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Should there be a new Quest? You and PBS can decide together.

PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of September 9

I think the time has really come for me to find a new quest. I really don't know what it should be. A walk-on in the next James Bond film would really be something at the top of my list, but I just don't know if that is something that is doable. Are they even filming any of it in the United States? I really can't afford the cost of a flight to some exotic locale, even if it is to be in the background of a James Bond movie. What do you think, is that just too quixotic?

 

Sunday, September 9:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Land of the Falling Lakes.” There is a forest known as the Devil's Garden in Croatia. There exists in said garden 16 falling lakes. This seems to mean a bunch of lakes are connected by waterfalls and rapids. It does sound pretty cool, as does the wildlife, like the baby dragon, that lives there.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Mystery! – “The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Series V: Natural Causes. That Lynley. He's been suspended pending the outcome of his disciplinary hearing. That doesn't stop him from helping out Havers though with a new case. Yeah, that'll go over well.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Visiones: Latino Art and Culture – "Episode Three". In "Episode Three," Anakin succumbs to the Dark Side and becomes the Sith Lord Vader. It's probably the most bloody of the episodes, and even features the Teatro Campesino and Luis Valdez as well as the Texas Day of the Dead Celebration (great movie, by the way).

 

Monday, September 10:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Honolulu (Hour Two).” 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 your 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 – 11:30PM

The Blitz: London's Longest Night. There are some things even I won't joke about, and the Blitz is one of them. This show mixes CGI and archive footage in order to recreate scenes and is based on eyewitness accounts. True, this show has aired before, but it still sounds fascinating.

 

Tuesday, September 11:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – "Building on Ground Zero". A perfectly appropriate show to start primetime on Tuesday, 9/11. This is a follow-up documentary to "Why The Towers Fell" and originally aired last year on September 5. It would be fascinating for it to have been updated once more with what has happened this past year, but I do not think that it has been.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Wide Angle – “A Woman Among Warlords”. Malalai Joya is a 28-year-old woman who has launched a parliamentary campaign in 2003. There were assassination attempts made against her, but she kept on fighting and pushing for what she believed. Did she win? Did she lose? Watch and find out.

10:00 – 11:30PM

P.O.V. – “The Camden 28”. The year, 1971. The place, Camden, New Jersey. Twenty-eight people including four Catholic priests and a Lutheran minister are arrested for initiating a raid on the draft board office. The film here looks at the story and what the participants think of it 35 years later.

 

Wednesday, September 12:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Brown is the new Green: George Lopez and the American Dream. Latinos are the nation's largest and fastest growing minority group. Business naturally wants to capitalize on them and their wallets. The documentary focuses on George Lopez and looks into his life and world as he attempts to represent Latinos.

9:00PM – 10:30PM

American Masters – "Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends". Did you know that Tony Bennett has been in the music business for over 50 years? This episode of American Masters goes into depth on Tony and his life, including complete coverage of the 2005 Monterey Jazz Festival performance by Bennett.

10:30PM – 11:00PM

Visiones: Latino Art and Culture – "Episode Four". Did you know that when originally released, this wasn't titled "Episode Four", it was just Star Wars? It didn't even say "Episode IV" at the start of the introduction until a re-release. Yup. History has been changed. The episode herein focuses mainly on Latino music and dance, from New York to Miami to Los Angeles.

 

Thursday, September 13:

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 Two).” 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 your first in my heart.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Lawrence of Arabia: The Battle for the Arab World – "Episode One". This is the first part of a two-part special focusing on T.E. Lawrence. Filmed in England, Jordan, and Syria it includes archival footage and builds on eyewitness accounts, including those of Lawrence himself.

 

Friday, September 14:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4711. 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 – 9:30PM

NOW #337. 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!

9:30 – 10:30PM

Bill Moyers Journal #1123 – It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,123th 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).

10:30PM – 11:00PM

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.

Saturday, September 15:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Trey Anastasio". Trey is, I'm told, a "jam band icon." I used to be a jelly guy, but in recent years I've become more of a jam one, so I can respect where Trey is coming from here. I wonder if he likes Tiptree Little Scarlett, because that's my favorite jam. I know, it costs a little bit more, but I think it's totally worth it.

 

Let me just say that I'm not against quixotic for simply being quixotic, I just think that the Bond Quest is a mite silly. And, I don't really want to tarnish Imagineer Quest 2007 and the rousing success that resulted in. What do you think? Should I embark on an all-new quest, or should I let it go for now? Boy, I wish that PBS, which provides so many answers, could give me one about this.

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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