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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of December 16

Nine shopping days left until Christmas.  What are you buying me?  There are things I want.  Actually, I have an Amazon Wish List that describes them all.  Well, it describes some of them.  I don't really feel as though one list could encapsulate everything I want.  I don't think it could encapsulate what anyone wants.  How is it possible to put "peace on Earth" and "good will towards man" on an Amazon wish list?  I think that would be a great thing.

 

Sunday, December 16:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Violent Hawaii.”   I've been telling Hawaii for years that it had to seek help, that it needed to go into some sort of anger management program.  Hawaii did not listen.  Hawaii never listens.  Hawaii has volcanic eruptions, gigantic waves, and, apparently snow.  Oh Hawaii, seek help.

9:00 – 11:00PM

Masterpiece Theatre – "Prime Suspect:  The Final Act."  It's Helen Mirren's last go-round as Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison.  If you like Mirren, if you like Tennison, if you like detective fair, you'll like this journey to the seedier side of things.

 

Monday, December 17:

8:00 – 9:00PM

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.

9:00 – 11:03PM

Great Performances – "'Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny' From LA Opera."  Audra McDonald AND Patti LuPone.  Oh man.  Talk about fun.  That's fun.  I like that Patti LuPone.  Have you seen in her other things?  She's got quite the CV. 

 

Tuesday, December 18:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Missing in MiG Alley."  Does anyone even take the MiG seriously anymore?  I don't think so.  After Maverick did that inverted dive with the MiG at the beginning of Top Gun, that was pretty much the beginning of the end, wasn't it?  If Tom Cruise can beat a MiG, I think we all can.

9:00 – 11:00PM

 

Independent Lens – "An Unreasonable Man."  Yeah, that title puts it mildly.  This whole film is about Ralph Nader.  Ralph Nader.  "Unreasonable" hardly begins to cover it.  I'm not saying it's a bad thing, I'm just saying it's his thing.  He is unreasonable.  Sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's bad.  Watch and judge for yourself.

 

Wednesday, December 19:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Wired Science – “#109."  Did you know there's a "space junkyard?"  Well, there is, and it ought to be fixed.  That's my opinion anyway.  Maybe it's just me.  You know, sometimes I feel as though I'm the only person that cares about our universe.  Everyone is always so concerned about the world.  That's such a local concern.  I'm concerned with the bigger picture here. 

9:00PM – 10:00PM

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Sissel.  Seems pretty obvious what this one is about, doesn't?  The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings.  Sissel sings with them, well, Sissel is featured with them anyway.  Thus it is called Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Sissel

 10:00PM – 11:00PM

Christmas at St. Olaf:  Where Peace and Love and Hope Abide.  I cannot tell you how tempted I am to continue in the same vein as the above.  But, rather than that, I'll tell you that it takes place at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.  Good?  Good.

 

Thursday, December 20:

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 Three)."  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 21:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4725. 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 #351.  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 #1137. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,137th 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 – "A Coat of Many Colors:  The Israelites in Egypt."  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 22:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Lucinda Williams/Old Crow Medicine Show."  I don't think I'd refer to Lucinda Williams as an "old crow."  But I wonder if the "medicine show" referred to herein means that she takes drugs during the episode.  Fingers crossed.

 

"Peace on Earth, good will towards man."  I think that's why I like this holiday.  I don't so much believe in the over-arching religious message, but I like the feeling that pervades the holiday.  There is a certain optimism and brightness to the holiday which make it spectacular. 

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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