Sunday, January 20, 2008

Rediscover PBS

With the winter holidays and the writer’s strike, new episodes for TV shows will soon disappear. This is a perfect time to rediscover your local PBS station.

Since our local PBS station went HD last summer, I’ve been watching more of the old standbys that used to be regular viewing for me – Nova, Nature, American Experience, etc. There are some excellent programs there, and they all educate AND entertain at the same time.

For example, the were two episodes of Nova called “Absolute Zero” that chronicled the understanding of cold, and the work of scientists, researchers, and inventors, going back centuries. It was amazing to see the things that scientists have done – and CAN do – to “create” cold. It may sound like a dull show, but I found it riveting. I will never take cold for granted again.

I also watched “American Experience,” an episode named “Oswald’s Ghost.” It was probably the most interesting piece I’ve ever seen - and I’ve seen a lot – on the Kennedy assassination and the conspiracies that swirl around it. What I found particularly interesting was its treatment of Jim Garrison, a New Orleans District Attorney, who was zealous in his pursuit of conspirators. After seeing Oliver Stone’s movie on the subject many years back, it only confirmed for my that Stone’s portrayal of Garrison was skewed and not realistic.

But this is what I love about PBS. It takes many subjects, and goes to many places, and highlights them in a way that allows you to come away wanting more. It educates, but it also feeds curiosity. Sometimes it can astound, with its tales of discovery and it’s treatment of nature. Of course, there is something for everybody, including kids, cooks, artists, etc.

If you’re finding yourself bored with television lately, and if you haven’t watched PBS in a while, give it a try. Your brain will thank you.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been watching the Jane Austen Dramas on Masterpiece Theater. There was also a fabulous version of "Jane Eyre" a few weeks ago that was just wonderful. Those Brits know how to do the classics.

All the shows that you watch on PBS are also on the must see list by someone in our family.