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Kid Dabb

The Good, the Bad, and the PBS

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Isn't there something in the Bible about 7 signs preceeding the end of the world? I think I just found one..

 

My local PBS station WEDU channel 3/3.1 is now running a regular foodie series a la Top Chef and all those other things. It's a British series called: The Great British Baking Show. That's it.. You know the last gurgling sound the water makes as it all gets whooshed away into oblivion..? I'm hearing it now. I heard a "snap!" just prior to seeing this - I'm not sure if it was the seal on the Sign being broken or my psyche. Oh.. and there's some big guy in the corner, in a toga, playing a violin.. oh no..

2wcmv0w.jpg

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Isn't there something in the Bible about 7 signs preceeding the end of the world? I think I just found one..

 

My local PBS station WEDU channel 3/3.1 is now running a regular foodie series a la Top Chef and all those other things. It's a British series called: The Great British Baking Show. That's it.. You know the last gurgling sound the water makes as it all gets whooshed away into oblivion..? I'm hearing it now. I heard a "snap!" just prior to seeing this - I'm not sure if it was the seal on the Sign being broken or my psyche. Oh.. and there's some big guy in the corner, in a toga, playing a violin.. oh no..

2wcmv0w.jpg

 

Just out of curiosity, I watched it last night. I wasn't impressed. The "wild-and-zany" (by British standards, I assume) comic relief personality was particularly annoying. The baking challenges weren’t all that interesting or engaging. And the “creations” of the contestants were only remarkable in the fact that they were unremarkable. I suppose that PBS is hoping that the program’s British heritage will mask the sour bouquet of the program essentially being just another “You've-Failed-To-Meet-Our-Judges'-Arbitrary-Standards,-You-Loser” show.

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While doing a bit of travelling around the US, one of the things that struck me is how different all the PBS stations are, and how different their respective programming is. Most cities have one PBS station, but some have two or three PBS stations. And from what I could tell, PBS stations definitely have regional and local leanings, too. What may be shown in one city may not be shown in another. No doubt a lot of that has to do with what gets sponsored and what doesn’t.

 

Not that any other PBS station I’ve seen is bad, but I’ve always been glad to come home to our area’s PBS station where I know what they show and when.

 

As mentioned below, PBS, or more specifically the programs that air on PBS, has a fairly good online offering as well.

 

I suggest that letting PBS go over to the “dark-side” of full commercial TV would be the end of PBS as we know it, as far as content is concerned.

 

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I suggest that letting PBS go over to the “dark-side” of full commercial TV would be the end of PBS as we know it, as far as content is concerned.

 

Hmmmm...so tell me Notan, would you feel this same way IF perhaps those commercial were made in Jolly Ol' Blighty and just like all of PBS's prime time dramatic and decades old comedy programming IS???

 

(...I mean, you have to admit even watchin' COMMERCIALS that would feature people sportin' that there British accent WOULD seem to add just a LITTLE "class" to the proceedings and STILL differentiate PBS from those OTHER networks on TV, wouldn't ya SAY???!!!) LOL

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Okay, so I kid PBS here, BUT I have to say "Frontline" is STILL far and away THE best documentary-style program on television!

 

(...at least I think so, anyway)

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Hmmmm...so tell me Notan, would you feel this same way IF perhaps those commercial were made in Jolly Ol' Blighty and just like all of PBS's prime time dramatic and decades old comedy programming IS???

...

 

Yes. Yes I would. I think in such a situation I would have to put my foot down.

 

PYTHON%20FOOT.jpg

 

Commercial BS in any other accent would be just as bad. (Sorry; didn't mean to slightly reference a Brit.)

 

But seriously, let us not forget all of the non-dramatic, non-comedic programming made on this side of the pond: POV, Independent Lens, Nature, This Old House, American Masters, Frontline, Rick Steves (sort of), etc. I wonder how the content of those programs would be changed under the yoke of full commercialization.

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A PBS series I watched over the weekend, Ultimate Restorations, turned out to be 99.9% to my liking. The title alone was enough to deter me, but I happened to hit the channel later as I was surfing, and I stopped to watch - no regrets.

 

Near perfect complete restorations of rare airplanes; railroad cars; famous sailing yachts; schooners and trains; a one-of-a-kind, very rare, early 20th century fire engine; etc. Each an hour in length with at least one continued (not shown in this series.. that's hopeful).

 

Very well produced. My reason for not giving the series a 100% has to do with the background music used. This was not continuous, just small fillers here and there which resembled the frantic guitar distortions used on the foodie shows such as Top Chef. This music has become ubiquitous as it has migrated to many other similar shows.

