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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of October 28

This is it folks, the time has arrived. The sugar has reached my eyeballs and I'm ready to rock and roll. Maybe this year will finally be the year I see the Great Pumpkin. I've always wanted to try sitting in a pumpkin patch and waiting for the Great Pumpkin. I would do it, except when I try and sit somewhere for an extended period of time I end up with some serious back pain and get awfully grumpy. Maybe I should do it this year, bringing a lamp, a chair, a heater, and some food. I'm not the outdoorsy type, you see.

 
Sunday, October 28:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Silence of the Bees.” By "silence" the show means that honeybees are disappearing from North America. No one is quite sure why, but gosh darn it, they're going to try and find out. Seriously folks, this could be a real problem, due to the whole pollination thing that honeybees do.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Masterpiece Theatre – “The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard – Episode 2. I must tell you, I'm quite excited for this. This show is all about Ros Pritchard (Jane Horrocks); somehow or other this fine woman ends up running for Parliament and ends up winning. What's more, though, is that her party ends up with a plurality (possibly a majority, I couldn't say), and she becomes Prime Minister. Oh yes, it's true (in a fictionalized sense).

10:00 – 11:00PM

Art in the Twenty-First Century – “Romance. This is the first episode of the fourth season of a show about art in the 21st century. The episode will focus on four different artists, including one who stages scenes with dummies. There are so many jokes here, but I'll forego all of them and let you know that they're ventriloquist dummies.

 
Monday, October 29:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Milwaukee (Hour One).” Wow, Milwaukee. This brand-spanking new episode has the show going to the land of beer. I imagine that's what people bring in too, old beer that no one really wants to drink. I promise you people, in at least one of these three episodes beer will come up. Wanna bet?

9:00 – 10:30PM

American Masters – "Good Ol' Charles Schulz". No one makes fun of Charles Schulz, no one. I wonder if they're airing this episode now because the Great Pumpkin is only two days away. The episode traces Schulz's life and work, and one has to imagine that the "Peanuts" will come up eventually.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Antiques Roadshow FYI – “#120.” This is a “magazine-style spin-off” of Antiques Roadshow. They’re going to take a look at some past items that have appeared on the show, along with the owners, and do a whole “where are they now” kind of thing. It just generally sounds like a good time, doesn't it?

 
Tuesday, October 30:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Marathon Challenge”. This episode examines what it takes for the average person to run a marathon. I have some choice answers for that, mostly along the lines of "more guts than brains" so I'll only give you that one and quickly end this description. Wait, I should add that it looks at people in the Boston Marathon. There, done.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – “The Undertaking”. The show looks at Thomas Lynch, a poet and undertaker. He, and/or his family have cared for the dead in a small Michigan town for three generations. I imagine that even in a small town that's a lot people. What if they were all to come back to life? Tomorrow is Halloween, after all.

10:00 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens – “Storm of Emotions". The documentary here examines the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Needless to say – but I'm going to anyway – emotions run wild. The episode looks at everything from the perspective of the police; yes, go ahead, show bias, see if I care.

 
Wednesday, October 31:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Wired Science – “Episode 105”. Just one of the things the show will be looking at tonight is the difference between analog and digital sound. Now, I haven't seen the episode yet, but I'd bet that without a high end sound system it's really, really hard to tell the difference. But, we'll see. Who knows, I could be wrong.

9:00PM – 11:30PM

The War – “FUBAR.” The fifth part of Ken Burns’s six-years-in-the-making, 14-hour documentary looking at World War Two and the stories of people from four different areas of the United States: Waterbury Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; and Luverne, Minnesota.

 
Thursday, November 1:

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 – “Milwaukee (Hour One).” Wow, Milwaukee. This brand-spanking new episode has the show going to the land of beer. I imagine that's what people bring in too, old beer that no one really wants to drink. I promise you people, in at least one of these three episodes beer will come up. Wanna bet?

10:00 – 11:00PM

Way of the Warrior. Native Americans, sadly, are sometimes considered outside the mainstream of our society. Yet, many fought for this nation during the 20th century. It can be an odd dichotomy and one that will be more fully explored in this episode than I could hope to do in this paragraph. Check it out.

 
Friday, November 2:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4718. 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 #344. 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 #1130 – It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,130th 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 #220. 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

Antiques Roadshow FYI– “123.” This is a “magazine-style spin-off” of Antiques Roadshow. They’re going to take a look at some past items that have appeared on the show, along with the owners, and do a whole “where are they now” kind of thing. It just generally sounds like a good time, doesn't it?

 
Saturday, November 3:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Wilco". Roger. Wilco. Ready. Waiting. Do it. To it. They're going to perform classics and some new stuff from their new disc, Sky Blue Sky. I think it's a better title than Green Water Green or Purple Face Purple.

 

So, let's do it, let's take a vote – should I wait outside this year to see if the Great Pumpkin shows up? I think I have a chair that I could do it with, and I could get a gas burning heat generator thingy and some food. The vote is going to have to be incredibly one-sided for me to really do this, but if I do I promise to bring a digital camera. Let's get voting in the comments section people.

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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