Wednesday , May 22 2024
What did you do on your summer break? PBS aired shows.

PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of September 2

And so it has come to pass. Another summer is finished. Another fall has begun. What did you do this summer? Anything worthwhile? When your teacher asks about your summer vacation, do you have any good stories to tell? Me, I moved across the country, I think that's a pretty good story. The great story of course is the crushing success that Imagineer Quest 2007 became. So, yes, I have stories to tell, things to one day keep the grandkids amused. And if you can't make your not-yet-in-existence grandkids laugh, what is the point?


Sunday, September 2:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Life in Death Valley.” Oh, I get it. That's a clever title. The juxtaposition of life and death like that, just like the episode juxtaposes life and death. That's a good word, isn't it, juxtaposition I mean. It's better than jaundice or jalopy certainly. Though needless, I'll say it anyway, there are animals alive in Death Valley, and this show explores them.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Mystery! – “The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Series V: The Word of God. Last week there was a body floating in the Thames, this week there is a body frozen in a meat truck. My goodness, I certainly don't want to be around Lynley and Havers when they go to the circus… imagine the carnage there.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Visiones: Latino Art and Culture – "Episode One". In "Episode One," Anakin is found on his home world as a dispute with the Trade Federation… sorry, wrong "Episode One." This episode actually looks at that the Latino Mural Movement of the 1960s as well as Nuyorican spoken word and editorial cartoonist Lalo Lopez. And that is far better than watching Padme change her outfit umpteen times.


Monday, September 3:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Honolulu (Hour One).” This must have been quite the lulu of a trip to Hawaii, because it originally aired in January of this year, and now it is airing again. Go Hawaii! You may be the last state, but you're first in my heart.

9:00 – 10:00PM

History Detectives. – There are so many jokes to be made about the name of this program, and I've laid out a few of them before. I urge you to dig up the archives and check them out. Look into what has been said and when and by whom. I think you know what I'm asking you to be here.

10:00 – 11:00PM

America at a Crossroads – "Inside America's Empire". Despite the U.S. being the world's last "superpower," we seem to find ourselves in constant military conflict. How does the U.S. military prepare for these battles against foes that don't operate in a traditional fashion? Watch and find out.


Tuesday, September 4:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – "Dimming Sun". Did you know that our planet is growing dimmer? Due to pollution less light reaches the earth's surface than used to. And, apparently, this can, somehow, enhance global warming. Wow, too much sun leads to global warming, too little sun leads to global warming, if it is cooler where you are, that is because of global warming, if it is warmer where you are, that is because of global warming. It is kind of a catch-all isn't it?

9:00 – 10:00PM

Wide Angle – “Brazil in Black and White”. Brazil prides itself on being racially diverse. They have also recently launched some new affirmative action quotas, including one that requires 20 percent of incoming freshman at the University of Brasilia to be Afro-Brazilian. This episode takes a look at race in Brazil and people's perceptions of the same.

10:00 – 11:00PM

P.O.V. – “Made in L.A.”. Los Angeles, apparently, is the center of the country's apparel manufacturing. And, not surprisingly, a lot of the factories are sweatshop-esque. This week, the show takes a look at three Latina immigrants working in such places and how they struggle and cope and battle a major retailer.


Wednesday, September 5:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – "Bridge on the River Kwai". All together now, whistle, whistle whistle, whistle. Boy do I wish I knew how to write out that tune. Using some firsthand survivor testimony this episode constructs the real story behind the bridge, railway, and the destruction thereof. Who knows, maybe Obi Wan Kenobi will be there too.

9:00PM – 10:00PM

Lords of the Gourd: The Pursuit of Excellence. In October of 2005 I was partially responsible for unloading a mammoth truck full of gourds and bringing said gourds into a television studio. It was one of the singular saddest moments of my career. But, heck, if you like gourds watch this show. In my opinion, the only good pumpkin is a dead pumpkin (unless it's the Great Pumpkin).

10:30PM – 11:30PM

Generation Next 2.0. This is not the first episode in this series, but I again must urge PBS, Judy Woodruff, and everyone else involved to not equate a generation with a soda slogan. Plus, if this episode looks at people age 16-25 and considers them a generation, where does someone who is between one and six years older fit, being that "Generation X" does not include them either? Hmmmm?


Thursday, September 6:

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 – “Honolulu (Hour One).” This must have been quite the lulu of a trip to Hawaii, because it originally aired in January of this year, and now it is airing again. Go Hawaii! You may be the last state, but you're first in my heart.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Small Steps – There is an experimental "small school" called the High School for Contemporary Arts; this is one of the most dangerous schools in the Bronx. Take a gander at the first four years of said school.


Friday, September 7:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4710. 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 #336. 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 #1122 – It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,122th 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 #212. 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

Visiones: Latino Art and Culture – “Episode Two.” In "Episode Two" Anakin is somehow much, much older without Padme having aged a day. Though Anakin seems to have grown up, he's still about as still as a wooden board and there is no way on Tatooine that I believe he really loves her. Can you say "hackneyed dialogue" boys and girls? Wrong "Episode Two?" Too late now. Though this episode does feature Miriam Colon and Selena among others.


Saturday, September 8:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Los Lonely Boys/The Gourds". Are we actually that close to Halloween that I must suffer two gourd references in a single week? As I said above, gourds and I are not friends. Gourds humiliated and beat me into the ground once, and I have not forgiven them. Would that I could make pie out of the gourds.


With summer finished, do you have any plans for fall? I plan to watch a whole heck of a lot of television. Thank goodness it is only a couple of weeks until the season starts officially, and then we can get down to the business is that is our business. For those of you counting (if there are any), it is just over a month until Drew Carey premieres as the host of The Price is Right, and that I am certainly excited about.

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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