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PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of July 1

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As Imagineer Quest 2007 continues, I’d like to reaffirm my resolve. Every opening and closing section of these PBS recaps will be devoted to getting someone who knows an Imagineer or who knows how I can become an Imagineer (besides simply filling out the form on the web, which I’ve done) to talk to me. There is little in this world that I want more (the health of friends and family is of the utmost importance, of course) than to be an Imagineer. It’s just one of those things. These are the people that make the magic happen, and I want to be a part of it.

 

Sunday, July 1:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “A Mystery in Alaska”. See, this title is a clever play on the movie Mystery, Alaska. Do you understand what Nature is doing here? They’re referencing a not terribly popular movie because at the time the episode went into production no one knew that the movie wouldn’t be terribly popular. It’s a play on words that negatively impacts the episode, but that could have helped had the movie done better (needless to say, this episode is a repeat).

9:00 – 10:30PM

Mystery! “Foyle’s War, Series IV”. Ah, that popular World War II whodunit is back, still starring Michael Kitchen as our titular hero. He’s fighting his own battle against murder, mystery, and betrayal on the south coast of England.

10:30 – 11:00PM

TBA

 

Monday, July 2:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Reno (Hour Two)”. I’m not going to go out and say openly that Reno has nothing of value in it, but, if the shoe fits. Maybe that’s what they have, old shoes that somehow fit. That could be of value, right? Maybe they’re ruby slippers. Those are shoes that apparently fit, are old, and of value.

9:00 – 10:00PM

History Detectives. They’re back again this week! Those History Detectives are going to be puzzling out clues, working the scene of the crime, and hoping against hope to solve that greatest mystery of them all: how did Fred Flintstone manage to run fast enough that his big, heavy car started to move? Seriously now, that’s a question about history and one I feel ought to be answered sooner rather than later.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Simon Schama’s Power of Art – “Bernini”. Bernini!?! BALOGNA!!! This once disgraced painter made an astounding comeback with "The Ecstasy of St. Theresa". Frankly, I think that’s a more miraculous finish than the Immaculate Reception, which as we all know is equally religious.

 

Tuesday, July 3:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova scienceNOW. In this repeat of the first episode of season two, Neil deGrasse Tyson makes science fun, and he makes it now. Can you imagine anything more “now” than a big old doomsday asteroid the size of the Rose Bowl hitting the Earth? Surely that’s a “now” kind of thing. I bet I could Imagineer our way out of that given the chance.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Wide Angle – “The People’s Court”. Here it is, another instance this week where a PBS show is trading on another well-known mass market brand, in this case the ever-popular court show, The People’s Court. However, rather than having Judge Wapner here, they’re going to discuss China’s legal system. I wonder if that means there’ll be no Doug Llewelyn, too.

10:00 – 11:00PM

P.O.V. - “Standing Silent Nation”. The Lakota Nation planted hemp on their land back in 2000. That’s illegal. They tend to think not, because, as Native Americans, they’re not subject to every law of the U.S. Needless to say, a fight with government ensues.

 

Wednesday, July 4:

8:00 – 9:30PM

A Capitol Fourth. The National Symphony Orchestra will be playing LIVE from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. All I can say is thank goodness it’s the West Lawn, because that Northeast Lawn is just a mess. It’s a mess. I don’t know if they’ve let dogs and pigs and sheep run wild there or what, but it’s absolutely atrocious.

9:30 – 11:00PM

A Capitol Fourth. The National Symphony Orchestra will be playing LIVE from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. All I can say is thank goodness it’s the West Lawn, because that Northeast Lawn is just a mess. It’s a mess. I don’t know if they’ve let dogs and pigs and sheep run wild there or what, but it’s absolutely atrocious. (Yes, they’re re-airing the same episode.)

 

Thursday, July 5:

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 – “Reno (Hour Two)”. I’m not going to go out and say openly that Reno has nothing of value in it, but, if the shoe fits. Maybe that’s what they have, old shoes that somehow fit. That could be of value, right? Maybe they’re ruby slippers. Those are shoes that apparently fit, are old, and of value.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage – “Macy Gray”. I know a family that named their dog Macy Gray, as an homage to the singer. Weird choice? Perhaps. I think I’d rather go with Pongo or Perdita. I think that Pongo and Perdita can sing, too.

 

Friday, July 6:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4701. 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 #327. 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 #1113 – It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,113th 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 – 10:30PM

Exposé: America’s Investigative Reports #203. Each episode in this series focuses on journalistic investigations and the people that went and did them. I think it’s a dying art in this country. Right now we always just seem to go for the cheap and easy news story, and don’t actually bother with too much journalism.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Alan Alda in Scientific American Frontiers – “Going Deep”. Something of a retrospective episode, this half-hour looks at the decades of research that went into creating a submersible that could reach the ocean floor.

 

Saturday, July 7:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – “The Pixies”. They broke up, they got back together, and they did this little gig back in 2005. During it they performed a number of their classics and just had a grand old time.

 

Another week, another set of lessons learned. This week I don’t think they were very hard lessons. Lesson number one, it goes without saying, is that I wish to be an Imagineer. Let’s just focus on that lesson for a minute. I want the opportunity to go out and create stuff like Splash Mountain (one of the best rides around), and the fantastic theming that pervades any and all lines for rides at the Disney Parks, and, the hotels, and the hidden Mickeys. Now that’s an amazing thing, if you don’t know about Hidden Mickeys, this is one of the things you need to learn about. Hidden Mickeys are awesome.

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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.