 

I believe this series was produced around 2007. This is the first I've known of it. Good stuff. I sincerely hope the lack of federal funding does not prevent further shows of this nature.

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A PBS series I watched over the weekend, Ultimate Restorations, turned out to be 99.9% to my liking. The title alone was enough to deter me, but I happened to hit the channel later as I was surfing, and I stopped to watch - no regrets.
 
Near perfect complete restorations of rare airplanes; railroad cars; famous sailing yachts; schooners and trains; a one-of-a-kind, very rare, early 20th century fire engine; etc. Each an hour in length with at least one continued (not shown in this series.. that's hopeful).
 
Very well produced. My reason for not giving the series a 100% has to do with the background music used. This was not continuous, just small fillers here and there which resembled the frantic guitar distortions used on the foodie shows such as Top Chef. This music has become ubiquitous as it has migrated to many other similar shows.
 
I believe this series was produced around 2007. This is the first I've known of it. Good stuff. I sincerely hope the lack of federal funding does not prevent further shows of this nature.

 

To each his own. From your description of this series, I'd just as soon watch paint dry. :)

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To each his own. From your description of this series, I'd just as soon watch paint dry. :)

That's exACTly what I was doing.

:lol:

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What will be the next new series, The German Komedy Klub?  I've been

reading in the last few years that British cuisine is getting much better

and is not the mess that it was many years ago. That takes away one

of the wonderful go to ethnic jibes of all time, so I'm not paying any

attention to the new British cookery.

 

 

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Okay, so I kid PBS here, BUT I have to say "Frontline" is STILL far and away THE best documentary-style program on television!

 

(...at least I think so, anyway)

I enjoy Frontline, for the most part, too.  It's pretty thought-provoking, although I am aware of a reporting bias for any such program like that which I might be inclined to view.  Regardless of any real or perceived bias I might suspect, the subject matter is generally interesting enough to educate me on something of which I might not have been aware.  I also like American Experience and have enjoyed its programs for the nearly 30 years its been on.  Back in the early 1980's, there was a program called American Playhouse.  I didn't always watch some of the productions on it, but the ones I did watch, I thoroughly enjoyed.  My local PBS station is from St. Louis, which for many years has had some of the most loyal viewers in the country.  It consistently ranks in the top 5 in terms of viewership and financial support of all the PBS stations in the U.S.

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Well, there certainly was an ESPECIALLY good AND pertinent AND fairly presented (NOPE, that was NO bias whatsoever, JUST GOOD HARD FACTS presented, because BOTH SIDES got their say in it) episode of "Frontline" tonight!

 

However, THAT'S all I'm gonna say about THIS, because IF I said anymore about this OR if anyone ELSE who watched this program tonight instead of watching Redford and Newman on TCM says anything more about this, it would place this thread in jeopardy of being either locked and/or deleted, and because the topic that "Frontline" tackled tonight is probably THE hottest of "hot button issues" in America today.

 

(...and so in closing, THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN, PBS...I hope you're around for many years to come!!!)

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...I think it was very magnanimous of George not to mention the sad history

of the French military since Napoleon. There will be time enough

in the future to get that one in. :)

 

Nope Vautrin, George here didn't mention this as you note, BUT as you may know, our very own Ben Mankiewicz DID allude to this very thing a few years back, and after doing it won me over as a "Mankster Fan" from then on out!

 

I'm alluding to the following comment he made after one particular TCM showing of "Paths of Glory" about a year and half ago, and in which he said:

 

"The French Government had banned the showing of this film within France for many years, claiming that it was an affront to its country's military....insert your own French Military joke here!"

 

(...yep,  that's the day Ben won me over, alright!!!) 

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I'm with you Dargo on the Mank.....a few recent recordings had his intros and apparently he's loosened up quite a bit allowing a personality to shine through. (or poison-ality)

 

Frontline is often excellent, but they are independent productions, and a few have fallen short of great. One, about pilots and another about drop-outs come to mind as disappointments.

 

Same story with American Experience & American Masters....great for the most part, but a few stinkers sprinkled in there. One that comes to mind is The WAR OF THE WORLDS episode that featured ACTORS dressed up in vintage clothing speaking first person about their reaction to the radio show! Ugh totally college film school production values, awful.

 

I am on the same page with you Dabb, I freekin' HATE that ubiquitous looped "porn" music every reality show (& telephone hold line) plays. I was surprised to hear that on a PBS show, I thought they demanded better production values.

