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PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of December 23

Christmas is here!  Christmas is here!  It's finally come.  I didn't think it would, but it finally did.  Oh happy day!  I love Christmas.  I really, really do.  I've spoken with Santa and had some words with him about what to get my daughter.  She's going to be very happy come Christmas morning I believe.  Very happy, indeed.  Provided, of course, she remains well behaved between now and then, if not, coal and underwear.

Sunday, December 23:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Christmas in Yellowstone."   Christmas with picnic baskets.  What could be better than that?  I just hope that the mean old ranger doesn't take away all of Yogi and Booboo's Christmas cheer.  Yeah, like you didn't know that I was going to make that joke.

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 24:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Savannah (Hour Two)."  Oh Savannah, oh don't you cry for me, cause I come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee.  Ah, Savannah, Georgia.  The Deep South.  The place where the only thing sweeter than the people is the iced tea.  Seriously, you can get a cavity just by looking at it. 

9:00 – 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

10:00 – 11:00PM

Christmas at Belmont (2007).  Do the ponies run on Christmas?  Are they handicapped differently?  Do the jockeys wear little elf uniforms?  Let's face it, the jockeys are elf-sized anyway, so it would seem to make sense for them to dress up funny (or funnier) and do a little Christmas thing.  Either that or this special focuses on the concert that takes place yearly at Belmont University in Nashville. 

Tuesday, December 25:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “The Wave that Shook the World."  December 26, 2004.  A monster tidal wave in the Indian Ocean kills hundreds of thousands.   This episode examines why exactly this tsunami was so much more powerful than all the other tsunamis that strike on a yearly basis (around a hundred every decade).

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline/World  – "A World of Good."  It's a special edition of Frontline/World!  But, aren't they all special if you think about it?  I don't want to spoil any of the specifics about it for you, but it focuses on people doing good.  Not everyone doing good, but some very specific people in very specific different parts of the world doing good.  Watch and find out who. 

 10:00 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens – "Wordplay."  This documentary looks at Will Shortz, the editor of the puzzles in the New York Times, and the puzzles themselves. It also covers the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, which is founded by Shortz. I guess being the editor at the Times pays well. Rumor has it the documentary is very well done.

 

Wednesday, December 26:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Wired Science – “#110."  A Woods Hole Institute trip to the Arctic Ocean.  A chemistry teacher turns cotton balls into smokeless gunpowder.  Other things happen.  Other issues are explored.  It's odd.  It's cool.  It's different.  It's Wired the day after Christmas.    

9:00PM – 10:30PM

Bob Newhart:  Unbuttoned.  Do you have an idea how funny a man Bob Newhart is?  He's an incredibly funny man.  Incredibly.  This show takes an inside look at what makes the man tick.  Did you know he started out as an accountant and was just moonlighting doing radio sketches?  Well he was and did.

10:30PM – 11:00PM

Remembered earth:  New Mexico's High Desert.  Filmmaker John Grabowska and author N. Scott Momaday "present a vision of hope for humankind's relationship to the natural world by interpreting the myth, beauty and power of a scarred but sacred landscape of the American West."  Wow, that's quite the mouthful.   

Thursday, December 27:

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 – "Savannah (Hour Two)."  Oh Savannah, oh don't you cry for me, cause I come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee.  Ah, Savannah, Georgia.  The Deep South.  The place where the only thing sweeter than the people is the iced tea.  Seriously, you can get a cavity just by looking at it. 

10:00 – 11:00PM

Craft in America – "Community."  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 28:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4726. 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 #352.  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 #1138. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,138th 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 – "Toward the Promised Land:  Forty Years in the Desert."  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 29:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Bloc Party/Ghostland Observatory."  So, here's what I wonder.  Is the Observatory in Ghostland, is it an observatory of Ghostland, or both?  Then, does the Bloc Party take place inside the Observatory itself or outside it?  Did they have to rent out the Observatory for the Party?  These are the sorts of things I wonder.

I can't believe another year has passed.  It's more than a little scary how fast time goes by as one gets older.  It's not as though I'd want to be terribly young again though, is it.  I can't imagine having to go back to college or high school.  And, forget elementary or middle school.  There's no way if I was in second grade, and I knew how many more years of schooling I had to go that I could possibly contemplate continuing my education.  I just couldn't. 

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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