Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Public Broadcasting (time)Sucker

When we moved to our apartment 9 months ago, we braced ourselves for a trying period.  "Only one year!" became our anthem.  (It has worked.  Mostly.)

Upon learning that there were no parks close by - or any outside space within walking distance (or really anything within walking distance) - and due to sharing a car with Mr. B. (who holds the position as Money Bringer-in-ner which means he has priority with the car), I quickly discovered that my once valued schedule was no longer possible.  When I thought about the kids and I surviving this apartment ordeal, I prudently compromised on my long-held child development based parenting strategies and went with something that was more suitable for spending hours of the day holed up in a 700 sq. ft. apartment.

That's when I discovered something magical on TV.  I like to call it educational programming. The rest of the world calls it PBS.

Rather than divulge all my dark parenting secrets, I'll just say we have watched our combined weight in PBS programming.  On the plus side, Big Sister E learned to read and Brother A learned his letters and numbers! I'll call that a PBS Kids win. But we all know about shows like Sesame Street.  My biggest find was the shows that began after 5:30.  Just. Wow.

Last night I found myself engrossed in yet another PBS show.  The next thing I knew, 3 hours had gone by and it was close to midnight. No biggie EXCEPT, this is not the first time this has happened. And, you know, with sleep deprivation already an issue, I should probably reconsider my whole late night television viewing.  But. Science! Period Pieces! Volcanoes!

I think I have a serious addiction.

Rather than face my problem, (problem? what problem?) I've decided to share my favorite PBS shows with all of you.

Call the Midwife was my gateway drug into the PBS world.  A show about midwifery during the early 1950's in England, I quickly fell in love with the characters of this delightful show.  It's my first love.  (Even above Downton Abbey. I KNOW.)

Most of my friends are infatuated with Downton Abbey. After watching an episode, I understand why.  The drama. The outfits. The atmosphere! I'm even thinking about naming my new home Downton Home.

File:Banks 595.jpg

Last night was my first dip into the world of DCI Banks and I already know it won't be my last.  Three words: British Crime Show.  Need I say more?

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Science.  I love science.  The kids will often watch this show with me as we learn about neanderthals, space missions, and other fascinating topics. Well researched with a novice bend, I always find myself lost in internet research after watching each episode.  Well done, Nova.

Have you heard of Food Inc? Yeah, it was first aired on POV. This show has won several major TV awards and I can't praise it enough.  I'd highly recommend the recently aired Reportero.

Another documentary style show, I love Front Line because it tackles tough issues (like Poor Kids and the Battle for Syria) with excellent investigative reporting techniques.

If you haven't noticed, I have thing for documentary-style shows.  I fell in love with American Experience with its Death and the Civil War two-part series.  Just go watch it.  Amazing stuff.

And that's why I stay up late.

*Images courtesy of Wikipedia and PBS


  1. This is an addiction I also share. I have no desire for a support group, but wouldn't mind joining a fan club. :) PBS aka educational programming is golden.

  2. Know what I love almost more than I love PBS? Their 'Create' channel. Julia Child re-runs? Yes, please.

  3. Does your PBS affiliate show "History Detectives"? Man, I love that show. And the Curious George episodes that William H. Macy narrates. Not that I watch them without the kids or anything ...

  4. Stacia! Hee hee... I love the narration on those. It makes me laugh.

    I just saw part of Shakespeare Uncovered last week. I have a new addiction.