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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of September 21

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We're nearing the end of the creation of The Sword in the Stone ride, the ride I would create were I an Imagineer and given the chance.  We're talking about the location of the ride, truly an important aspect – if you can't place the ride somewhere you can't ride it.  Two weeks ago we eliminated EPCOT, and last week we decided that Fantasyland within the Magic Kingdom probably doesn't have the room (even though it's a natural fit).  Read more below.

 

Sunday, September 21

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – "Raptor Force”. We all know about raptors. We all saw Sam Neill explain raptors to that poor little boy in Jurassic Park, but since Jurassic Park is years old, we may need a refresher. Nature will provide just that. 

9:00PM – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Theatre – “The Sally Lockhart Mysteries:  Ruby in the Smoke”.  Sally Lockhart, played by Billie Piper, is the center of four novels by Phillip Pullman.  Sadly for us, Pullman is not the man behind The Doctor and Sally Lockhart isn’t Rose Tyler.  That doesn’t make this bad, I just miss Rose and The Doctor.

10:30PM – 11:00PM

Encore! With James Conlon – “Technique or Spirit?” Or, up or down? Left or right? Right or wrong? Wrong or strong? Strong or long? Long or short? Short or squat? Squat or dumpy? Dumpy or Dopey? Dopey or Doc? Doc or Bashful? Bashful or Sneezy? Sneezy or Sleepy? Sleepy or Grumpy? Grumpy or Happy? So many questions, so little time, and only one Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

 

Monday, September 22:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow  – "Mobile (Hour Two)”. I know what you’re thinking and you’re wrong (and not funny, but who am I to throw stones); this week’s episode is not literally on the road moving around, it’s in Alabama. But, I do want you to know that I appreciate the notion that you’d try and tell a joke, no matter how badly you failed at it. Good on you.

9:00 – 11:00PM

American Experience – "Reagan:  Lifeguard."  This repeat of American Experience asks the ultimate question – what if Ronald Reagan had been a lifeguard, where would we as a nation, as a world, as a universe be.  Yeah.  I don't think so.  Instead, this looks at how Reagan became Reagan and what he did as Reagan.  It's part one of two.

 

Tuesday, September 23:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Monster of the Milky Way."  There might just be a "supermassive black hole" in the center of the Milky Way (that would be the galaxy that you and I live… most of the time).  Scientists aren't sure the supermassive black hole exists at all, but they think it does and they think there's one in the center of our galaxy.  It's scary and exciting all at the same time.  Kind of makes me tingly.   

9:00 – 11:00PM

American Masters – "You Must Remember This:  The Warner Bros. Story," "You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet (1923-1935)," and "Good War, Uneasy Peace (1935-1950)."  It's the first two parts of this documentary  aired back-to-back and it's all about Warner Brothers and their rise to fortune and glory… fortune and glory.  I know, that's Paramount (I like to think of them as "bread and butter"), not Warner Brothers, but that's all [I got] folks.

 

Wednesday, September 24:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Killer Stress:  A National Geographic Special.  Apparently, stress used to keep us alive.  It was what made us run, and turn and fight and kill.  Now, it's killing us.  We're all stressed out and it's not good for us.  It's time to take a look at exactly what's going on and why.  It won't change anything (that's the sad truth of the world), but we're going to look at the problems anyway.

 

9:00  – 11:00PM

American Masters – "You Must Remember This:  The Warner Bros. Story," "A New Reality (1950-1970)," and "Woodstock Notions (1970-1989)."  It's the next two parts of this documentary aired back-to-back and it's all about Warner Brothers and their rise to fortune and glory… fortune and glory.  I know, that's Paramount (I like to think of them as "bread and butter"), not Warner Brothers, but that's all [I got] folks.

 

Thursday, September 25:

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

American Masters – "You Must Remember This:  The Warner Bros. Story," "The Big Tent (1980-Present)."  It's the last part of this documentary aired all by its lonesome and it's all about Warner Brothers and their rise to fortune and glory… fortune and glory.  I know, that's Paramount (I like to think of them as "bread and butter"), not Warner Brothers, but that's all [I got] folks.

10:00 – 11:00PM

The Brothers Warner, An American Masters Presentation.  I know what you're thinking, and you're not right.  You think that because you've already watched five hours on the history of Warner Brothers you already know all there is to know.  That's not true.  You may know about Warner Brothers, but do you know about the brothers Warner?  Watch and learn young one.

 

Friday, September 26:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4812. 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 – 9:30PM

NOW on PBS #438.  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!

9:30 – 11:00PM

Debates 2008:  A Newshour Special Report – "Presidential Debate".   The time has come for the first presidential debate.  I still don't know who out there doesn't know who they're going to be voting for, but I guess you exist.  Learn more about the candidates and their canned answers here.

 

Saturday, September 27:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival."  HSBN — I guess it's sort of like CBGB, right? HSBN & OMFUG. It could work. This is a one-hour special with bits and pieces of HSBN and has Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Bruce Hornsby, Ricky Skaggs, and Emmylou Harris (and some other folks).

 

So, Fantasyland is out.  Frontierland doesn't make sense either, nor does Tomorrowland, Liberty Square, or Main St.  In the Magic Kingdom that would only leave us with putting The Sword in the Stone ride in Adventureland.  The ride is certainly an adventure, but not necessarily an adventure in the way that Adventureland defines it.  It could work, but it seems to me that the ideal location would probably be (for the first iteration of the ride) Disney-MGM Studios.  My examination of the park map doesn't immediately indicate that any space definitely exists, though I think exploring the area leading to Fantasmic, perhaps somewhere between the Beauty and the Beast live show and Fantasmic.  Any thoughts?

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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.