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Name my quest for a walk on role in a James Bond movie.

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of January 13

Well, we're still looking for a title for this James Bond quest of mine. I haven't heard anything that I'm in love with yet, so let's put our thinking caps on now, shall we? I want to have a walk-on role in a James Bond movie. What should we call such a quest? My Bonding with James Quest? No, that's not any good. It doesn't really roll off the tongue, now does it? Keep thinking, and read on.

 

Sunday, January 13:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Dogs That Changed the World: The Rise of the Dog”. How’s this for awesome: they’re going to use DNA analysis and other research methods to figure out how wolves became dogs and how there then became so many different breeds of dogs. Dog, dog, dog, dog, dog.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Theatre – "The Complete Jane Austen". Holy macaroni! They're going to show pretty much every Jane Austen work they can get their hands on. That's actually why they call it "The Complete Jane Austen" — they're going to show all of it. Up first, "Persuasion."

10:30 – 11:00PM

Encore! With James Conlon – "Tradition or Innovation?” Seems as though Arturo Toscanini wasn’t a huge fan of tradition. Others believe tradition to be important. Is it? Is it not? And, most importantly, how did tradition and novelty affect the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition held in Fort Worth back in the spring of 2005?

 

Monday, January 14:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Baltimore (Hour Two)". I used to live in Baltimore. I know about antiques in Baltimore. The city 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 And none of that is antique in a good way; it's all, frankly, just old and outdated.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 – 10:30PM

American Experience – "Oswald's Ghost". According to the description of this show the assassination of President Kennedy left a "psychic wound" on this nation. I guess if you're going to talk about the ghost of a killer you can talk about psychic wounds. You can also talk about how the event gave rise to a culture of conspiracy theories.

10:30 – 11:00PM

The March of the Bonus Army. Yes, this does sound a little like a video game; turns out it’s nowhere near as happy as that. It’s all about thousands of unemployed World War I vets marching to the Capital during the Great Depression. The government and military response to them may have been overly harsh. Watch this and judge for yourself.

 

Tuesday, January 15:

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 – "Dangerous Business". Did you know that every single year, 6,000 Americans lose their lives on the job? That's a lot of freak keyboard accidents, people. Did you know that if you die in a freak keyboard accident due to your company's willful disregard for safety regulations they only get six months in jail for killing you? Wow, hardly seems right.

10:00 – 11:30PM

Independent Lens – "Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita". Just because someone says that they can do something doesn't necessarily mean that they can do it in short order. Such is the case with stem cell research. Watch and find out all about it. Or, at least some about it. Well, maybe just one or two things about it.

 

Wednesday, January 16:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Pioneers of Television – “Variety”. 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 – "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times". 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 17:

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 – "Baltimore (Hour Two)". I used to live in Baltimore. I know about antiques in Baltimore. The city 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 2)". 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 18:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4729. 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 #403. 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 #1141. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,141st 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 – "Liberty in the Air". The second hour of this repeat series looks at slavery in this country and its ramifications from the 1740s through the 1830s. It covers the Revolution, the Second Constitution, and the start of the emancipation movement.

Saturday, January 19:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Coldplay". I saw Coldplay play once. Once. Literally, it was like one song. They were at the Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard. I think it's gone now, but it was there then. Anyway, I didn't know that they were going to be there, but this woman I was dating was in town from London for a couple of days and we were meeting someone at Wolfgang Puck. Long story short, I married the woman.

 

You see, I've loved James Bond ever since I was a wee lad. I don't know why, but I do. I've taught my 19-month-old daughter about Bond. She's not at the point where she knows a Connery from a Lazenby from a Moore from a Brosnan from a Dalton, but I think she'll get there eventually. I'm convinced she'll get there eventually. She's smart enough to recognize Sean Connery when she sees him.

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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