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Lasser... Josh Lasser.

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of January 6

As you will undoubtedly recall, last year I launched Imagineer Quest 2007. This was my quixotic quest to talk to an Imagineer, the geniuses behind a large portion of what Disney does. The quest was a massive success and now I just have to get a job with them in order to fulfill my dream. But, I have another dream, a dream that burns brightly. It's a dream that means much to me and has less chance of success than Imagineer Quest 2007 did. Read the closing to learn about this other dream of mine.


Sunday, January 6:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “The Desert Lions”. I guess desert lions are cool. I've always been more of a dessert lion person than a desert lion person. It's not that I'm against desert lions, but a new dessert lion, made of chocolate and caramel, is just the sort of thing that I like to finish a delicious meal with. The dessert lion is second only to the dessert aardvark on my list of dessert animals.

9:00 – 11:00PM

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


Monday, January 7:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Baltimore (Hour One)". I used to live in Baltimore. I know about antiques in Baltimore. The city's mentality is antique. The city's actions are antique. The city's persona is antique. And, none of that is antique in a good way, it's all, frankly, just old and outdated.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Great Performances – "Carnegie Hall Celebrates Berlin". You know how you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. You know who practices a lot? The Berliner Philharmoniker. Thus, the Berliner Philharmoniker has made it to Carnegie Hall. Watch it, you might enjoy it. No promises though.


Tuesday, January 8:

8:00 – 9:30PM

Nova – "Absolute Zero". I know about absolute zero, and can actually tell you about absolute zero without reading the description. Absolute zero is the coldest possible temperature, it is zero Kelvin. My understanding is that one does not say zero degrees Kelvin, it's just zero Kelvin. As one approaches zero Kelvin, random molecular motion ceases and a special condensate is formed. Check out this Nova two-parter and learn more.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – "The Medicated Child". Did you know that more than four million children are now on behavior medication medicine? Wow. That's incredible. Are we over-diagnosing? Are we just being silly? Have we given up on parenting completely? Quite possibly.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Independent Lens – "Today's Man". Lizzie Gottlieb, who made this movie, did so in order to try and understand her brother. Her brother, at age 21, was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome (a high-functioning form of autism). Lizzie, I believe, learns a lot during her search for understanding and meaning.


Wednesday, January 9:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Pioneers of Television – “Late Night”. 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

The Jewish Americans – "They Came to Stay/A World of Their Own". This is two hours of a six-hour documentary that looks at 350 years of a Jewish presence in America. It examines Jewish immigration, assimilation, and the overall Jewish experience. Also, it's narrated by Liev Schreiber.


Thursday, January 10:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Live From Lincoln Center – "I Can't Believe It's Schoenberg!". Me neither. Can you believe it? Schoenberg! Schoenberg, I tell you, Schoenberg! For those who don't know, Schoenberg wrote Verklärte Nacht. Now do you know Schoenberg? Now do you believe it's him?

9:00 – 10:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Baltimore (Hour One)". I used to live in Baltimore. I know about antiques in Baltimore. The city's mentality is antique. The city's actions are antique. The city's persona is antique. And, none of that is antique in a good way, it's all, frankly, just old and outdated.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage – "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Live from Gatorville (Part 1)". Petty and company return to Gainesville, Florida, their hometown. This show was their first show there in 13 years. I guess Tom and company are not superstitious, otherwise they may have waited another year, or perhaps never have gone back at all.


Friday, January 11:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4728. 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 #402. 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 #1140. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,140th 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

Slavery and the Making of America – "The Downward Spiral". The first hour of this repeat series looks at the early history of our country, 1619 through 1739, and the origins of slavery in this country. While not a moment in our country that we should be proud of, it's certainly something that ought to be learned about.


Saturday, January 12:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Kings of Leon/Rory Erickson". I wonder if Rory Erickson is royalty of some sort. Perhaps he's a Duke of some sort. Maybe he's the Duke of Earl travelling under a stage name. Normally I wouldn't think such a thing, but why would the Kings of Leon agree to work with a regular individual? Surely they would want to work with royalty.


So, the new quest, an old dream that has been enhanced for the digital age. I want to be an extra in a James Bond movie. Oh sure, I want to do more than be an extra, I want to have a walk-on speaking role, but that's just insane, I'm no actor. But, what I am is a monster James Bond fan, and I would love a behind the scenes look at the upcoming movie, and not the sort of behind the scenes look I'll get when I'm first on line to buy the DVD. No, I want to be on the set of the new James Bond movie (or even the one after that), and I want your help. What should this quest be called? It needs to be google-able.

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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