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Did I get what I want for Christmas? Well... sort of.

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of December 30

Well, the gifts are all unwrapped and I still don't have an Xbox 360 Elite. That's what I most wanted for Christmas and I just don't have it. It was the first thing on my grown-up Christmas list and it just didn't come. To be clear about it all, yes, I very much wanted an Xbox 360 Elite, but I'm not overly surprised that I didn't receive one. Want to know why? Read the closing down below.

Sunday, December 30:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “The Seedy Side of Plants”. I get it, I get it. The "seedy" side. That's because plants have seeds and plants will do anything to spread their seed (just like some people I know). Nature examines exactly what lengths some plants will go to in order to continue their line.

9:00 – 11:00PM

Masterpiece Theatre – "Jane Eyre". Let's face it, this is a classic novel and there has been more than one classic version of the novel put on screen. This version received numerous awards and nominations, though I'll admit to not being a huge fan of it.

 

Monday, December 31:

8:00 – 10:00PM

Live From Lincoln Center – "New York Philharmonic New Year's Eve: Joshua Bell's Romantic Violin". I wonder if Joshua Bell's violin is actually romantic. Do you think it's possible that a violin is actually romantic or is that just anthropomorphizing an object in a way that ought not be done?

10:00 – 11:30PM

Great Performances – "We Love Ella! A Tribute to the First Lady of Song". I love Ella. You love Ella. We all love Ella. Ella, Ella, Ella. She's a hella an Ella, that much I'll tell ya. Many people helped commemorate what would have been her 90th birthday. Watch them celebrate.

 

Tuesday, January 1:

8:00 – 9:30PM

Great Performances – "From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration (2008)". It seems as though year after year Great Performances ventures to Vienna to air their swell New Year's Day Celebration. It has the Vienna Philharmonic. This year will be no different. I mean, it'll be new and it'll be different, but it'll be the same and comforting, too.

9:30 – 11:00PM

Words and Music by Jerry Herman. A 90 minute look at the life and career of one of musical theater's legends, Andrew Lloyd Weber. Weird, right? They titled it "Jerry Herman" but they meant "Andrew Lloyd Weber." Relax, you know I'm joking. You know it's about Jerry Herman, don't get so huffy.

Wednesday, January 2:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Pioneers of Television – “Sitcoms”. Pioneers of Television is a four-part documentary series that features brand new interviews (in HD no less) and swell archival clips from some of your favorite shows. The four television genres covered are: sitcoms, late night, variety, and game shows. What, no drama?

9:00PM – 11:00PM

Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil and the Presidency. Andrew Jackson did some great things. Andrew Jackson did some terrible things. Andrew Jackson also did some presidential things. One must wonder whether he did more good, more evil, or more presidential. See, if you did the documentary on George W. Bush you couldn't really discuss two of those three areas.

 

Thursday, January 3:

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 Three)". 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

Oprah's Roots: An African American Lives Special. In February of 2006 Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Oprah Winfrey had some discussions about Oprah's ancestry. People were enamored and enthralled. Going to the well once more, this repeat features some new research on Oprah's roots and more discussions between Oprah and Gates.

 

Friday, January 4:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4727. 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 #401. 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 #1139. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,139th 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

By The People Citizenship in the 21st Century. A new installment of the By The People series featuring Jim Lehrer going out and getting influential Americans to draft a "Declaration of Citizenship for the 21st Century." This could be a very interesting discussion. Either that or it could devolve into angry shouts and a lot of nothingness, kind of like Congress.

Saturday, January 5:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Crowded House". This is Crowded House's first television appearance since the mid-'90s. I think that's probably because people don't like seeing poverty on TV or in the mass media in general. Thus, showing a Crowded House on television makes people feel bad, you know, why can't the group afford a house big enough for them all to live in.

 

Okay, so, here it is, why I'm not surprised that I didn't get an Xbox 360 Elite and why I'm not hugely distressed about it either – I'm 30. I don't believe that 30 means that I'm too old for an Xbox 360 Elite, nor do I believe that I should not own an Xbox 360 Elite, I just recognize that there are more important things in this world. Like my daughter, she got a tricycle. She loves 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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