Saturday , March 2 2024
If I could save time in a bottle...

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of September 6

Time.  I am always amazed and impressed by the notion of time.  Time is finite, it is absolute, it is relative.  For the past two weeks I've been telling you about how I went to Napa except that at the time that I was telling it to you I hadn't gone to Napa, but when you were reading it I had gone to Napa… or perhaps was at that moment in Napa.  For you it was the present or the past, for me it was the future.  Past, present, future, all there, all combined in one.


Sunday, September 6:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Life in Death Valley.”  Life?  Death Valley?  Oh!  I get it, that's a joke!  PBS made a joke!  Good for you, PBS, way to play with words like that.  Of course, there is life in Death Valley, but how and why and wherefore we'll all just have to watch this repeat to get those answers.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Mystery! – "Inspector Lewis, Series II – Music to Die For."  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 (this time he enters the dangerous world of no-rules boxing).  I'll certainly be watching (or will have watched it already depending on how things work out).

 10:30 – 11:00PM

Crown of the Continent – Alaska' Wrangell-St. Elias. There is, in Alaska more than one place where you can stand and see mountainous peaks and a bunch of glaciers. One man is going to be heading back to one particular vista and taking a camera or two or umpteen (I really can't say definitively) along.


Monday, September 7:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow “Tucson (Hour Two).” The Roadshow has gone west, landing smack dab in the middle of Tucson. It would be better if they were in Winslow, so that they could be standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, it’d be such a fine sight to see.  Take it easy, don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.

9:00 – 10:00PM

History Detectives. They’re back again! Those History Detectives are going to be puzzling out clues, working the scene of the crime, and hoping against hope to solve that greatest mystery of them all: how did Fred Flintstone manage to run fast enough that his big, heavy car started to move? Seriously now, that’s a question about history and one I feel ought to be answered sooner rather than later.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Wild River: The Colorado.  The Colorado's headwaters are in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The river ends at Mexico's Gulf of California.  In between it goes through lots of different states and land formations and what-not.  Beautiful stuff set to music.  Why not?


Tuesday, September 8:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Mystery of the Megavolcano." Back during the Ice Age (the reality, not the movie) there was a big old volcanic eruption; it's often referred to as the "Toba eruption." The eruption may, just may, have helped change our climate dramatically and might have almost ended all life on Earth. And you complained about global warming.

9:00 – 9:30PM

Yellowstone:  Land to Life.  Forget the land, it's all about the pic-i-nic baskets (provided that darn Ranger doesn't stop Yogi and Boo Boo from getting them).  Actually, I shouldn't jest, this special was filmed over the course of two years and covers every season (perhaps twice) in the park.

9:30 – 10:00PM

PBS Previews: National Parks. Soon, but not yet, PBS will airing a Ken Burns special all about our national parks. Apparently he thinks they were one of America’s best ideas. I know that because “America’s Best Idea” is the subtitle for the series. I’m like Sherlock Holmes.

10:00 – 11:30PM  

P.O.V. – "The English Surgeon."  There once was an English Surgeon.  He went to the Ukraine, he traveled there for 15 years, and he treated those who were left to die.  His name?  Henry Marsh.  Why did he do it?  What did he learn?  What made him stop going?  My, you do ask a lot of questions.  Watch and learn.


Wednesday, September 9:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Families Stand Together:  Feeling Secure in Tough Times.  The economy is hurting everyone, including families.  This special is a series of mini-documentaries delving into the problems of real families… and a Muppet family (hey, Muppets are people, too!).  It gives strategies on how to deal with the economic issues and the outgrowth of those issues with your young ones.

 9:00 – 10:00PM

Your Life, Your Money. Donald Faison hosts piece which feature "real-life stories of young people finding their way through a variety of economic challenges."  It's got information/advice on banking, credit, investments, budgeting, insurance, self-employment, and, just perhaps how to make a million dollars working from home.  Wouldn't that be great?

10:00 – 11:00PM

Wide Angle – “Time for School 3.”  This would be the third installment (as if you couldn't tell by the name) of Wide Angle's "Time for School" series.  Okay, honestly, this is the second part of the third installment of the series which highlights the global issues with access to education.

Thursday, September 10:

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 “Tucson (Hour Two)”. The Roadshow has gone west, landing smack dab in the middle of Tucson. It would be better if they were in Winslow, so that they could be standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, it’d be such a fine sight to see.  Take it easy, don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Great Lodges of the National Parks – "Canyon Lodges."  There are lodges in some of our national parks.  Some would call them "great," probably I would if I'd ever been to one of them.  Tonight, we get the great lodges that are in some pretty swell canyons… you know, like the Grand one. 


Friday, September 11:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4911. 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 Double Dutch Chocolate ice cream.

8:30 – 9:00PM

NOW on PBS #537.  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 #1322. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,322nd 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

Inside – "Hong Kong's Big Bang.”  More than one year ago it was the Year of the Dog.  As happens every year, Hong Kong had tons of partiers present.  There was also this TV show there to film what went down.  Watch and learn all about how they ring in the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong.


Saturday, September 12:

11:00PM – 12:00AM

Austin City Limits – "Sarah McLachlan/Duffy." Sarah McLachlan hasn't, perhaps, achieved the status of "legend," but she's certainly getting there. Duffy is much more of a new face, but is definitely getting bigger. Will Duffy one day achieve Sarah McLachlan status? Who knows? Certainly not I. 


Maybe the above example of my amazement in time isn't a particularly good one.  But then again, maybe it is… or perhaps, it will be.  Maybe, just maybe, at the time of my writing it wasn't a good one but at the time of your reading it is, or was in between but no longer is again.  You're not amazed by that?  You're not impressed?  Fine, I'll come up with some better deep thoughts 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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