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PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of May 27

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Ah, Memorial Day Weekend! The unofficial start of summer. I love it! Beaches, swimming pools, airfare is now more expensive than anything I could ever dream of affording. Tons of kids running around and screaming and stopping me from doing my thing. Yup, that’s summer. But, seriously, it’s fun, it’s awesome, and there’s very little chance of snow. And that is what I’m thankful for. Wait, that’s the wrong holiday, isn’t it?

Sunday, May 27:

8:00 – 9:30PM

National Memorial Day Concert (2007). Tomorrow’s Memorial Day, so today is a concert for it. You see, really, it’s all Memorial Day Weekend. That’s just how it is. This particular event for this weekend is co-hosted by Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna.

9:30 – 10:00PM

Air Group 16: We Came to Remember. A documentary on Air Group 16, who served on the Lexington in the Pacific Theater. This doc follows a reunion of veterans and their families. Not to fear though, there’s archival footage, too.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Bill Moyers Journal – “From D-Day to the Rhine”. A rebroadcast that features an examination of the end of the war in Europe during World War II, following the events from D-Day to when the Allies got to the Rhine.

Monday, May 28:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Omaha (Hour Three)”. Now, I know you know that I know that you know about Antiques Roadshow, which only leaves the question, what do you know about Omaha (steaks don’t count)? All I know about Omaha is steak, because that’s what I ate the night I spent in Omaha. The place was great, sawdust on the floor, country music on the jukebox, beer on tap. Not really your antiquey kind of digs.

9:00 – 10:000PM

American Experience – “The Berlin Airlift”. Wow, how ego-centric of us. This is part of the “American” experience, not you know, the German experience, or the European experience. It’s funny, because I always thought Berlin was in Germany. Oh, I don’t disagree that the U.S. played a major roll in the airlift, but it still seems odd.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – “Dogfight Over Guadalcanal”. The World War II hits just keep on coming as this special rebroadcast of a Secrets of the Dead episode focuses on the Battle of Guadalcanal and a dogfight between a Japanese and an American pilot in the summer of 1942.

Tuesday, May 29:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova - “Volcano Above the Clouds”. Back in 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted. It was a bad thing. Could Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro suffer the same fate, destroying lands for hundreds of square miles around it? I think it should be circular miles, but maybe not.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Independent Lens – “The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill”. Okay everybody, get your fins up! She came down from Cincinnati, took her three days on a train, looking for some piece and quiet, hope to see the sun again… or, apparently, not, as this seems to be about St. Francis and not Senor Jimmy.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Encore! With James Conlon – “Plato or Aristotle?”. I don’t get this series. I just don’t. Last week it was Dionysus or someone else, this week it’s a Greek philosopher vs. another Greek philosopher. And, it all looks back at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas.

Wednesday, May 30:

8:00 – 11:00PM

Craft in America – Three hour long episodes: “Memory/Landscape/Community”. Ah, the craft movement. It impacted the United States in more ways than you could possibly understand and or imagine. Luckily, these three hours tonight are going to help point out the vast number of shortcomings in your education. Thank PBS. Get down on your hands and knees and thank PBS now.

Thursday, May 31:

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.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Omaha (Hour Three)”. Now, I know you know that I know that you know about Antiques Roadshow, which only leaves the question, what do you know about Omaha (steaks don’t count)? All I know about Omaha is steak, because that’s what I ate the night I spent in Omaha. The place was great, sawdust on the floor, country music on the jukebox, beer on tap. Not really your antiquey kind of digs.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Churchill – “The Last Prize”. This episode follows the man, the myth, the legend, from 1944 to his death in 1965. Churchill was booted from office shortly after the end of the War but returned to lead England again in 1951 before having a stroke in 1953 and resigning in 1955. This episode looks far more in depth at this period than I just did.

Friday, June 1:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4648. 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 chocolate ice cream.

8:30 – 9:00PM

NOW #323. It’s the Emmy award-winning weekly newsmagazine. 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!

9:00 – 10:00PM

Bill Moyers Journal #1108 – It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,108th 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).

10:00PM – 11:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – “Dogfight Over Guadalcanal”. The World War II hits just keep on coming as this special rebroadcast of a Secrets of the Dead episode focuses on the Battle of Guadalcanal and a dogfight between a Japanese and an American pilot in the summer of 1942.

Saturday, June 2:

9:00 – 10:0PM

Austin City Limits – “Damien Rice/Patty Griffin”. Rice is Irish, Griffin isn’t. That doesn’t mean that they don’t both sing and write intense, personal songs. It also doesn’t mean that they’re not compatible. In fact, I’d say that they are. I think these two people will make for an interesting night of music. No? You think I’m wrong? Well, just watch and find out.

It’s June. It's June. The very merry month of June. Damn! That’s not right either, that’s a May song, not a June song. First I get my holidays wrong, and now I’m singing a show tune incorrectly. What’s wrong with me? I’m distressed by this, that’s all I can tell you. I’m going to be sleeping, wake me up for Labor day.

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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.