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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of October 21

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Halloween is getting oh so close. Can you feel it? I feel the sugar rush building inside me. It's welling up from the pit of my stomach, and a week and a half from now, when Halloween actually arrives, it'll get to the top of my eyeballs. Eventually the sugar will begin pouring out my ears. Happily, it'll still be edible and delicious at that point.

 

Sunday, October 21:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Supersize Crocs.” I can only hope that these are the kind that you flush down the sewers if you live in New York City and have them grow up to be huge man-eating things. Or was that an alligator? Is there really a difference? Does it matter?

9:00 – 11:00PM

Masterpiece Theatre – “The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard – Episode 1. I must tell you, I'm quite excited for this. This show is all about Ros Pritchard (Jane Horrocks); somehow or other this fine woman ends up running for Parliament and ends up winning. What's more though is that her party ends up with a plurality (possibly a majority, I couldn't say), and she becomes Prime Minister. Oh yes, it's true (in a fictionalized sense).

 

Monday, October 22:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Philadelphia (Hour Three).” I am hoping someone brings in the Liberty Bell — that, or the Rocky Balboa statue. Seriously, how much fun would that be, watching the appraisers take a look at the Liberty Bell, see the huge crack in it and deem it worth about $100? Good times.

9:00 – 10:00PM

The Mysterious Human Heart – "The Silent Killer". Tonight on the show, the heart gets a bad case of indigestion and ends up being a silent, but deadly killer. No? Fine, it's all about atherosclerosis, you know the blockage of coronary arteries that ends up causing heart attacks.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Lords of the Gourd: The Pursuit of Excellence. In October of 2005 I was partially responsible for unloading a mammoth truck full of gourds and bringing said gourds into a television studio. It was one of the singular saddest moments of my career. But, heck, if you like gourds watch this show. In my opinion, the only good pumpkin is a dead pumpkin (unless it's the Great Pumpkin).

 

Tuesday, October 23:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova - “Saved by the Sun”. See, Al Gore isn’t necessarily right. The sun is good, warmth is good. I’m not even going to read the description of this episode, because I’m completely and wholly convinced that it’s entirely about how global warming will prevent sad deaths on frozen mountains in the winter — people will be saved by the sun. Yes, that’s the only thing it could possibly be about. It’s certainly not about taking solar energy seriously again due to rising oil prices and trouble in the Middle East. No way.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline - “Showdown with Iran”. This episode should air right after the Rocky Balboa statue makes an appearance on Roadshow, then, go out and get Sly to reprise his role one more time for this episode and call it Rocky VII. In any case, the episode looks at how we're having issues with that country.

10:00 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens - “Please Vote for Me”. I won't vote for you. I can't. You see, you're an eight-year-old in China and running for School Monitor. I am not eligible to vote in such a race. If you were running for School Monitor of the United States however, I would definitely consider it. What's your policy on bathroom passes?

 

Wednesday, October 24:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Wired Science – “Episode 104”. TBA

9:00PM – 11:30PM

The War – “Pride of Our Nation.” The fourth part of Ken Burns’s six-years-in-the-making, 14-hour documentary looking at World War Two and the stories of people from four different areas of the United States: Waterbury Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and Luverne, Minnesota.

 

Thursday, October 25:

8:00 – 9:30PM

The Candidates 2008. Tonight Judy Woodruff talks to the Republicans about health care and financial security. As far as I've been able to determine, the Republicans are all for the former provided people can pay for it themselves. Their stance on the latter however is far more nuanced; the Republicans believe that financial security should be extended to the richest 1% of the population. They believe that said 1%, rather than lining their own pockets, will go to McDonald's and buy a Big Mac, thereby allowing the poorest 99% a place to work. I kid, I kid, wait till they re-air the Democrat one, I have some zingers for that bad boy.

9:30 – 10:00PM

Antiques Roadshow FYI – “#120.” This is a “magazine-style spin-off” of Antiques Roadshow. They’re going to take a look at some past items that have appeared on the show, along with the owners, and do a whole “where are they now” kind of thing. It just generally sounds like a good time, doesn't it?

10:00 – 11:00PM

Windsor Castle: A Royal Year – "The Ranger". I had no idea that the Duke of Edinburgh was the ranger for the 15,000 Great Park of Windsor Castle. That is awesome. Prince Philip is the longest-serving ranger ever. The episode focuses on him and Cartier International Day, which has features a polo match.

 

Friday, October 26:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4717. 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 #343. 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 #1129 - It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,129th 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 #219. 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

Antiques Roadshow FYI– “122.” This is a “magazine-style spin-off” of Antiques Roadshow. They’re going to take a look at some past items that have appeared on the show, along with the owners, and do a whole “where are they now” kind of thing. It just generally sounds like a good time, doesn't it?

 

Saturday, October 27:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Jimmy Reed Highway: Jimmie Vaughan & Friends". Jimmie Vaughan and company pay tribute to Jimmy Reed, who was a composer of blues songs. Maybe it'll even have Jimmie Someone too, and Jimmy Even. That way it'll cover its Jimmy base.

 

My favorite Halloween candy is quite possibly the Reese's mini-peanut butter cup. Those things are fantastic. I also like Butterfinger bars, but I can't eat more than the fun-size one before I begin to dislike it. I can't imagine why that is, because it's so delicious in a small size. Speaking of small size deliciousness, tonight, just FYI, I'm going to be eating my last Cadbury Creme Egg. I stock up the day after Easter when they go on sale and then make them last as long as I can. This is my record.

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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.
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