Monday , February 26 2024
Seriously, what would it cost to get me in the background of a shot in a James Bond movie?

PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of January 20

So, we're still questing for me to be in the next Bond movie (or the one after). Remember, I'm not asking for a speaking role, just the chance to stand in the background and to try not to be overly giddy with excitement. That last little bit will be incredibly difficult, but I think it's the sort of thing that I can manage, if I have time to practice. So, let's get cracking and let's get me onto the set of the newest James Bond movie.

Sunday, January 20:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Dogs That Changed the World: Dogs by Design”. How’s this for awesome — as more breeds of dogs are created and mixed and transformed and changed and what-not, our relationship to dogs change. As do theirs to us. What’s up with that?

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 this week, "Northanger Abbey."

10:30 – 11:00PM

Encore! With James Conlon – "Tradition or Innovation?” Which God is more your speed? It’s music making explored through mythological paradigm. Because it all wasn’t confusing enough.

Monday, January 21:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Baltimore (Hour Three)". 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 And, none of that is antique in a good way, it's all, frankly, just old and outdated.

9:00 – 10:00PM

American Experience – "The Lobotomist". The New York Times – yes, that New York Times – hailed the lobotomy as a "surgery of the soul." Turn out that they may have made a mistake. A mistake was also made by Walter J. Freeman, who helped make the surgery popular (albeit for a short period of time). Learn more about Dr. Freeman and his surgery here.

10:00 – 11:30PM

American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver. While I am an American, I am certainly in no way an idealist. I travel much more down the "realist" track. Robert Sargent Shriver did not. He founded the Peace Corps, VISTA, Community Action, Head Start, Legal Services for the Poor, Youth Corps, Job Corps, and apparently some other things, too. Maybe I should be an idealist, then I could have my own documentary.

Tuesday, January 22:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – "Growing up Online". My sister is seven years younger than I am. I remember the first time I saw the Internet, I remember that there wasn't always a computer in the house. She does not. She sees the world differently than I do. At least some of that is because there has always been an "online." How much of her difference is the online thing and how much is it that she's just weird?

10:00 – 11:00PM

Independent Lens – "A Son's Sacrifice" and "American Made". Back-to-back episodes of Independent Lens air tonight. The first is about Imran, a Muslim-American with mixed heritage. He wants to take over his father's business, but encounters some issues along the way. In the other episode a family of Sikh-Americans has trouble getting a lift when stranded in the desert. The son blames the father because the father wears a turban.

Wednesday, January 23:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Pioneers of Television – “Game Shows”. 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 – Home". 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 24:

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 Three)". 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 – "Lifehouse". Ah lifehouse. I think that's better than a lighthouse, right? I mean, a lifehouse, presumably safeguards lives. Lighthouses do the same sort of thing, but they do it in a less direct way than imagine a lifehouse would do. That, and Lifehouse sings.

Friday, January 25:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4730. 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 on PBS #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 #1142. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,142nd 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 – "Seeds of Destruction". The third hour of this repeat series looks at slavery and its ramifications from 1800 through the Civil War. As our nation went west, slavery sometimes expanded, and the country repeatedly faced the issue of whether new states should be slave or free. As we all know though, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Saturday, January 26:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Brad Paisley/Dierks Bentley". Ah Paisley, that pattern that shouldn't exist. The country singer, however, is pretty fun. Now, I'm not the biggest country guy, but that Paisley sure can sing. He rocks like a Bentley rolls, smooth.


I'd like to, at this time, point out that I always liked the idea of Daniel Craig as James Bond. I thought from the moment they hired him that he would do a good job, and, happily, I was proven right. You know, back when I had a cubicle, I had pictures of Craig and the other Bonds up; that, frankly, was the best part of my being in a place that had me work in a cubicle.

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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