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PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of June 10

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Another week is upon us and I’m staying strong in my quest to become a Disney Imagineer.  This, if you read last week’s listings, is something I’ve wanted for a long time, and it’s something I’m going to redouble my efforts in order to achieve.  Maybe I’ll even retriple them.  Why would I be a good Imagineer, you ask?  Well, that’s a fair question.  Outside of an undying love for Disney, it’s parks, hotels, and all the ancillary material, I have experience in the realm of film and television, and, tend to think that have the ability to write.  Here, see how good I use my words:

Sunday, June 10th:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Pale Male”.  Nerds.  This show is all about nerds.  Yeah, if nerds were red-tailing hawks.  One specific red-tail hawk actually that lived in Manhattan.  He mated and there were then baby hawks (kind of like baby nerds). 

9:00 – 11:00PM

Mystery!  “Jericho, Series II. I must remind you that this Jericho is not the same as the CBS show, Jericho.  I understand, it can be very confusing to have two shows with similar names, but they are not the same show.  Please do try and remember that.  That and CBS cancelled the other Jericho.

 

Monday, June 11th:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow –  “Memphis (Hour Two)”.  First up in Memphis:  a 35 year old peanut butter and banana sandwich, stolen from Graceland.  Second up:  a TCB thunderbolt, stolen from Graceland.  Third up:  a velvet Elvis, that’s right, stolen from Graceland.    

9:00 – 10:30PM

America at a Crossroads – “Kansas to Kandahar”.  Because this country has a short memory, I will remind you that Kandahar is in Afghanistan.  We invaded Afghanistan a few years ago.  Viewers here will follow the experiences of a Chinook helicopter pilot from… Kansas.  You know, when he goes to Kandahar.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Encore!  With James Conlon – “Being it or Playing It?”.  Actually I think that is most easily answered by going back to an old favorite of mine, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Therein they argued that you shouldn’t dream it, you should be it.

 

Tuesday, June 12th:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Jewel of the Earth”.  A look at Dino DNA with the brother of the guy that played the head of the Dino-cloning people in Jurassic Park who apparently looks into these sorts of things for a living.  Nice.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – “The Lost Year in Iraq”.  Originally airing last fall, this piece looks at the way the U.S. and Paul Bremer tried, and thus far, failed, to build a new and different Iraq following our invasion. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

Rhythm of my Soul:  Kentucky Roots Music.  This show tells the story of country, gospel, mountain, and bluegrass music.  These types of music can also be thought of as having Kentucky roots.  See, that’s how they got the name.  There are even clips of Bill Monroe, Loretta Lynn, and Ricky Skaggs.

  

Wednesday, June 13th:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – “Killer Flu”.  A bunch of scientists, led by Jeffrey Taubenberger (yes, you heard me right, Jeffrey Taubenberger) set out to figure out all about the ridiculously deadly 1918 flu.  They analyze, they study, the try and reach conclusions.    

9:00PM – 12:45AM

State Legislature.  In this film by Fred Wiseman the inner workings of the Idaho State Legislature are revealed.  I imagine that this whole thing totally and completely revolves around the potato crop — how many potatoes are there this year, how many potatoes will there be next year, can we make more potatoes, has anyone thought of making furniture out of potatoes, how hard is it to really get vodka from a potato, potato, potato, potato.  Weird Al has a song about spuds too. 

 

Thursday, June 14th:

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 –  “Memphis (Hour Two)”.  First up in Memphis:  a 35 year old peanut butter and banana sandwich, stolen from Graceland.  Second up:  a TCB thunderbolt, stolen from Graceland.  Third up:  a velvet Elvis, that’s right, stolen from Graceland.   

10:00 – 11:00PM 

Soundstage (2006-2007) – “Rob Thomas”.  This series showcases new performances by cool beans artists.  As indicated in the episode title, up this time is Rob Thomas.  You know, Matchbox 20, he’s kind of popular.  Really?  You’ve never heard of him.  Okay then. 

 

Friday, June 15th:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4650.  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 #324.  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 #1110 – 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 – “Killer Flu”.  A bunch of scientists, led by Jeffrey Taubenberger (yes, you heard me right, Jeffrey Taubenberger) set out to figure out all about the ridiculously deadly 1918 flu.  They analyze, they study, the try and reach conclusions.

 

Saturday, June 16th:

9:00 – 10:0PM

Austin City Limits – “Ryan Adams/Tift Merritt”.  I love that song, Summer of ’69.  You know the one:  Got my first real six-string, bought it at the five and dime, played it till my fingers bled, was the summer of ’69.  Me and some guys from school, had a band and we tried real hard, Jimmy quit, Jodie got married, we should’ve known we’d never get… wait, that’s Bryan Adams.  This is Ryan Adams.  Never mind.

 

Was that not convincing enough to put me in the running for Imagineer-dom?  Well, then I’d ask you to go back and re-read it and see if you’re convinced yet.  If not, try again, and again, and again.  And, if that doesn’t work, come back and read this column again next week, because I hereby vow to you that I will continue using my opening and closing paragraphs to try and convince someone who knows someone who knows someone who was once an Imagineer to talk to me about getting my foot in the door.  

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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.