Tuesday , April 16 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 September 28

We're nearing the end of the creation of The Sword in the Stone ride; okay, I'll admit it, it's entirely possible that I could've ended this whole ride creation thing weeks ago.  I'll tell you the truth, I don't want to end the story of the ride's creation (or the way it ought to be created).  It's a good idea, the ride I mean (the column is debatable), and every time I think about it I am entranced.  I want nothing more than to entrance others with my ideas.


Sunday, September 28

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – "Dogs That Changed the World: The Rise of the Dog." How’s this for awesome: they’re going to use DNA analysis and other research methods to figure out how wolves became dogs and how there then became so many different breeds of dogs. Dog, dog, dog, dog, dog.

9:00PM – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Theatre – "The Sally Lockhart Mysteries:  The Shadow in the North."  Sally Lockhart, played by Billie Piper, is the center of several novels by Phillip Pullman.  Sadly for us, Pullman is not the man behind The Doctor and Sally Lockhart isn’t Rose Tyler.  That doesn’t make this bad, I just miss Rose and The Doctor.

10:30PM – 11:00PM

Encore! With James Conlon – "Tradition or Innovation?" Seems as though Arturo Toscanini wasn’t a huge fan of tradition. Others believe tradition to be important. Is it? Is it not? And, most importantly, how did tradition and novelty affect the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition held in Fort Worth back in the spring of 2005?


Monday, September 29:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow  – "Mobile (Hour Three)." I know what you’re thinking and you’re wrong (and not funny, but who am I to throw stones); this week’s episode is not literally on the road moving around, it’s in Alabama. But, I do want you to know that I appreciate the notion that you’d try and tell a joke, no matter how badly you failed at it. Good on you.

9:00 – 11:00PM

American Experience – "The Presidents 'Reagan:  An American Crusade'."  This repeat of American Experience examines the lives one of our most popular presidents.  It's one of those amazing things, people young and old love and respect the man (or his memory).  It's almost as if everyone believes trickle-down economics to have worked. 


Tuesday, September 30:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Sputnik Declassified."  Who doesn't love Sputnik? I love Sputnik; of course I don't have to deal with the mind-numbing fear the U.S. government instilled in the population about what the Russians could do to us. This episode even has a mention of Walt Disney in it… well, I don't want to spoil why he's there, just know that he's there and recall the fabulosity of Imagineer Quest 2007 (or its sequel).

9:00 – 10:30PM

P.O.V. – "Critical Condition."  Forty-seven million people in this country are without health insurance.  Are you one of them?  Even if you're not, it's still a scary notion, and this episode puts a "human face" on the issue by examining the lives of four people who are critically ill and without insurance.  What happens to them?  Will they get the treatment they need?

10:30 – 11:00PM

RX For Change.  It's a short follow-up to the P.O.V. that preceded it.  It talks about the presidential candidates' stands on what should happen with health care reform.  There will also be a few experts appearing who evaluate the plans.  Somehow I have a feeling that the plans and the reality are far removed from one another. 


Wednesday, October 1:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – "Executed in Error."  Back in the day, 1910 to be exact, Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen was hanged for dismembering and poisoning his wife (not in that order).  Did he do it?  Did he not?  Apparently there's some new DNA evidence.  It may be that an apology is in order.

9:00  – 9:30PM

Get Ready for Digital TV.   Two lovely gentlemen from This Old House, Norm Abram and Kevin O'Connor, are here to tell you all about getting ready for digital TV (as the transition is coming in February 2009).  Pretty much the answer is that if you have cable or satellite you're fine and that if you don't you're probably going to need a converter box and the government will give you a coupon to buy one.

9:30  – 10:00PM

Atchafalaya Houseboat. Now that is great name, Atchafalaya. For those of you who are unaware, Atchafalaya is a swamp in Louisiana which measures a million acres. A writer, Gwen Roland, built a houseboat by hand 30 years ago. Wow. She's like the Noah of Louisiana.

10:00 – 11:30PM

P.O.V. – "In the Family."  The maker of this film, or "filmmaker" if you prefer, tested positive for the "breast cancer gene" at the age of 27.  She chose to document her experiences in hopes (I assume) of not just helping others, but helping herself too.  I am convinced that there were many tough decisions to face and that they are explored herein.


Thursday, October 2:

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 – 11:00PM

PBS Newshour Debates 2008:  A Special Report – "Vice Presidential Debate."   The time has come for the vice presidential debate.  I still don't know who out there doesn't know who they're going to be voting for, but I guess you exist.  Learn more about the candidates and their canned answers here.


Friday, October 3:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4813. 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 – 9:30PM

NOW on PBS #439.  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 #1225. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,225th 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

Slavery and the Making of America – "The Downward Spiral". The first hour of this repeat series looks at the early history of our country, 1619 through 1739, and the origins of slavery in this country. While not a moment in our country that we should be proud of, it's certainly something that ought to be learned about.


Saturday, October 4:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "R.E.M.” OMG!  I love those guys.  I remember when I first heard "Orange Crush" and saw the video that accompanied it.  I didn't get it (I was young), but I liked it.  Well, the band is back and promoting their newish album, Accelerate.  Maybe it's up-tempo, who knows.


I think you know what I'm talking about with my whole "entrancing others" thing.  I want to make people happy.  Is that so wrong?  Is that so horrible?  Isn't that an important part of being an Imagineer, trying to cause others to experience the same wonder and magic at a Disney park that I do?  Isn't that what it's all really about?  Isn't that the point of it all?

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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