Sunday , September 20 2020
Hawaii, here I come.

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of April 20

The reservations for the luau have been made. My tee time is set. The helicopter trip over the volcano isn't yet set, but a nice massage for the day after the 18 holes is. I can take a Quantum of Solace from that. Even if the helicopter trip over the volcano doesn't work out, at least I won't feel too sore the day after my ridiculously poor showing at Kona Country Club.

 
Sunday, April 20:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – "The Gorilla King”. Apparently the king of the mountain gorillas of Rwanda is named Titus. I thought the gorilla king was named Kong, or, at the very least, Mighty Joe Young. I like the notion of it being Kong more, though. Apparently that's all hogwash, it's this Titus fellow who is one of only 700.

9:00 – 11:00PM

Masterpiece – "My Boy Jack". Jack, for those of you who don't know, is the son of Rudyard. Rudyard created Mowgli. And Mowgli… well, let's not get into a series of biblical begats here, let's just say Jack is played by Harry Potter and causes a fair bit of trouble here when he joins the Irish Guard during World War I.

 
Monday, April 21:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Louisville (Hour One)". I imagine that this city is going to be a home run for the series. They're really going to knock one out of the park here. They're going to put a few runs on the board by going yard. They're going to, unquestionably, get the long ball working here. In short, they're going to be Sluggers.

9:00 – 10:00PM

American Experience – "Roberto Clemente". Speaking of baseball, here's a tale about Roberto Clemente. He was a baseball player, but – and very importantly – he was also a humanitarian. He was a good guy who fought against discrimination and for justice. Plus, there's the whole baseball thing, too.

10:00 – 11:30PM

Great Performances – "Dance in America: Wolf Trap's Face of America". So, there's this foundation for performing arts, Wolf Trap, they do this whole "Face of America" thing wherein they commission dances. Here we get to see a few of the dances they've bought and paid for.

 
Tuesday, April 22:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Car of the Future”. If The Simpsons has taught me anything, and I firmly believe it has, the car of the future will be designed by Homer for his long-lost half-brother who will end up going broke because of it. The car will be awesome and will cost way, way more than the average person can afford. It will, in short, be truly swell.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Frontline – “Hot Politics”. Speaking of global warming, that’s what this episode of the public affairs series, Frontline, is all about. Seems as though there may be a bipartisan effort to try and prevent the government from confronting the issue.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Independent Lens – “The Creek Runs Red." Picher, Oklahoma is, according to the EPA, the most toxic place in America (wow, I would have sworn it was New Jersey… maybe that doesn't count as America?). People still actually live there (Jersey too). Why and how do they respond?

 
Wednesday, April 23:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – "Aztec Massacre". What if the conquistadors didn't just walk over the Aztecs without the Aztecs fighting back? It is just possible that the Aztecs weren't quite as naïve as they are often painted by history. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that they may have fought back and killed more than a few conquistadors.

9:00 – 11:00PM

National Geographic's Strange Days on Planet Earth – "Most Dangerous Catch/Dirty Secrets". Edward Norton hosts this humdinger of a two-parter. It's about over-fishing, it's about striped bass ending up with flesh-eating bacteria. It sounds terribly disgusting and hugely important at the same time. But, as with all things Ed Norton does, the first rule is that you can't talk about it.

 
Thursday, April 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 – "Louisville (Hour One)". I imagine that this city is going to be a home run for the series. They're really going to knock one out of the park here. They're going to put a few runs on the board by going yard. They're going to, unquestionably, get the long ball working here. In short, they're going to be Sluggers.

10:00 – 11:30PM

Great Performances – "Primo". A one man play all about Primo Levi, the Italian chemist who was at Auschwitz during the Second World War. Levi would later write Survival in Auschwitz, which Oprah, of course, co-opted for her book club. It's terribly important and quite possibly terribly depressing.

 
Friday, April 25:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4743. 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 #417. 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 #1203. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,203rd 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).

10:00 – 11:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – "Aztec Massacre". What if the conquistadors didn't just walk over the Aztecs without the Aztecs fighting back? It is just possible that the Aztecs weren't quite as naïve as they are often painted by history. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that they may have fought back and killed more than a few conquistadors.

 
Saturday, April 26:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – “Franz Ferdinand/What Made Milwaukee Famous.” I assume you know this already, but Franz Ferdinand is not what made Milwaukee Famous. What made Milwaukee famous is beer that is, at best, mediocre.

Oh, to be sure, I don't want to play badly at Kona, I just feel as though, what with the wind whipping off the ocean, I may not do quite as well as I would like. It's hard to factor in the wind coming off the ocean, I'm hoping that it's blowing right to left, that'll help me off the tee. Even if it's blowing left to right however, I'll be able to take a Quantum of Solace from the fact that I'm playing a round of golf in Hawaii.

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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