Friday , September 18 2020
The creation of the Sword in the Stone ride continues (Imagineer Quest Part 2, as I like to call it).

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of July 6

Last week I discussed the first areas on the proposed new Sword in the Stone ride (the ride I would create were I an Imagineer and given the chance). It was the basic intro to the story and the first meeting of Wart and Merlin. I also told you that the guests would be riding, well, galloping really, on horses. And, that brings us to the next scene in the ride.

 
Sunday, July 6:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies". Oh, this is just too cool. This is the original. This is where it all began. This originally aired back in November of 2001 and actually spawned a sequel. That's right, Nature went out and made a sequel. You know you want to see where the legend began, you know you want to see where it all started.

9:00PM – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Mystery! – "Inspector Lewis, Series I – Expiation". For those of you not steeped in British police drama culture, "Inspector Lewis" is a spinoff off of "Inspector Morse." For his series, Lewis heads to Oxford to solve crimes. I'll certainly be watching (or will have watched it already depending on how things work out).

10:30 – 11:00PM

A Room Nearby. I guess if someone wants to get a room of one's own, it might not actually be where they live; it might, instead, be a room nearby. This show might tell that story, the story of how to get a room nearby (and let's face it, with the real estate market the way it is, it's probably affordable, too). Either that, or it could be "a meditation on loneliness."

 
Monday, July 7:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Houston (Hour Three)". I'm not going to say the line. I'm just not going to say it. There may be "issues" with the antiques in Houston. There may be quibbles about their value. There maybe conundrums with what to do with the stuff. What there certainly will not be are problems. There will be no problems.

9:00 – 10:00PM

History Detectives. This show may be the most fascinating show ever, it really may, but it’s title leave a lot to be desired, not like the next show. The next show has the single greatest title for a show that I’ve ever heard (other than “Josh Lasser, You’ve Been Hired as an Imagineer” of course)

10:00 – 11:00PM

The War of the World – "A Tainted Victory". What if the Allies acted with the same "savagery" during World War II as the Axis powers? Niall Ferguson, the host of this series, shows how they did. I don't remember hearing about gas chambers and death camps here (internment ones, which we should not have done, yes), but maybe I'm wrong.

 
Tuesday, July 8:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – "The Perfect Corpse". Okay, get this. Due to the incredible amount of water in the ground in central Ireland, things placed into it don’t decompose as we think they should. So, if you were to commit a series of murders during, say, the Iron Age, you might get caught in the 21st century because the bodies are still there.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Wide Angle – "Japan's About Face.” Following the Second World War (kind of a theme of PBS on a regular basis, that war), Japan's constitution stated that it could only have a defensive, not an offensive force. As we all know though, the best defense is a good offense, and the lines in Japan have started to blur.

10:00 – 11:00PM

P.O.V. – "The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández". Tommy Lee Jones narrates this tale of the death of Esequiel Hernández Jr. He was mistaken for a drug runner and shot by U.S. Marines. Who was he? Why was he there? Why was he shot? Why was this the first death caused by U.S. military forces on U.S. soil since Kent State in 1970?

 
Wednesday, July 9:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Click & Clack's As the Wrench Turns. Back-to-back episodes of this animated sitcom (including the premiere) follow the Tappet brothers, Click and Clack. Or, if you prefer, people similar to (but not the same as) Tom and Ray Magliozzi, the hosts of NPR's "Car Talk" who were actually featured on an episode of Nova a while back. Now you wonder why they were in that episode, yes?

9:00 – 10:00PM

Nova scienceNOW. ScienceNOW is the newest addition to the Nova family, currently in its third season. Episodes in this series look at a variety of topics over the course of a single episode instead of just one thing for the whole hour.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Carrier – "Squared Away". Well, here it is, again, PBS has previewed it over and over and over again, and now the time has finally arrived. Carrier is here (in repeat fashion). The series follows a group of people on board the USS Nimitz, from admirals on down to newbie sailors. It promises to be a fascinating look not just at this mammoth aircraft carrier, but the Navy in general.

 
Thursday, July 10:

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 – "Houston (Hour Three)". I'm not going to say the line. I'm just not going to say it. There may be "issues" with the antiques in Houston. There may be quibbles about their value. There maybe conundrums with what to do with the stuff. What there certainly will not be are problems. There will be no problems.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage – "Bon Jovi: Lost Highway, The Concert". This would be a concert from the world renowned (and liked if you live in or around New Jersey) band. It has, I believe, absolutely nothing to do with the Lynch film of the same name (save the band's name and that "The Concert" bit). I wasn't into the Lynch film though and don't live in New Jersey so I don't know how I'll feel about this.

 
Friday, July 11:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4801. 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 #427. 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 #1213. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,212th 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

Great Old Amusement Parks. A look at amusement parks that were around before Disney. Lord knows though that there’s nothing wrong with Disney. In fact, if anyone from Disney is reading this right now, I’ve always wanted to be an Imagineer. I applied online but never heard back, do you have any way of getting me in the door for that all-important first interview?

 
Saturday, July 12:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Los Lonely Boys/The Gourds". Are we actually that close to Halloween that I must suffer two gourd references in a single week? As I said once before, gourds and I are not friends. Gourds humiliated and beat me into the ground once, and I have not forgiven them. Would that I could make pie out of the gourds.

 

The next scene on the ride focuses on Wart working out his squire-ness much to Merlin's chagrin. Wart is spending his time helping Kay learn to joust. The horse that Kay will be attempting to joust against will be none other than that of the guests on the ride. I see it kind of like the car accident on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (without the whole death and going to Hell thing). Look for more next week, because there's a lot about this ride still to discuss.

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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