Thursday , October 29 2020
What are you doing new year's, new year's eve?

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of December 27

Christmas gifts have been opened, some have even been ruined, and it's just about time for us do the whole really, really overpriced glass of champagne at midnight thing.  Oh, it's really not that I'm against the whole New Year's Eve thing, it's just that I'm not sure why I have to pay five times the regular price at a restaurant and ten times the regular price for a concert that is already horribly over-priced.  I'm balking at the whole thing this year.

 

Sunday, December 27:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Drakensberg:  Barrier of Spears.” The Drakensberg Mountains are, I've been told, "southern Africa's Alps." That sort of statement always makes me wonder why the Alps couldn't be Europe's Drakensberg Mountains. Seriously people, why does it have to be that Africa's mountains are compared to Europe instead of vice versa? 

9:00 – 10:00PM

Masterpiece – "Cranford – Episode 2". This is part one of a three-part series and based on the writing of Elizabeth Gaskell. Better than that though, it's about a small, little, tiny, miniature, if you will, English village which, for some reason, "comes to life with gossip, parties, romances, sudden death, bankruptcy, and the railroad."

10:00 – 11:00PM

Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master of American Sculpture.  Though he was an American sculpture (see title of show for verification of this), Augustus Saint-Gaudens was born in Dublin, Ireland.  He was actually then trained in Paris and Rome.  Oh, not to fret, he spent many a year here in the States, he even died in New Hampshire.

 

Monday, December 28:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – " Jackpot!" This special looks at the various windfalls that people have gotten through the years, you know, buying a bubblegum wrapper for a quarter and it turning out that the bubblegum contained in the wrapper has a fleck of saliva from Gregory Peck and consequently the whole thing is worth 1.2 million dollars, except, of course, you can't sell it on eBay because eBay doesn't traffic in body parts. 

9:00 – 10:30PM

American Masters – "Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women."  Was Louisa May Alcott the spinsterish woman we have sometimes been led to believe or was she was free thinker who authored works about murderers, cross-dressers, and opium addicts?  Is it possible – is it just possible – that maybe she was both?

10:30 – 11:00PM

PBS Previews: National Parks. Soon, but not yet (actually, this is a repeat, so a while ago), 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.

 

Tuesday, December 29:

8:00 – 10:00PM

Nova – “What Darwin Never Knew.”  Darwin's truths (and they are truths) have been expanded since he first wrote On the Origin of SpeciesNova this week will be delving into some of those expansions and be revealing answers to questions that Darwin couldn't only postulate about.  Okay, Nova isn't revealing them for the first time ever, but you know what I mean.

10:00 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens – "Scenes from a Parish."  There once was a priest in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  He was, according to some, irreverent.  His flock, according to some, were unruly.  How did he rule the unruly?  How did he contend with the uncontendable?  Ask Maggie Gyllenhaal, she both hosts and knows the answers to these questions.

 

Wednesday, December 30:

8:00 – 9:00PM

A Girl's Life.   Sugar and spice and everything nice some say.  Others say that maybe girls don't have it so easy.  Yes, they may have more opportunities than they ever have before, but that only means that there are all-new issues for them to contend with.  Rachel Simmons takes a look at some of those and examines how they can be handled (or not).

9:00 – 11:00PM

Patti Smith  – "Patti Smith: Dream of Life."  No, Patti Smith, not John McEnroe's wife, Patty Smyth.  Both singer-songwriters?  Yes, but only one (and not this one) was the lead singer of the band Scandal.  Smyth I've met (nice lady, her husband too).  Smith, not so much (not that there's anything wrong with that).  Learn all about Smith, not Smyth, tonight.

 

Thursday, December 31:

8:00 – 10:00PM

Live From Lincoln Center – "New York Philharmonic New Year's Eve: Hampson, Gershwin, Copland & Broadway."  What can I possibly say about this that isn't in the title already?  Ummm… New Year's eve, check.  Composers, check.  Performers, check.  Location, check.  Alec Baldwin as host… that's it!  Alec Baldwin hosts this event.

10:00PM – 12:00AM

Live From Lincoln Center – "New York Philharmonic New Year's Eve: Hampson, Gershwin, Copland & Broadway."  What can I possibly say about this that isn't in the title already?  Ummm… New Year's eve, check.  Composers, check.  Performers, check.  Location, check.  Alec Baldwin as host… that's it!  Alec Baldwin hosts this event.

 

Friday, January 1:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4926. 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 #601.  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 – 10:30PM

Great Performances – "From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2010."  It's like last year's Viennese New Year's Celebration, except, of course, that this is the year we make contact.  It's the 26th annual celebration, so break out the eggnog, Julie Andrews is hosting this shindig!

10:30 – 11:00PM

PBS Previews: National Parks. Soon, but not yet (actually, this is a repeat, so a while ago), 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.

 

Saturday, January 2:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Gnarls Barkley/Thievery Corporation."  That Gnarls Barkley.  That Thievery Corporation.  Gnarls is here tonight to promote his CD The Odd Couple.  Thievery Corporation is there to… steal things?  I don't know, why not, right?  They're thieves, no?  Yes?  Maybe? 

 

Fair enough, I never do the whole New Year's Eve thing.  In fact, the last time I went out and paid too much for a dinner on New Year's eve was… wholly bejesus 10 years ago.  Seriously, I didn't even realize that until I just wrote it down.  It was 10 years ago, it was a great Mexican place and a ton of fun.  Wow.  I'm old.

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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