watch, learn more, and decide for yourself.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Frontline - TBA

10:00 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens – "Behind the Rainbow." Maggie Gyllenhaal is here to host this story all about South Africa's political problems. It's actually a previously untold account which means that to this point it hasn't been made public yet… unless, as you know, this is a repeat, because if it's a repeat then the account has already been told.

 

Wednesday, February 24:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. – "Making America." 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 Meryl Streep and Meryl Streep's eighth great-grandfather who fought in Metacom's War.

9:00 – 11:00PM

The National Parks: America's Best Idea – “Great Nature (1933-1945).” In part five of this massive Ken Burns documentary we get to see how the parks provided jobs to those who needed them during the Great Depression. It was done through the Civilian Conservation Corps and not only helped the people but the parks. It was a win-win situation.

 

Thursday, February 25:

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 Two)." 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 with old, but potentially beautiful and expensive things? Will they tell us tonight?

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage – "Willie Nelson." On the road again, his whole life is making music with his friends. Well, maybe Willie is less on the road again than he is on the stage again. He's got his eight piece band with him, and he's ready to play some old standards (isn't he an old standard by now?).

 

Friday, February 26:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4934. 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 #609. 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 #1344. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,344th 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 – "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.

 

Saturday, February 27:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Kenny Chesney." Kenny Chesney, the country singer, takes the stage tonight in this, a brand new (if it's still October 17, 2009) episode. Chesney is going to play his greatest hits, or, anyway, his greatest hits as of October 17, 2009. If he comes out with a new massive success (or has come out with one depending on our time frame) in 2010 or 2011, it won't be included on this episode, it just can't be.

 

You know the other thing New York has? Pastrami, corned beef, roast beef, and generally good deli meats. I fail to understand why anyone would want brownish-grayish roast beef. The very thought of it makes me shudder. And yet, all over the country people eat brownish-grayish roast beef and act like they like it. Do they really enjoy it? They don't, do they? They can't, right?

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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.