Monday , April 22 2024
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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of December 9

Well, not only am I 30 (see last week's closing), I'm also back from India. Did you even know I was in India? Well, I was. I was there in India, and now I'm back. I visited Bombay, Delhi, Jaipur, and Ahmadabad. Mostly Ahmadabad because that's where my wife's family is from. I'd never been before, but now I'm back. I'd tell you about it but I'm writing this before having left. If I'd try to write it after getting back it may not have been completed on time.


Sunday, December 9:

8:00 – 9:30PM

Nature – “Ravens.” Amazingly enough, they are not referring to the quothing kind, nor the kind that lives in Baltimore and pretends like they can play football. I know that defense wins championships, but one day that team will decide that scoring points can't hurt.

9:00 – 10:00PM

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."

10:00 – 11:00PM

Pop John Paul II: A Saint for our Times. A look at the Papacy of John Paul II, the Pope that was Pope before the current Pope. The previous Pope, if you will. Even if you won't, he is still the previous Pope. The Pope before this Pope. Anyway, this is a look at his work as Pope, whenever that may have been.


Monday, December 10:

8:00 – 10:00PM

Live From Lincoln Center – "Jazz @ Lincoln Center: Red Hot Holiday Stomp". The Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director, Wynton Marsalis plays host. He also plays the trumpet. It's his thing. He's the artistic director and a trumpeter. He's many other things too, but really those are the germane ones here.

10:00 – 11:00PM

L.A. Holiday Celebration 2007. Holiday. Celebrate. If we took a holiday (holiday). If we took some time to celebrate (celebrate). It would be, it would be in L.A. Because that's where this show takes place (takes place). It's in the city of L.A. (L.A.). It will be, it will be, so nice!


Tuesday, December 11:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Deadly Ascent.” Did you know that every year more than 1,000 people try to climb Mount McKinley? Did you know that many of them never return alive? Did you know that people also die of a strange disease up there? Well, they do, and this episode is going to figure out precisely and exactly why that is.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – "Inside the Teenage Brain." Well, at least they're not showing this at 8pm, because that's the "family hour" on television, and I'm sure that whatever is inside the teenage brain is not family appropriate. Frontline goes where no one really wants to this week and tries to figure out what, in God's name, is going on up there.

10:00 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens – "The Paper." Penn State has a college newspaper. Well, maybe it's a university newspaper, but let's call it the same thing. "The Paper" follows a year in the life of said newspaper. It seems as though in a post-9/11 world, media has changed. How? Why? Wherefore? Watch and find out.


Wednesday, December 12:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Wired Science – “#104.” This repeat features an interview with Dr. Anthony Atala. He builds organs in his lab. I don't believe the musical kind, I believe he builds the animal kind. Sweet. Also, the magazine's editor-in-chief, Chris Anderson, talks about unmanned aerial vehicles.

9:00PM – 11:00PM

P.O.V. – "Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner." Oscar winner Freida Lee Mock follows Tony Kushner for three years, from September 11, 2001 to the 2004 presidential election (I'm going to say that's more than three years). The man, Kushner, keeps trying to write the "great American play." Will he get there? Has he already? Other questions you may have?


Thursday, December 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 – "Oklahoma City (Hour Two)." Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains. Hopefully said wind didn't sweep away all the old expensive stuff, because if it did this could be a really sad little visit to the city of the same name. Seriously. Think of it, no old stuff, bad Antiques Roadshow episode.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Craft in America – "Memory." I have issues with crafts. I'm not afraid to admit that. In fact, I'll admit it readily. I don't know why I dislike them so much, I just do. I've never been into them and can't imagine I ever will. Stop. I take it all back, this is about the craft movement, and this episode looks at its history in this country.


Friday, December 14:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4724. 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 #350. 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 #1136. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,136th 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

Walking the Bible – "Go Forth: From Creation to Abraham." This is a three-part series (it originally aired in January of 2006), which follows Bruce Feiler on a 10,000 mile trip during which he searches for biblical heroes. I don't imagine he's looking for living heroes, just the memories of them, maybe some of the historical elements too. It's a long trek, but someone has to do it.


Saturday, December 15:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "John Mayer." Mayer has been on the show before, but now he's on the show again. I know that because this is a new episode and yet he's already been on in the past. Hence, again. Really, that's the very definition of again, isn't it? It happened once, now it is happening once more, so it's happening again.


At some point I may, or may not, tell you about my trip to India, but now is not the time for that. Mostly it's not the time because I wrote this before going. I think it would be wrong of me to put forward a tale of what happened to me in India before actually going there. I hope to meet Shahrukh Kahn there, Aishwarya Rai and Amitabh Bachchan too, but mainly, I think Shahrukh Kahn. I have no belief that my desire will become a reality, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to give up on my dreams, does it?

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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