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I want to be in a James Bond movie. What's so wrong with that?

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of January 27

Did you know that Sean Connery was not the first James Bond? Okay, so that's an easy one. Barry Nelson was. Good old Barry Nelson. He played Jimmy Bond on TV, not the Jimmy Bond sometimes known as Agent 3 1/2. I actually liked him in Casino Royale — no not that one or the other one, the first one that was filmed. See, I totally deserve a walk-on role in the newest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace.

 

Sunday, January 27:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Parrots in the Land of Oz”. I don't recall parrots in the land of Oz. I remember lions and tigers and bears (oh my), but no parrots. Sure, there are parrots in Australia, tons of parrots in Australia, but I never really got the Australia getting called Oz thing. I'm sure it's easy and I'm just missing it, but I don't get it.

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, "Mansfield Park."

10:30 – 11:00PM

Encore! With James Conlon – "Being It or Playing It?” Does the artist become one with the music or is the printed score the final authority? Here’s my question: even if the artist becomes one with the music can’t the printed score be the final authority? Just asking.

 

Monday, January 28:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Orlando (Hour One)". The Roadshow is going to Disney World! Let's admit it, there's nothing else there. I know, Sea World, Universal Studios, whatever, none of it is Disney. Disney definitely has antique stuff, not antique like 500 years old, but antique like collectible.

9:00 – 10:30PM

American Experience – "Mary Pickford". Mary Pickford, "America's Sweetheart" before Julia Roberts grabbed the name for herself. She was a film star, she was a mogul (she helped to found United Artists). She was a huge star and married to Douglas Fairbanks. Oh yes, it's true.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Encore! With James Conlon – "Being It or Playing It?” Does the artist become one with the music or is the printed score the final authority? Here’s my question: even if the artist becomes one with the music can’t the printed score be the final authority? Just asking.

 

Tuesday, January 29:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – "Secrets of the Parthenon". The Parthenon was built as a temple to Athena and has stood (mostly) the test of time. It's one of those things that's on my list, though I might wait till after Greece's 10 billion dollar restoration project is finished. Nova goes inside that restoration to see what's what.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – "Return of the Taliban". Seems as though this nation’s efforts to eliminate the Taliban in Afghanistan weren’t so successful. They’re back with a vengeance, and they’re on part of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border that we have an agreement not to send troops into. I will delve no further into this as it only leads to the failure of the “war on terror” and will upset many and earn me numerous hate emails.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Independent Lens – "How Is Your Fish Today". I can promise you that if you swish Ish's dish and wish for fish they'll be pretty good. What exactly that has to do with Hui Rao suffering from writer's block while working on his latest screenplay in Beijing I don't know.

 

Wednesday, January 30:

8:00 – 9:00PM

America's Ballroom Challenge – “American Smooth”. Some of the finest dancers in North America gather at the Columbus convention center in Ohio to dance their hearts out. Up this week, the American Smooth division. They're going to waltz. They're going to foxtrot, they're going to tango, and they're going to Viennese waltz. My understanding then is that by "American Smooth" they really mean "American Smoothly Stolen" because I think Vienna tends not to be American.

9:00PM – 10:00PM

Eden at the End of the World. That must be what REM meant. They were in Eden, and they felt fine (it was the end of the world as they knew it). In actuality, it's Patagonia. It's wilderness, it's wild, and covers more than a half million square miles.

10:00PM – 11:00PM

American Masters – "Marilyn Monroe: Still Life". Sure, Marilyn Monroe starred in a bunch of movies, some of them were even good. But many people, when they think of Marilyn, think of the pictures, the still images. This show examines those images.

 

Thursday, January 31:

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 – "Orlando (Hour One)". The Roadshow is going to Disney World! Let's admit it, there's nothing else there. I know, Sea World, Universal Studios, whatever, none of it is Disney. Disney definitely has antique stuff, not antique like 500 years old, but antique like collectible.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage – "Daughtry". I was hoping for Daltry, but I guess he's harder to get. Daughtry, on the other hand, is a band formed by non-winning American Idol contestant Chris Daughtry. Apparently the band's first album was the fastest-selling rock debut in Soundscan history.

 

Friday, February 1:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4731. 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 #405. 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 #1143. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,143rd 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 Challenge of Freedom". 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, February 2:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival". HSBN — I guess it's sort of like CBGB, right? HSBN & OMFUG. It could work. This is a one-hour special with bits and pieces of HSBN and has Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Bruce Hornsby, Ricky Skaggs, and Emmylou Harris (and some other folks).

 

At what point does petitioning become pestering? I don't wish my James Bond walk-on thing to become pestering, I want it to stay as petitioning. Strongly petitioning. Desperately petitioning. Desperately seeking someone who will get me a walk-on in the newest Bond movie. Why shouldn't I have one? That's what I want to know — if not me, who?

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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