Wednesday , September 23 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 September 7

At this point we're well into the creation of The Sword in the Stone ride, the ride I would create were I an Imagineer and given the chance.  We've talked about the scenes and the cars and some sound and other bits and pieces.  Oh sure, I haven't gone into the track itself and dimensions etc., etc., but I'm not sure that I should be divulging such stuff here in the open…not at this juncture.  It just doesn't seem prudent.  Oh, but not to fear, we have other things about the ride we can still discuss.


Sunday, September 7

8:00PM – 9:00PM

Nature – "The Queen of Trees”. I don’t know what, or who, exactly the queen is. However, I’m betting it’s a wasp and that this whole deal has to do with co-evolution. I wonder if that makes the queen of wasps a tree. Or maybe the queen of people apple pie, and the queen of apple pie buttery goodness and then the queen of buttery goodness people. It’s a quandary.

9:00PM – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Mystery! – "The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Series VI – 'Chinese Walls.'"  The eighth Earl of Asherton (that would be Thomas Lynley) is going back in time.  Earlier this month Series VII aired, now we're back on Series VI.  Poor Lynley, he's in for some serious heartache at the end of this series.

10:30PM – 11:00PM

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

 
Monday, September 8:

8:00PM – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow  – "Tucson (Hour Three)."  Last chance for Tucson.  Will they have that prized $1,000,000 two-hundred-year-old cow pie this time around?  Fingers crossed.

9:00PM – 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.

10:00PM – 11:00PM

Objects and Memory.  I'm not quite sure who or how, but what this show has done is take items recovered from the events of September 11 and "other national tragedies" and shown them to people in order to examine the response.  They also explore exactly why it is that people value the objects they value.

 
Tuesday, September 9:

8:00PM – 9:00PM

Nova – “Hitler’s Sunken Secret.” This week they go exploring whether or not the sinking of the Norwegian ferry Hydro did in fact help prevent Hitler from creating an atomic bomb. Did the ferry actually have heavy water on it? Well, did it?

9:00PM – 10:00PM

Debating Our Destiny II.  Another sequel!?!  I love PBS, they're finally going Hollywood with the sequels.  This one has former presidential and vice-presidential candidates talk about what it was like to run for president…via debates.  It starts with the 2000 debates and moves to the president…or the present.  Sorry, I got all electoral there for a minute.

10:00PM – 11:30PM

P.O.V. – "Freedom Machines."  According to this episode listing, there are 54 million citizens with disabilities in this country.  This documentary takes a look at how technology aids their lives.  Of course, technology can't do everything, and this piece shows that too.  Watch and learn how far it can go, what it can and can't do.

 
Wednesday, September 10:

8:00PM – 9:00PM

The Natural History of the Chicken. Listen, I tried not to do make this joke, I really did.  I wrote this paragraph over and over and over again and every time I decided that I had to do a version of this joke.  So, here it is, in its least offensive form: If they put the band back together and make another episode on the natural history of the egg, will it be a sequel or a prequel?

9:00PM  – 10:30PM

Great Performances – "Pavarotti:  A Life in Seven Arias."  It's a biography of Pavarotti that utilizes the arias for which he is most famous as a narrative framework.  There are also some old interviews with the likes of Dame Joan Sutherland, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, and Juan Diego Florez.  Oh yes, there are.

10:30PM  – 11:00PM

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

 
Thursday, September 11:

8:00PM – 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.

9:00PM – 10:00PM

Antiques Roadshow  – "Tucson (Hour Three)."  Last chance for Tucson.  Will they have that prized $1,000,000 two-hundred-year-old cow pie this time around?  Fingers crossed.

10:00PM – 11:00PM

Keeping Score – "Beethoven's Eroica."  Despite the fact that Eroica is only one symphony written by Beethoven, this episode of Keeping Score actually talks about his whole life.  I think that's a little like false advertising, but hopefully it focuses on Eroica or the listing I have is inaccurate. 

 
Friday, September 12:

8:00PM – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4810. 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.

8:30PM – 9:00PM

NOW on PBS #436.  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!

9:00PM – 10:00PM

Bill Moyers Journal #1222. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,222nd 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 be).

10:00PM – 11:00PM

Pennsylvania Diners and Other Roadside Restaurants.  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 spends time in Pennsylvania (seriously, look at the title, the answer is right there).  Thank goodness for Rick Sebak!

 
Saturday, September 13:

9:00PM – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "The Arcade Fire." Ah, the "Canadian indie rock marvel" is on this episode. They're here to promote their second album. Can you be a marvel if you only have two albums? I guess, or, maybe they just toss the word marvel around a little too freely these days.

One of the ultimate questions about The Sword in the Stone ride is where, exactly, it belongs.  Which park should it go into?  Where does it best fit in?  What part of which park would be most appropriate?  Don't kid yourself, that's a serious, huge question.  I mean, really, you wouldn't see this ride at EPCOT, would you?  It's not an EPCOT kind of thing.  So, where then should it go?  Tune in next week and we'll talk.

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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