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PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of July 8

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One day last week someone asked me why I was doing this whole Imagineer Quest thing. They looked at me and asked if I honestly believed that this Quixotic approach to becoming an Imagineer would garner any sort of notice. I quickly pointed out that the questioner had noticed, and she said it didn’t count, because she’s my wife. I disagree. It totally counts. She doesn’t know any Imagineers, but maybe she’ll meet someone who’ll meet someone who’ll know someone. See, that’s all it takes. You’re reading this whole introductory paragraph right now, so, you’re at least vaguely interested in my Imagineer Quest.

 

Sunday, June 8:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Kalahari: The Great Thirstland.” We’re not actually hugely surprised by the fact that the Kalahari Desert doesn’t contain much water, are we? Is it shocking to imagine that a desert doesn’t contain water? You know what it does have though? Animals. Animals live in the Kalahari and this episode will focus on them.

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

Garden Insects. This thirty minute show features close-up photography and an original score as well as facts about insects, their habitat, and their life cycle. I can’t even imagine spending the hours necessary to get the footage, can you imagine the tedium? Can you imagine scoring the tedium of getting the footage? Or facts about getting the footage? Now that I’d like to see.

 

Monday, July 9:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Reno (Hour Three).” 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. I’ll tell you truly, the idea of making light of this show for another week depresses me. It’s not that they’re doing bad work, it’s just that they way they’re positioning themselves I find truly odd. Up this week: GAR Photograph, Jefferson Pledge, and Dempsey Fight Bell. At least, that’s how they’re titling the segments.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Simon Schama’s Power of Art – “Rembrandt.” You see, this is where assuming things gets you. You hear “Rembrandt” and you think the famous painter. That’s not what the show’s about, it’s about the famous tooth whitening system, and that is an hour I’d pay to watch.

 

Tuesday, July 10:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova scienceNOW. Well, it’s happened, the second season of this show has finally managed to put out its fourth episode, and it’s not quite a year since the second season began. I like that Neil deGrasse Tyson that hosts the show, I think he does a great job, I just think that he and the producers should retitle the series for season three. I’m thinking it should be: Nova scienceEventually.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Wide Angle – “Victory is Your Duty.” An in-depth look at the Havana Boxing Academy, which is where the best boxers in Cuba go to learn their trade, so that they don’t fail against the Italian Stallion quite as miserably as that other famed Cold War fighter, Ivan Drago.

10:00 – 11:00PM

P.O.V. - “Revolution ‘67.” This episode of P.O.V. examines the black urban rebellions of the 1960s, focusing particularly on the six-day Newark, New Jersey one. It seems as though many of the interviewees recall how they learned important lessons from these revolts, only to have them all forgotten down the line.

 

Wednesday, July 11:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Synchronized Swimming: The Pursuit of Excellence. Wow, they made a joke for me, thanks guys!

9:00PM – 10:30PM

American Masters – “Les Paul: Chasing the Sound.” So, a kid from Waukesha, Wisconsin punched new chords into his mother’s piano roll, turned his bedsprings into a radio antenna, and rigged a microphone out of telephone parts in order to get a bigger sound from his acoustic guitar. Really? We’re celebrating vandalism now?

10:30 – 11:00PM

Garden Insects. This thirty minute show features close-up photography and an original score as well as facts about insects, their habitat, and their life cycle. I can’t even imagine spending the hours necessary to get the footage, can you imagine the tedium? Can you imagine scoring the tedium of getting the footage? Or facts about getting the footage? Now that I’d like to see.

 

Thursday, July 12:

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 Three).” 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 (2006-2007) – “Dashboard Confessional – Live From Madison Square Garden.” The band Dashboard Confessional has an opportunity to play The Garden, one of the highest priced venues in the country. Seriously, it’s insane, it’s ludicrous, I can’t imagine why tickets at The Garden should cost so much, but they do. As you have the opportunity to watch this thing on TV and not spend half your annual salary, I highly recommend it.

 

Friday, July 13:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4702. 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 #328. 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, you guys are awesome!

9:00 – 10:00PM

Bill Moyers Journal #1114 – It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,114th 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 #204. 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, we’re all far too interested in the cheap hit than the in-depth story.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Alan Alda in Scientific American Frontiers – “Chimp Minds.” How many movies have there been in which scientists teach chimps to go up into space? It seems to me that there have been several, but none in the last few years. Hey Development Execs, as long as you’re recycling, why not jump on this dying genre? That’s not what the show is about, the show is about how chimps learn, but it’s an idea.

 

Saturday, July 14:

9:00 – 10:0PM

Austin City Limits – “Death Cab for Cutie/My Morning Jacket.” I saw Death Cab for Cutie perform live once. I saw it well before any of you out there knew who they were (okay, before most of you knew). No, I didn’t see it at The Garden. But, even so, I like to think that seeing them oh-so-many a year ago makes me awesome.

 

Okay, so, here’s the Imagineer Quest 2007 plan. You bothered to get this far, so I’m going to assume that you care. Go out tomorrow and tell one person that TV and Film Guy really wants to be an Imagineer. He wants it an incredible amount, and he is steadfast in his desire. At the very least, he’d like to have a Disney Imagineer tell him why he can’t be an Imagineer (not that he’ll take no for an answer). Tell whomever you’re speaking to about TV and Film Guy’s Imagineer Quest 2007 to tell one other person and that the person they tell should tell someone else, and on, and on, and on. No joke. We’re starting a grass roots campaign here, let’s all pitch in! I can’t promise that I’ll be able to get you into the Magic Kingdom for free in the future if this happens, but I’ll totally take a picture of me with you outside the gates.

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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.
  • http://www.lpstop.com Les Pauls

    I’m so excited about American Masters – “Les Paul: Chasing the Sound.” on 7/11! This should be a great program and for sure not to be missed. Great guitars with a great history.

    Mike

  • bliffle

    I object to the unceasingly flippant and ignorant reviews of PBS presented on BC. Clearly these reviewers are dismissive and antagonistic to every single offering on PBS. Are they in the hire of the major networks?

    It’s apparent that they watch none of the programs and are only interested in exercising their lame adolescent wit and perhaps discouraging potential viewers.

    BC should fire the bunch of them and hire me. I watch PBS regularly and enjoy many of the programs. And I’m not afraid to criticize the poor programs.

    Hire me and I’ll tell you where to send those Big Checks.

  • http://tvandfilmguy.blogspot.com Josh Lasser

    Bliffle,

    Again, I must remind you that this entire series of articles are not reviews, merely a listing of what PBS will be airing in the upcoming week during primetime. Additionally, I don’t get paid one red cent to write any of them, so there are no “Big Checks” to send your way.

    There will be a review for this week’s Nova scienceNOW episode, and I encourage you to read that before you formulate your opinion on the reviewers here at BC.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Bliffle, I think you already know that more or less anyone who can actually write coherently is welcome to write for Blogcritics and that we don’t limit what people choose to write about. Go for it..!