Wednesday , November 21 2018
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This week we Imagineer ourselves into a new quest.

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of February 22

It is, I think, time to move on from The Sword in the Stone ride, no, it isn't dead, but it's time that we branch out, look at other opportunities, contemplate other avenues, look for other approaches.  It has been suggested to me that Imagineers don't just work on one idea at a time, that they have multiple irons in the fire.  Consequently, I've done a little bit of metallurgy and come up with a few irons of my own. 

Sunday, February 22:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “In the Valley of the Wolves.” This episode takes place in Yellowstone National Park. Now, if you set an episode in Yellowstone National Park, don't you make it about Yogi and Boo-boo not a bunch of wolves? The wolves may be really important, but they don't do the whole picnic basket thing.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Classic – "Oliver Twist (Part Two)."  They're doing it again, or, if you prefer, they're doing it "more."  Laura Linney hosts the tale of young Oliver, and Oliver is plays by William Miller.  And, the show even has Timothy Spall as Fagin.  I like Spall, you probably do too if you recognize the name (you'll certainly recognize the face).

10:30 – 11:00PM

Signpost to Freedom: The 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott. This is a re-airing of the documentary that was named Best Historical Documentary by the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. It talks about, as if you didn’t know, the 1953 Baton Rouge bus boycott. 

Monday, February 23:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Wichita (Hour Two)."  Kansas – Auntie Em, girls named Dorothy, and dogs named Toto.  It all makes me wonder if we'll be seeing something from Oz (not Australia, the real Oz) here in Wichita.  Who knows, perhaps there'll be some shoes that removed themselves from a witch when her legs shriveled up.  The only question is if the shoes will be ruby or silver.  Me, I'm going with William Jennings Bryan.

9:00 – 10:00PM

A Class Apart:  The American Experience.  In 1951 Pete Hernandez murdered his employer after an argument in a bar.  A group of Mexican-American lawyers took his case and ended up going all the way to the Supreme Court where they argued against the Jim Crow-type laws enforced in Texas.  Watch and learn about Hernandez, his lawyers, and their struggle.

10:00 – 11:00PM

History Detectives. That’s right, they’re wherever you need them, anywhere there’s been a crime, there’s the History Detectives! They go and explore the stories behind local folklore, prominent figures, and family legends.

Sadly, and I’m sorry to spoil the ending here, but the thief is always some person acting on behalf of Carmen Sandiego. It’s never Carmen Sandiego herself. I understand that after a while it’s supposed to be Carmen Sandiego, but it doesn’t matter how many times I play, it’s never her.  This week the show looks into hip hop, a Guild brand acoustic guitar and other stuff, but none of it relates to Carmen Sandiego.

Tuesday, February 24:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Rat Attack.”  I have to imagine that this is about a bunch of mutant rats living in the New York City sewers.  If SciFi's Saturday night originals have taught me anything, mutant rats in sewers are a common occurrence.  Now that I look at the synopsis I see that it's actually about a once-every-48-years rat explosion in the Indian state of Mizoram.  Close enough.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – "Ten Trillion and Counting."  This country owes money.  Lots and lots of money.  Too much money.  Apparently tax cuts don't actually help balance the budget, instead they put us into deep, deep trouble.  Nice job, 43.  Frontline will examine your mistakes and what the new administration might do about it. 

10:00 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens – “The Order of Myths/Bi-Racial Hair.”  Rather than one longer episode, this week we'll be getting two shorter ones.  The first looks at Mardi Gras in terms of race and the second is a "satirical look" at the issues African Americans of mixed ethnic backgrounds face.

Wednesday, February 25:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Monarchy:  The Royal Family at Work – “Head of State.” As a whole, the series takes an inside look at the British monarchy.  "Head of State," features the ritual of the Queen's role in the opening of Parliament as well her meetings with the PM.

9:00 – 11:00PM

America's Ballroom Challenge – “Grand Finale”. Some of the finest dancers in North America gather to dance their hearts out.  It's exciting, it's thrilling, it's the first episode of the brand-new season.  Like my Furby used to say "Baile!  Baile!"  It was, after all, a Spanish speaking Furby.

Thursday, February 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 – "Wichita (Hour Two)."  Kansas – Auntie Em, girls named Dorothy, and dogs named Toto.  It all makes me wonder if we'll be seeing something from Oz (not Australia, the real Oz) here in Wichita.  Who knows, perhaps there'll be some shoes that removed themselves from a witch when her legs shriveled up.  The only question is if the shoes will be ruby or silver.  Me, I'm going with William Jennings Bryan.

10:00 – 11:00PM

The Linguists.  David Harrison and Greg Anderson are in a race.  No, not a race against each other, a race against time, a race against man, a race against extinction.  Their job is to document languages on the verge of extinction.  How do they do it?  Come on now, you know I can't tell you that, you know you have to watch and find out.

Friday, February 27:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4834. 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 #509.  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 #1246.  It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,246th 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

History Detectives. This show may be the most fascinating show ever, it really may, but its title leave a lot to be desired. Seriously, aren't all historians more or less detectives? The title simply isn't descriptive or exciting enough. I much prefer a title like Josh Lasser, You’ve Been Hired as an Imagineer (and, just for the record, this is the same episode that airs earlier in the week).

Saturday, February 28:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "John Mayer." Mayer has been on the show before, but now he's on the show again. I know that because this is a new episode and yet he's already been on in the past. Hence, again. Really, that's the very definition of again, isn't it? It happened once, now it is happening once more, so it's happening again.

What then, you ask, is my first new Imagineer idea?  Where am I going to go with this?  What sort of iron am I going to stick into the fire?  Well, let's examine this idea of sticking an iron into the fire, shall we?  What do we need to make that happen?  Fire, of course, but, also, iron.  And that my friends is my new first thought – irons.  That's right, irons, maybe even some woods, hybrids, and putters too.  Intrigued?  Tune in next week.

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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