Monday , April 22 2024
How is Thanksgiving here already. Life just flies by, doesn't it?

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of November 18

My goodness, people, Thanksgiving is upon us.  The year is almost over.  It's all gone by so quickly.  Do you realize I've been writing up these things for over a year now.  It seems like an awfully long time.  I know that at least a handful of people have, on occasion, read these things, there have been comments and the success of Imagineer Quest 2007. I'm going to keep bringing that up because it was a crashing success and, just may, eventually, change the course of my life.  Nothing definite, but fingers crossed. 


Sunday, November 18:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “The Beauty of Ugly.”   I tend to think it's wrong of Nature to do a special on Ugly Betty.  I understand that this is the November Sweep and all, but still.  Fine, fine, this episode isn't on an ABC show, it's un hagfish, naked mole rats, warthogs, proboscis monkeys, and the like. 

9:00 – 10:00PM

Masterpiece Theatre – “The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard – Episode 5.  I must tell you, I'm quite excited for this.  This show is all about Ros Pritchard (Jane Horrocks), some how 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 majority, and she becomes Prime Minister.  Oh yes, it's true (in a fictionalized sense).

10:00 – 11:00PM

Art in the Twenty-First Century – “Paradox.”  In the season's final episode (wow, four episodes people, way to go all out) the show explores five artists who look at contradiction, ambiguity, conflict, and that sort of thing.  I just wish it had been about time travel television series and the problems with reality they create. 


Monday, November 19:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Unique Antiques.” Rather than focusing on a single city, this week the show looks at some of the most ridiculous things they have ever seen.  You know, the biggest, baddest, best things they have had on in the past decade. 

9:00 – 11:00PM

Athens:  The Dawn of Democracy.  People think that our democracy is dirty.  Ha.  Go and check out ancient Athens, because 2,500 years ago they had one heck of a bloody democracy on their hands.  One in three Athenians was a slave (I'm quite sure they didn't vote on that), they went to war all the time, and couldn't take criticism.  Sounds a little like our country, doesn't it?


Tuesday, November 20:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Master of the Killer Ants.”   This sounds like one great science fiction movie waiting to happen.  It isn't, it's all about the Mofu, a tribe that lives in the Mandras Mountains in northern Cameroon.  A shaman of the tribe summons ants to fight off termites that have begun eating the tribes huts and granaries due to a drought that has caused the termites to leave the fields. 

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – “On Our Watch.”  We, the population of the world, have a terribly short memory.  One decade we help free people from Concentration Camps after millions and millions die in the Holocaust.  Another we decide to completely ignore the genocide in Darfur (okay, so some Hollywood celebs took up the cause).  This episode is on that tragedy and why many governments did little, if anything, to stop it. 

10:00 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens – “The Creek Runs Red."  Picher, Oklahoma is, according to the EPA, the most toxic place in America (wow, I would have sworn it was New Jersey… maybe that doesn't count as America?).  People still actually live there (Jersey too).  Why and how do they respond? 


Wednesday, November 21:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Wired Science – “Episode 108.”  Up this week, a space junkyard, a convention in Niagara Falls, and elimination of symptoms caused by certain diseases via sending some extra electricity to the brain.  This last one really interests me.  Because, it seems to me, that there can be interesting decisions to be made with treating symptoms and treating diseases.        

9:00PM – 11:00PM

Great Performances – “The Israel Philharmonic 70th Anniversary Gala Concert.” I hope that this was filmed last year, because the Israel Philharmonic was formed in 1936.  Now, I'm no longer a math whiz (there may have been a time when I could do some calculus), but surely it's been 71 years at this point.  Right? 


Thursday, November 22:

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 – “Unique Antiques.” Rather than focusing on a single city, this week the show looks at some of the most ridiculous things they have ever seen.  You know, the biggest, baddest, best things they have had on in the past decade. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

Leonardo's Dream Machines.  Da Vinci, da Vinci, da Vinci.  Is it just me or is our society more and more completely entranced by Leonardo da Vinci.  He has a code.  He invents machines.  He paints.  This is part one of two tonight and follows some da Vinci experts as they try to build some of the machines he imagined. 


Friday, November 23:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4721. 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 #347.  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 #1133. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,132nd 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 – 11:00PM

Do You Speak American? – "Hour Three."  In this series, journalist Robert MacNeil goes across the country to explore how Americans use language.  I tend to think that more often that not we abuse it, but that's just one of the things that MacNeil will be looking at.   


Saturday, November 24:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Van Morrison."  It is, I am told, a marvelous night for a moondance.  It is, I am told, a fantabulous night to make romance, under the cover of November skies.  I don't know any of this stuff for certain, but I am told it is true, and I am told as much by Van Morrison.  Sing on Van, tell me more. 


Thanksgiving has come and gone.  Let me say that again, Thanksgiving has come and gone.  I know that it's early this year, it is in fact as early this year as it can ever be, but I don't think that the one week really makes all that big a difference in terms of my saying that the year is almost over.  Because, after all, the year is almost over, sure, it's 1/52 less over than it could ever be the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but it's still almost over. 

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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