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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... soon it's cider time...

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of November 25

I don't even want to tell you how many shopping days are left until Christmas because it will just depress you. I'm doing a lot of debating about what to get my daughter this year. She's young, so she won't really remember what we've gotten her, but that doesn't mean I want to cheap out and buy her a bunch of Pampers, does it? Don't get me wrong, Pampers are expensive, and essential, but I'm all about giving people what they actually want as a gift. Read down below to see what I want.

 

Sunday, November 25:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “From Orphan to King.” I like to go the other way, king to orphan. Did you know that once I was the King of Spain (now I eat humble pie)? You see, there was this whole prince and pauper, junior and whopper, a world made up of silver and copper thing going on. Either that, or this is the story of Kusasi, a male orangutan.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Masterpiece Theatre – “My Family and Other Animals. This is based on the childhood memoirs of Gerald Durrell (they have the same name). It chronicles Durrell's trip to Corfu with his family. They spent five years there prior to the Second World War. I'd say more, but I don't want to ruin it for you.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Smitten. The tale (documentary, if you will) of Rene di Rosa. Rene lives in the Napa Valley and seeks emerging artists. Rene actually has the largest collection of Northern Californian art in the world. Go Rene!

 

Monday, November 26:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “San Francisco (Hour Two).” The Roadshow goes to San Francisco. If you go to, be sure to wear a flower in your hair. They're into that sort of thing. Sure, the hippies may be gone from the city, but their spirit lives on in the actions and attitudes of those that remain.

9:00 – 11:00PM

America at a Crossroads – "Homegrown: Islam in Prison" and "Campus Battleground". Back-to-back episodes of this documentary series explore to different, yet equally disturbing topics. First up, are America's prisons a breeding ground for Islamic militants who are just itching to become terrorists? Then, a look at how Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestinian groups on college campus fight one another.

 

Tuesday, November 27:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Pocahontas Revealed”. Not that way, you sick, sick man. She was just a girl. This special takes a look at that girl, finds out who she was, what made her tick. Why she stopped ticking. That sort of thing. Personally, I want to know if she ever tocked.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – “Spying on the Home Front”. Tonight, a look at the ever-growing and totally awesome debate over the Bush administration's policy of eavesdropping on your personal, private conversations, without asking for a warrant. I think they just like to follow the policy that it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

10:00 – 12:00AM

Independent Lens – “Sisters in Law". Ah, a close look at a small courthouse in Cameroon (that's in Africa). There are two women there, Vera Ngassa and Beatrice Ntuba. The first is a prosecutor, the second is a court president. I think they are sisters in the law, not sisters-in-law.

 

Wednesday, November 28:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Wired Science – “Episode 101”. This brand-spanking new series (now in repeats) is brought to you by Wired magazine. This season will present 10 episodes that will look at new discoveries and… the future. Wired is all about science and tech and nerd-dom, and, with any luck, this magazine show will be the exact same.

9:00PM – 11:00PM

Great Performances – “Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival Chicago”. Mr. Clapton – Eric, if you will – and some buds (B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, Jeff Beck, and Buddy Guy) play in Chicago. Even Bill Murray is there. I hope he tells some jokes.

 

Thursday, November 29:

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 – “San Francisco (Hour Two).” The Roadshow goes to San Francisco. If you go to, be sure to wear a flower in your hair. They're into that sort of thing. Sure, the hippies may be gone from the city, but their spirit lives on in the actions and attitudes of those that remain.

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 two of two tonight and follows some da Vinci experts as they try to build some of the machines he imagined.

 

Friday, November 30:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4722. 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 #348. 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 #1134. 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

Beaux Arts at 50. Two years ago, perhaps a little bit more, Menahem Pressler and the Beaux Arts Trio celebrated their 50th anniversary. They did this by recreating their first performance at Tanglewood, even though it was called the Berkshire Music Festival back in the day. Anyway, check it out, it could be quite interesting.

 

Saturday, December 1:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration. Nice women, that Celtic Woman group. I know they go with the singular for their title, but there are a bunch of them, five I believe. They sing songs, one plays the fiddle. It's a rocking good time. Please just remember, it's Celtic with a hard "C."

9:00 – 10:00PM

Bob Dylan: Live in Newport 1963-1965. Wow, the man performed live in Newport for two straight years. The world was different back then. Right now, if you get just a couple of hours out of a performer you've paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars to see you consider that a success. Dylan though, the man sang for two straight years. Wow.

10:00 – 11:00PM

David Broza at Masada: The Sunrise Concert. Composer, guitarist, and singer David Broza plays a concert at Masada. Masada is, it seems, a fortress in a southern desert in Israel. Even Jackson Browne will be there, and that is something to see.

 

What do I want? You really want to know, don't you? Well, it's not my two front teeth. Yes, I want them too, but I already have them. What I want is peace on earth, good will towards man (woman too), that kind of thing. I want happiness for all. I think that means that Nintendo should give away a bunch of Wiis. Have you played this thing? I've had mine for over a year now, and I just love it. Wow. I'm telling you, make your child (or husband or wife) happy — get them a Wii.

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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