Tuesday , February 27 2024
Imagineer Quest 2007 continues.

PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of July 15

I come to you this week with new tidings, happy tidings. Imagineer Quest 2007 was a resounding success! Let me repeat: Imagineer Quest 2007 was a success. Do you understand what that means? Do you? Think about it for a few minutes as you read the rest of this piece and I will touch base again at the bottom. Remember, you're contemplating what it means when I say Imagineer Quest 2007 was a success.


Sunday, June 15:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Kalahari: The Flooded Desert.” The astute among you will remember that last week’s episode was “Kalahari: The Great Thirstland.” This week, “The Flooded Desert.” Next week, “Not a Desert at All.” The week after that, “The Kalahari is Dead.” And then, finally, “Long Live the Kalahari.” It’s really an in-depth look into the dynastical desert. I applaud you, Nature.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Mystery! “Miss Marple, Series III”. Ever since watching Murder By Death years ago – see it if you haven’t – I can’t take Miss Marple seriously. I don’t have the same problem with Charlie Chan or Sam Spade or any of the other guys, but Miss Marple and I are through. It’s sad really, because back in the day, when I was just a lad at boarding school, she and I, well, you know.

10:30 – 11:00PM

The Queen Family. The description of this begins: “The mountains of Appalachia are home to a folk…” and then it goes down to the next line and I stop reading. I imagine the next words are “that make you squeal like a pig if you run into trouble while going down a river,” but could be mistaken. Yup, looking further down, I was wrong, they’re “home to a folk music tradition that traces its roots to England, Scotland, and Ireland.” Apparently the show focuses on a family with the last name of Queen and therefore isn’t in bad taste.


Monday, July 16:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Portland (Hour One).” Wow, Oregon. No one ever said that the Roadshow didn’t go to the ends of the Earth, and I’ve heard that Portland, Oregon is that. Much like with past cities, I’m not saying anything bad about Portland here, I actually really applaud the show for thrusting this otherwise benign city into the national spotlight. Maybe there’ll be a really swell rocking chair from 1821 to be found in Portland.

9:00 – 10:00PM

History Detectives. I took last week off from making fun of this show’s title, and I might do it again this week too. I feel like everything that could be said about the utter oddness of the title has been said. Up this week: Atocha Spanish Silver, Lucy Parsons Book, and Ernie Pyle’s typewriter (better than Gomer Pyle’s I guess). At least, that’s how they’re titling the segments.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Simon Schama’s Power of Art – “David.” David, Goliath. Goliath, David. Oh. Another boo-boo, and this one I didn’t intentionally make, this David isn’t a work of art, but an artist. He created Death of Marat, and if that’s not power, I don’t know what is.


Tuesday, July 17:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova scienceNOW. This is just foolish. They’re going the wrong way here, last week they aired episode four from season two, this week they’re airing episode three. Maybe they’re assuming that more people saw episode four than three, really dug it, and now are going to go back and watch an old one. It could happen. Hey, I liked this episode, so it really actually could happen.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Wide Angle – “Back to School.” My favorite scene: the diving stuff. Rodney Dangerfield up on that high-dive board is just fantastic. It’s so sad that the poor guy gets no respect. I respect him. He’s got a great body of work. Did you know that in 2003 Wide Angle profiled children in seven different countries as they started their first year of school? Well, three years later they went back and looked at them again.

10:00 – 11:00PM

P.O.V. – “The Chances of the World Changing.” There’s this guy in Manhattan, a 50-year-old writer, who’s sharing his Manhattan loft with 1,200 turtles, including five species extinct in the wild. There is no way he isn’t violating the terms of his lease. There’s just no way.


Wednesday, July 18:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Ferrets: The Pursuit of Excellence. Which do you think is a better choice: this week’s Ferrets: The Pursuit of Excellence or last week’s Synchronized Swimming: The Pursuit of Excellence? (Please insert your own “actually I’m holding out for Such-and-Such: The Pursuit of Excellence joke here — there are a number of really great choices that I have off the top of my head, but I’m sure I’m missing some outstanding ones, feel free to comment below.)

9:00PM – 10:00PM

American Masters – “David Hockney: The Colors of Music.” Hockney, the English-born, Los Angeles-based artist, is considered a pretty influential 20th century artist. I like to think of him as a 20th century Fox, but when I’ve called him that in the past there was this whole lawsuit about name infringement or some such problem. So, let’s just call him “da man.”

10:00 – 11:00PM

Niagara Falls. A look at, yup, Niagara Falls, its beauty, majesty, etc., etc. Hopefully they’ll talk about some key sequences from Superman II, and use a substantial amount of footage of foolish people in barrels going over the Falls. I love foolish people in barrels going over the Falls.


Thursday, July 19:

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 – “Portland (Hour One).” Wow, Oregon. No one ever said that the Roadshow didn’t go to the ends of the Earth, and I’ve heard that Portland, Oregon is that. Much like with past cities, I’m not saying anything bad about Portland here, I actually really applaud the show for thrusting this otherwise benign city into the national spotlight. Maybe there’ll be a really swell rocking chair from 1821 to be found in Portland.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage (2006-2007) – “Jewel From the Rialto Square Theatre (Part 1).” Jewel sings. Needless to say, it’ll be a night without armor.


Friday, July 20:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4703. 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 #329. 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 #1115 – It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,115th 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).

10:00PM – 10:30PM

Exposé: America’s Investigative Reports #205. Each episode in this series focuses on journalistic investigations and the people that went and did them. I think it’s a dying art in this country, we’re all far too interested in the cheap hit than the in-depth story.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Alan Alda in Scientific American Frontiers – “Hot Planet – Cold Comfort.” A full hour on global warming. And, for the record, this show was taped way before Al Gore jumped on the bandwagon with his little movie. I’m curious to see what Hawkeye has to say about it all.


Saturday, July 21:

9:00 – 10:0PM

Austin City Limits – “Franz Ferdinand/What Made Milwaukee Famous.” I assume you know this already, but Franz Ferdinand is not what made Milwaukee Famous. What made Milwaukee famous is beer that is, at best, mediocre.


Well, it was called quixotic, it was called insane, it was called ridiculous, and that was just by my wife. Whatever it was called, I spent weeks on end discussing my huge desire to become an Imagineer and to have someone at Disney, preferrably an Imagineer, write to me about it all. So, when I say it was a success, I mean that I was written to by an Imagineer! I won't say much more about it all at this point, but check back in next week for, hopefully, an update.

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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