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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of June 22

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What if Disney built a brand new Sword in the Stone ride?  I think that sort of thing could be terribly fun.  The 45th anniversary of the movie is arriving, and it seems to me that by the 50th a ride could be fully developed (with some serious Imagineering, of course).  I'm seeing a medieval castle façade as the entrance to the ride.  I'm seeing it operate on a similar style track to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride (a Fantasyland ride that bounces up and down and has more movement than the traditional ones).  I'm seeing… well, that's for another time.

 

Sunday, June 22:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Underdogs".  Rather than going into some huge thing about the famed cartoon character or make making some pseudo-unnecessary, I'm going to just give the short listing information I have for this show verbatim – "Extreme doggie makeover!"  I really don't have to say anything else, do I?   

9:00PM – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Mystery! – "Inspector Lewis, Series I – 'Whom the Gods would Destroy'".  For those of you not steeped in British police drama culture, "Inspector Lewis" is a spinoff off of "Inspector Morse."  For his series, Lewis heads to Oxford to solve crimes.  I'll certainly be watching (or will have watched it already depending on how things work out).

10:30 – 11:00PM

Ribbon of Sand. Things change. It's the way of the world. It just happens. Things change. Get used to it. In this documentary Meryl Streep tells us all about how things change off the coast of North Carolina, in North Carolina's Outer Banks, to be specific. The sand shifts, the beautiful islands that exist now may not exist in the future. Things change.

 

Monday, June 23:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow  – "Houston (Hour One)".  I'm not going to say the line.  I'm just not going to say it.  There may be "issues" with the antiques in Houston.  There may be quibbles about their value.  There maybe conundrums with what to do with the stuff.  What there certainly will not be are problems.  There will be no problems.

9:00 – 10:00PM

American Experience – “Summer of Love”. Why does there only have to be one summer of love? I understand that there is an individual summer that is often referred to as such, but shouldn’t we love each other all the time? Wouldn’t those that participated in that one, said summer be disappointed to know that was the only one ever, that their notion died?

10:00 – 11:00PM

Emile Norman:  By His Own Design.  Did you know that at the age of 88, Emile Norman, is still working, and apparently with "the same passion for life, art, nature, and freedom" that he's had for years.  Oh, I'm told it's true, I'm told it's true.  Listen, don't complain to me about it, I don't need to hear your quibbles.  I only know what I'm told.

 

Tuesday, June 24:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova - "Secrets of the Samurai Sword". I imagine that the secret is that it allows Hiro to do his squishy-blink thing and freeze time or transport himself elsewhere. That’s what Kensei’s samurai sword did, so surely that’s what virtually all samurai swords do, right

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline - “Jesus in China.”  Frontline's look at China continues this week, this time with the spread of Christianity in the country.  The government isn't necessarily happy about it, but the people seem to be swooning anyway.  Evan Osnos (a reporter for the show) investigates the whos, whys, and wherefores of it all.

10:00 – 11:00PM

P.O.V. – "Traces of the Trade:  A Story from the Deep North".  The filmmaker of this documentary, Katrina Browne, has made an upsetting discovery, her family was the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history.  Yeah.  Along with other members of her family she looks into exactly what happened and why.

 

Wednesday, June 25:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Great Lodges of the National Parks. It's back!  It's back!  The new season is upon us and we're going to learn all about some swell places to stay in Death Valley, the Northwest, and by Hawaii's volcanoes.  Those won't all be tonight, but they will be this season.  Oh I can't wait, I just can't wait.

8:30  – 10:00PM

Nova scienceNOW. ScienceNOW is the newest addition to the Nova family, currently in its third season. Episodes in this series look at a variety of topics over the course of a single episode instead of just one thing for the whole hour.

10:00  – 11:00PM

Carrier  "Controlled Chaos".  Well, here it is, again, PBS has previewed it over and over and over again, and now the time has finally arrived. Carrier is here (in repeat fashion). The series follows a group of people on board the USS Nimitz, from admirals on down to newbie sailors. It promises to be a fascinating look not just at this mammoth aircraft carrier, but the Navy in general.

 

Thursday, June 26:

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. Seriously, The This Old House Hour is one of the finest home improvement hours on PBS. No joke.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Antiques Roadshow  – "Houston (Hour One)".  I'm not going to say the line.  I'm just not going to say it.  There may be "issues" with the antiques in Houston.  There may be quibbles about their value.  There maybe conundrums with what to do with the stuff.  What there certainly will not be are problems.  There will be no problems.

10:00 – 11:30PM

Soundstage – "Josh Groban". Grobanites (yes, I'm not kidding, that's a term to describe his avid fans) rejoice!  Josh Groban is jumping on the stage and singing songs from his 2006 album.  This was recorded at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City.  Maybe a Grobanite can tell us the playlist for the night.

 

Friday, June 27:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4752. 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 on PBS #426.  It’s the Emmy award-winning weekly news magazine. 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 #1212. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,212th 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).

10:00 – 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.

 

Saturday, June 28:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Blues Traveler/Café Tacuba". I wish that this mean that Blues Traveler was playing in Café Tacuba, but as I'm pretty sure that Café Tacuba is a Mexican quartet, it seems highly unlikely that John Popper would fit inside.

 

I'll tell you, probably, a little bit more about this Sword in the Stone ride in the future.  I think it could be a ton of fun, I think it could be just the sort of magic one wants from Disney.  And, if not, I can at least take a Quantum of Solace from the fact that I thought about it.  Thought very hard and very seriously about it.

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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.