Tuesday , February 27 2024
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 August 17

The Sword in the Stone ride, the ride I would create were I an Imagineer and given the chance, could very well be the single greatest attraction ever. Okay, maybe that's a tad over the top, but it would be well and truly awesome… well and truly awesome. It's got a little bit of everything. Perhaps most importantly, it tells a great story and, done correctly, would contain more than a tad of Disney magic. No, seriously, just think about. Read below to learn more about the horse conveyances.

Sunday, August 17

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – "Wisdom of the Wild." I think that they’re referring to the animated film, because goodness knows that the wild as a real life thing just isn’t that smart. I mean, there’s no ice cream, no air conditioning, and no television. It has to be about the animated movie.

9:00PM – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Mystery! – "The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Series VII – 'Know Thine Enemy.'" The eighth Earl of Asherton (that would by Thomas Lynley) is still distressed about the death of his wife, but that doesn't stop him from solving crimes. Well, it has stopped him until recently, back he's back in the saddle now.

10:30PM – 11:00PM

American Horizons: The Photographs of Art Sinsabaugh. Wow, this guy's name is Art and he makes art. Art's an artist. He's an artsy Art. He photographed panoramic landscapes (hence that whole horizons thing in the title). I'm told that he used a 12×20 inch camera. Can you imagine? That's a monstrously big thing, it's too bad they didn't have digital back then.

Monday, August 18:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Providence (Hour Three)." I have a special fondness for the Providence episodes. The second time this set of episodes aired was for my first "PBS in Primetime." Well, I started writing these pieces for the second hour, I didn't to do all three of them. Even so, I feel a certain kinship to them.

9:00 – 10:00PM

History Detectives. This show may be the most fascinating show ever, it really may, but its title leave a lot to be desired. Seriously, aren't all historians more or less detectives? The title simply isn't descriptive or exciting enough. I much prefer a title like Josh Lasser, You’ve Been Hired as an Imagineer.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Documenting the Face of America: Roy Strykker and the FSA/OWI Photographers. Is it some sort of special photography week? Is there some photography holiday that I just didn't know about taking place? This is the second new photography-based show this week. Weird. Wild. Why not?

Tuesday, August 19:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – "Storm That Drowned a City". Nova presents a minute-by-minute account of what exactly happened during Hurricane Katrina. There have been hurricanes to hit New Orleans before; what made this one quite so deadly? Will we be seeing more such storms? Watch and find out.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Wide Angle – "Iraqi Refugees.” Our waging war in Iraq has caused the displacement of a huge number of people. Many have fled the war zone and, in so doing, become refugees. Where are they going? What strife has it caused to those places? Who helps these refugees? Maybe even what will happen if and when they return will be discussed.

10:00 – 11:30PM

P.O.V. – "The Judge and the General." It's a look at the grudge match of the century – Pinochet vs. Guzmán. The judge in question is Guzmán and the general, Pinochet. Guzmán had actually supported Pinochet's coup, but later was the judge presiding over Pinochet's criminal trial, which Guzmán presided over.

Wednesday, August 20:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova scienceNOW. They're going back into the archives and showing us the first episode of the second season here. I highly recommend this show, not just this episode, but the whole show (series, if you will). It has Neil deGrasse Tyson as the host and is just good fine. I've written reviews; look' em up.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Nova scienceNOW. Woo-hoo! It's back-to-back episodes! This time, it’s episode five of season two. Is this one of those you have to go back to go forwards thing? Is it a you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been kind of thing? Or, is it just a if you don’t know history you’re doomed to repeat it kind of thing?

10:00 – 11:00PM

Carrier – "Full Circle." 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, August 21:

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 – "Providence (Hour Three)". I have a special fondness for the Providence episodes. The second time this set of episodes aired was for my first "PBS in Primetime." Well, I started writing these pieces for the second hour, I didn't to do all three of them. Even so, I feel a certain kinship to them.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Illicit: The Dark Trade. The listing description I have here states, "the world economy is being derailed by new networks of illicit traders." You would think they were talking about the subprime lenders, but they're not; they're talking about black market goods. The film is based on the bestseller by Moises Naim and looks into the trade.

Friday, August 22:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4807. 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 #433. 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 #1219. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,219th 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

A Program About Unusual Buildings & Other Roadside Stuff. It's another re-air of a Rick Sebak special. It's a road trip, it's a wacky good time, it might just be plain old fun (I haven't seen it, so I can't attest to it). But, I can tell you that he visits Big Duck on Long Island and the Fresh Water Fishing National Hall of Fame. I didn't know such a thing existed, thank goodness for Rick Sebak!

Saturday, August 23:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – " Widespread Panic". Did you know that Widespread Panic is, allegedly, one of the most popular "road warrior" bands? I guess that Road Warrior did have a lot of widespread panic as a backstory, so that kind of makes sense in an odd way, right?


Last week we worked out how to make the horses people ride in fly like birds. This week, it's the fish the concern us. In the area of the ride where Wart has changed into a fish, the horse needs to act like one too. Obviously there should, at the very least, be water present to squirt the riders a little… check that… make it mist, there should be mist and a squirt or two of water, it would feel more like the guests were actually underwater that way. As for the movement of the horses themselves, well, I could tell you that right now, but why don't I wait for next week instead?

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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