 

Still, as someone without cable, PBS is a mainstay of my TV viewing. I just got out the Margaret Mitchell episode from the library, since I had missed the first part. I thought it was riveting.

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George was always funny, especially on the many weird twists and

turns of the English language. As he mentioned, that set up has

been around for a while. I recall hearing variations on it too. I think

it was very magnanimous of George not to mention the sad history

of the French military since Napoleon. There will be time enough

in the future to get that one in. :)

..or just watch PATHS OF GLORY.

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Has anyone here seen the 6-episode PBS series: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth - with Bill Moyers host? I was fascinated. The series began shortly after Mr. Campbell's death, so that's all there is.

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Yes, WW I was pretty much of a downer for the French,

especially the regular soldiers. Then WW II came along

and they really got it up the Maginot Line. 

Actually it is a complete myth that the French Army in WW1 fought poorly.  That's an English speaking world invention.  The French Army fought and bloodily stopped the best trained and equipped army in the world: the German Army in August and September 1914 and thereafter fought valiantly for four years in the stalemate.  The tiny British BEF fought on a very small proportion of the Western Front until 1916 and thereafter the French lines were still 80-85% of the Front.  The French Army in 1914 contained and fought to a stop one of the greatest offensive juggernauts ever launched.  The miracle 1914 Battle of The Marne was conceived of and launched by bold military moves by French General Joffre.  The brave Poilus carried out the plan.  The small and very bloodied BEF fought in some of it but it was the handiwork of the French Army.  It was the French Army at Verdun that stopped and would not let pass the German Army not the British Army.  French troops also served on the Italian Front valiantly.  It is a complete fabrication by British and American myth-making that the French Army fought poorly in WW1.  France never capitulated as the Imperial Russian Army and Tsarist state did.  In WW2 the British Army was totally defeated just as the French Army was in May/June 1940.  The only thing that saved Britain from being overrun by the Naziis was the great English moat: the English Channel and the Naziis ineptitude at Dunkirk when they could have completely destroyed the BEF but thankfully Nazi politics interfered.  Be very very thankful that an American Army did not have to face the German juggernauts of 1914 and 1940/1941.

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It's only recently, due to the fact that France had the wisdom to not waste lives and money in Iraq that bred the inane belief that the French have ALWAYS been COWARDS.

 

But, refusing to participate in warfare that gains you NOTHING isn't cowardice.  It's wise prudence.

 

given what they've accomplished in WWI, and the French people's commendable actions in the resistance in WWII, todays disdain for the French is tragically misguided.

 

 

Sepiatone

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No, the stereotype of the French as cowards or rather militarily

inept long predates the war in Iraq. It's really just a light-hearted

jibe more than a serious accusation. And then there is the on and

off mucking about in Francophone Africa that makes the froggies

look like they are trying to hold on to their defunct empire. Rather

pathetic.

It is an "accusation"/"jibe" with no basis in fact or reality.  Just an Anglo-Saxon piece of arrogant BS.

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I love how off topic this group of "regulars" can go....interesting as always!

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A very good night for PBS--documentaries on Annie Oakley and the Harvey Girls (The Harvey Girls:  Opportunity Bound, 2013).  The interviews with surviving Harvey Girls are fascinating.  Amelia Earhart's last flight to come!

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...  Amelia Earhart's last flight to come!

I hope the most updated information is included. 

 

A breakthrough possibly proving, contrary to what was generally believed, Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, did not crash in the Pacific Ocean, running out of fuel somewhere near their target destination of Howland Island.

 

Instead, they made a forced landing on Nikumaroro's smooth, flat coral reef. The two became castaways and eventually died on the atoll, which is some 350 miles southeast of Howland Island.

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I hope the most updated information is included. 

 

A breakthrough possibly proving, contrary to what was generally believed, Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, did not crash in the Pacific Ocean, running out of fuel somewhere near their target destination of Howland Island.

 

Instead, they made a forced landing on Nikumaroro's smooth, flat coral reef. The two became castaways and eventually died on the atoll, which is some 350 miles southeast of Howland Island.

Unfortunately I had to miss most of it, Kid.  Interesting about them as castaways on the atoll, I must read more on that.  Such a haunting story.

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I awoke at 4:00 AM today, couldn't get back to sleep, turned on the tube and a favorite artist of mine was on WUSF - Chihuly !  America's answer to Fabergé.

 

All hand-blown glass

opp9gj.jpg

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