Wednesday , February 28 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 October 19

Do you know what I think is amazing about the Sword in the Stone ride (the ride I would create were I an Imagineer and given a chance)? Do you know what I think is truly spectacular about it? Do you know what it is that I think makes the ride a one-of-a-kind deal? Do you know why I tell you about it every week? Why I, unceasingly, insist on divulging bits and pieces of it, my hopes and dreams for it?

Sunday, October 19

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – " Parrots in the Land of Oz”. I don't recall parrots in the land of Oz. I remember lions and tigers and bears (oh my), but no parrots. Sure, there are parrots in Australia, tons of parrots in Australia, but I never really got the Australia getting called Oz thing. I'm sure it's easy and I'm just missing it, but I don't get it.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Masterpiece Theatre – "The Last Enemy (Part 3)”. Imagine this – an expatriate returns to England to find his homeland transformed. The place he knew and loved has turned into a paranoid place, terrorists run rampant, spies are everywhere. You're watching the third part of a five-part series and looking forward to seeing what happens.

10:00PM – 11:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – "Doping for Gold". During the Cold War those East German women did something bad, something very bad. They did a very bad thing. They took steroids. Apparently though they didn't know they were doing it. The government did it to them without telling them what was happening. Watch this and you too can learn how to drug your citizens.


Monday, October 20:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Salt Lake City (Hour Three)”. So many possible jokes exist here, but mainly they’re at the expense of Mormons and so I choose to avoid them. I do hear that Big Love is coming back though, and I really enjoy that show, so go Antiques Roadshow!

9:00 – 11:00PM

American Experience – "The Presidents 'LBJ'".  The story of LBJ is one of those great American stories. Well, it is right up until the whole expanding of the Vietnam War thing.  Up to that point he had come from a poor upbringing in small-town Texas and had gone on to become the President of the United States. LBJ certainly did do great things as President, thing like pushing through an incredible amount of social legislation that was right and did a huge amount of good, and those will be covered as well (though maybe in part two).


Tuesday, October 21:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – “Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives". First you've got your Mark Oliver Everett, he's a singer. Then, you've got your Hugh Everett III, he was one of America's greatest quantum physicists (and that's probably why you don't know his name). Hugh was Mark's father and came up with a theory that predicted parallel universes. Mark, who was estranged from his father, travels across the country here to learn about the man.

9:00 – 11:00PM

Frontline – "Heat". According to the description of the episode I have here, big businesses, which long stifled talk of climate change, are finally changing the way they do business. They may actually be taking environmental changes to heart and letting it affect their business practices. Of course, it could all just be a sham too (I added that bit, it's not in the description). Watch and see what they've done in the past and what they're doing now.  


Wednesday, October 22:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Secrets of the Dead – " Battle for the Bible”. Awesome. Again, I use the word: awesome. This episode looks at the “faith, flames, and martyrdom that led to the Bible’s translation into English.” And, in my opinion, as long as there is blood and flames that makes for a pretty good show.

9:00  – 11:00PM

Independent Lens – "Chicago 10". Animation is combined with archival footage here as Bret Morgen tries to explore the conspiracy trial of the Chicago Seven. Apparently it's a "parable of hope, courage and challenge." I don't know, animation and archival footage?  A "parable of hope?" Those are some awfully big, moderately scary words.


Thursday, October 23:

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  – "Salt Lake City (Hour Three)”. So many possible jokes exist here, but mainly they’re at the expense of Mormons and so I choose to avoid them. I do hear that Big Love is coming back though, and I really enjoy that show, so go Antiques Roadshow!

10:30 – 11:00PM

Inside the Handy Writers' Colony. Lowney Handy ran the Handy Writers' Colony for 15 years. That's a lot of time to run anything and this little colony provided a place for wanna-be writers in the 1950s. It probably somewhat before and/or after I assume even if the description doesn't say it as the 1950s didn't last for 15 years. The description does say, though, that the 15-year history was "turbulent." 


Friday, October 24:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4816. 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 #442.  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 #1228. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,228th 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 Challenge of Freedom". The third hour of this repeat series looks at slavery and its ramifications from 1800 through the Civil War. As our nation went west, slavery sometimes expanded, and the country repeatedly faced the issue of whether new states should be slave or free. As we all know, though, a house divided against itself cannot stand.


Saturday, October 25:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Jakob Dylan/Carrie Rodriguez". Don't be confused, the Wallflowers person, that would be Dylan, doesn't actually perform with the singer-cum-violinist, Rodriguez. I think that's why the title has a slash instead of a "with" or an "and." I'm not saying which way they would be better, just that they don't perform together here.


Well, truth be told, I tell you about The Sword in the Stone ride for a myriad of reasons. A legion of reasons. A host of reasons. I could discuss them all with you, but we've discussed a lot of them in the past, so it would be moderately repetitive to do so hear again. I will, however, say this much, I will leave you with this morsel… I tell you about the ride because I believe in it and because I have hope for it.

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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