Tuesday , August 21 2018
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The creation of the Sword in the Stone ride continues.

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of December 21

The notion behind The Sword in the Stone ride is, I think, an important one, and one that is all too often overlooked. Oh, not by me; I've talked about it at length. I think however, that perhaps the problem is that it's all too easily overlooked. Here you are, trying to learn about what PBS is showing this week, and here I am, telling you about a ride I want to create at Disney World. It lends itself to being skipped over.

Sunday, December 21:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Christmas in Yellowstone”. I just hope Yogi and Boo-Boo show up. Okay, so that’s an old joke. But at least it’s old faithful. 

9:00 – 11:00PM

Masterpiece Theatre – "Prime Suspect: The Final Act." It's Helen Mirren's last go-round as Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison. If you like Mirren, if you like Tennison, if you like detective fare, you'll like this journey to the seedier side of things.

Monday, December 22:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – Roadshow Remembers.” Originally airing back in 2006, this retrospective looks back on 10 years of antiques. It's described here as a "trip down memory lane," which I find kind of amusing, because the whole show is sort of a trip down memory lane, not just the retrospective. 

9:00 – 10:00PM

The Life a House Built: The 25th Anniversary of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. For 25 years Habitat for Humanity has been doing everything it can to help provide housing to those who have known. This hour-long documentary tells you all about what the Work Project has done and how it has helped people. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

Christmas at Luther: Night of Glory, Dawn of Peace. For 27 years Luther College has been holding televised Christmas concerts. There's candlelight, Christmas music and six different choirs (at least there are this year). They actually do more than one concert locally every year, either that or the 9,000 people that attend the one concert at the 1,700 seat venue are awfully tightly packed.

Tuesday, December 23:

8:00 – 10:00PM

Nova – "Absolute Zero". I know about absolute zero, and can actually tell you about absolute zero without reading the description. Absolute zero is the coldest possible temperature, it is zero Kelvin. My understanding is that one does not say zero degrees Kelvin, it's just zero Kelvin. As one approaches zero Kelvin, random molecular motion ceases and a special condensate is formed. Check out this Nova two-parter and learn more.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Independent Lens – "Grey Gardens: From East Hampton to Broadway." In 1975 the Maysles brothers debuted Grey Gardens. It is the story of Edith beale and her daughter Edie, an aunt and cousin of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. This documentary looks at the truth, reality, and result of the film and characters found in it.

Wednesday, December 24:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring The King's Singers. Seems pretty obvious what this one is about, doesn't? The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings. The King's Singers sing with them. It's a jolly old solemn-ish time.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Christmas at Luther: Night of Glory, Dawn of Peace. For 27 years Luther College has been holding televised Christmas concerts. There's candlelight, Christmas music and six different choirs (at least there are this year). They actually do more than one concert locally every year, either that or the 9,000 people that attend the one concert at the 1,700 seat venue are awfully tightly packed.

10:00  – 11:00PM

L.A. Holiday Celebration 2008. It's the highlights (and thank goodness only the highlights) of the six-hour Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration. Here's an odd little tidbit about the show – though this it the "2008" celebration, it's actually the highlights of what happened in 2007.

Thursday, December 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

Antiques Roadshow – Roadshow Remembers.” Originally airing back in 2006, this retrospective looks back on 10 years of antiques. It's described here as a "trip down memory lane," which I find kind of amusing, because the whole show is sort of a trip down memory lane, not just the retrospective. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

The Life a House Built: The 25th Anniversary of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. For 25 years Habitat for Humanity has been doing everything it can to help provide housing to those who have known. This hour-long documentary tells you all about what the Work Project has done and how it has helped people. 

Friday, December 26:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4824. 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 #451. 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 #1237. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,237th 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 – 11:0PM

How Art Made the World – "The Art of Persuasion." This is the third part of a five part series which focuses on some of the biggest turning points in the history of the art world.  It tries to examine how these moments help define how we see the world today. 

Saturday, December 27:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Wilco." Roger. Wilco. Ready. Waiting. Do it. To it. They're going to perform classics and some new stuff from their new disc, Sky Blue Sky. I think it's a better title than Green Water Green or Purple Face Purple.

So now my question is this: If it is natural for you to skip over my introductions and closings because you want to find out what PBS is showing, what can I do to convince you that The Sword in the Stone discussion is germane? What can I do to cajole you to read about it? What is my responsibility in terms of serving you, the reader and your desire to learn about PBS and my certainty that you should be learning about this ride?

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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