Thursday , February 22 2024
The creation of the Sword in the Stone ride continues.

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of November 30

So, have you heard tell of The Sword in the Stone ride.  It's a dream, it's a fantasy, it's something that one day, maybe, possibly, just might be a reality.  It's something that I'd like to see built, it's something that I've described the nature of, it's something that could be a lot of fun.  Fine, you know it, I know it, we all know it – it's a nice dream, but it's a pipe dream.


Sunday, November 30:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – "Panda Tales.”  Oh man, I hope this is the one where the panda learns Kung Fu, because that was just awesome.  Maybe there'll even be a story about how the panda needs to figure out how to grab the stone, like a grasshopper.  You know what I'm talking about, and it's not Zhen Zhen, the San Diego Zoo, or the "panda cam."

9:00 – 10:30PM

Monarchy:  The Royal Family at Work – “Pledge Special.” As a whole, the series takes an inside look at the British monarchy.  Up tonight, a very special episode for the Pledge Drive.  I had no idea that the Royal family cared so much about PBS's Pledge Drive.  It's kind of sweet, isn't it?

10:30 – 11:00PM



Monday, December 1:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Yanni Voices.  Yanni.  You know Yanni?  Of course you do.  Well, in this show Yanni is going to sing with four "young" vocalists.  I could give you their names, and I actually think I will, they're Nathan Pacheco, Chloe, Ender Thomas, and Leslie Mills.  Good for them.

9:00 – 11:00PM

Celtic Woman:  The Greatest Journey – Holiday Special.  Celtic Woman is back again this year for a brand new holiday special.  There'll be singing Holiday songs.  It'll be special.  Trust me, that's why they call it a "holiday special."


Tuesday, December 2:

8:00 – 9:30PM

Brain Fitness 2:  Sight and Sound.  It's a sequel to the original Brain Fitness, and this time it's personal.  Well, it's about learning about exercising your brain, so it's always personal.  Or, at the very least, it should be, it is your brain after all.

9:30PM – 1:00AM

Frontline – "From Jesus to Christ."  I don't mind telling you that I'm moderately confused about this listing.  It both states that the show is new, and that it was originally broadcast between April and July of 1998.  See, where I'm from it's not new just because it's a decade old.  A decade old is still old.  It still might be a good story about the life of Jesus and what happened following his death, but if it aired in 1998, it's not new.


Wednesday, December 3:

8:00 – 9:30PM

The Priests Live at Armagh Cathedral.  I know what you're thinking, I thought the same thing, but it turns out that we were both wrong.  The show isn't about a bunch of priests lambasting us for the way our lives in fiery sermons.  The priests in question are actually a trio of trained singers, and that's what they're going to do – sing.

9:30  – 11:30PM

Great Performances – “Hitman:  David Foster and Friends.”  For people of a certain age, saying "Hitman" indicates a video game series which features a guy killing others.  For others, "Hitman" indicates number 23, Donny Baseball.  In this case, they mean David Foster, who has had a string of hits.


Thursday, December 4:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Made in Spain Live! With José Andrés. Andrés is a culinary innovator, apparently he's best known for "bringing traditional and avant-garde Spanish fare to America."  I loved the Spanish fare I had in Spain, I haven't had anything remotely as good in Spanish restaurants here in the States.  Maybe that's because I don't want avant-garde Spanish food, just delicious Spanish food.  

9:00 – 10:30PM

Victor Borge:  100 Years of Music & Laughter!   Rita Rudner narrates this little ditty, which goes through a bunch of Borge's best skits.  You'll see great stuff like "Phonetic Punctuation," "Inflationary Language," and "The Opera Singer" among others. 

10:30 – 11:00PM



Friday, December 5:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4822. 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 #448.  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 #1234. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,234th 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 – 11:30PM

Great Performances – "Domingo, Netrebko & Villazon:  Three Stars in Vienna."  Yes, I think you're right, there are probably more than three stars in Vienna.  I know that if I were a star, I'd spend some time in Vienna.  I may one day be a star (though I seriously doubt it), but I'm quite convinced that I'll never be a singing star, and that's what these three are.


Saturday, December 6:

8:00 – 9:30PM

Lights!  Celebrate Hannukah Live in Concert.  I know I shouldn't, but every time I hear about Hannukah and singing, I think about Adam Sandler.  I can't help it.  He doesn't appear here though, instead it's the Klezmatics and Alberto Mizrahi among others.

9:30 – 11:00PM

Rodney Yee:  The Practical Power of Yoga.  Rodney Yee is a yoga master (that's not to be confused with a master named Yoda).  This show is part lecture, part workshop and all Yee.  And, if you know Yee, you know what I'm saying.  If you don't, let me just remind you that he is a yoga master.


Don't get me wrong, pipe dreams aren't the worst thing in the world.  Pipe dreams aren't even necessarily bad things, but it's always good to know the difference between a real, honest to goodness dream, and a pipe dream.  Pipe dreams are nice thoughts, they're the kind of thing that after one person mentions them the other responds "isn't it pretty to think so."  I'm not in any way, shape, manner, or form for giving up pipe dreams, I just am for recognizing the difference between a pipe dream and reality.

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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