www.whyville.net May 16, 2003 Weekly Issue

Staff Writer

Media Menu

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These listings cover television programs up to Thursday, May 23rd.

Greetings, TV viewers!

This week's MediaHour will be held in the new Greek Theater. To get there, go to City Hall in your bus menu, then click on the stone sign out front. See you there on Wednesday!

Our discussion will cover a classic television news show -- watch 35 Years and 60 Minutes on Sunday, then come talk with us about anything you find interesting in the show. Does 60 Minutes cover anything you're interested in? What makes these folks such respected news journalists? Do you think there's anything they have or do that we could use in the Whyville Times?

Next month's Book Hour novel will be Maniac Mcgee by Jerry Spinelli. It's about a teenager who, if we described him here in just a few words, you would want to avoid. But if you read this unusual book, I think you'll find him irresistible.

Want some clams? Watch the show-of-the-week, then talk about them with me and other citizens (including other city workers, if they're available) at the Greek Theater, over in City Hall. You'll find that the Theater makes discussions a little easier, since City Workers are able to direct people's movement and behavior, when we need to. We meet on Wednesdays from 6:30pm and 7:30pm Whyville Time (that's the same as Eastern Daylight Time).

If you come and really take part in the meeting, you'll get up to 50 clams from City Hall (or more, if your efforts are exceptional)... you like that?

To sum up: tune to the show, show up to the chat, chat up your thoughts, and get clams!

Everyone is welcome to email me what you and your parents think: Y-mail me, the MediaWiz of Whyville!

And now... the Media Menu!

Friday, May 16

"Castles and Dungeons" (History Channel, 7-8pm E/P) No, this isn't a videogame. It's a documentary about the real towering (and subterranean) marvels from the Middle Ages. Oddly, this program is airing as part of the "Modern Marvels" series. Architectural features that have long since vanished from modern buildings, such as murder holes, arrow slits, battlements and moats worked together to make castles virtually impregnable to attack. You'll learn how these things were built. If you like this, I also heartily recommend the Caldicott Honor Book, Castles.

Saturday, May 17

"America's Big Cat Crisis" (National Geographic Channel, 8-10pm E/P) This is a documentary big cats. Very big cats. For instance, could a 500-pound tiger be living next door to you? Is America is in the midst of a big cat crisis? It's a problem that some believe has exploded in recent years as thousands of private individuals acquire large, exotic felines as pets, unaware of the amount of care these animals require. Join Explorer for an in-depth look at the struggle between those who love owning big cats and those who feel that wild animals are best left in their native habitats.

Sunday, May 18

"Child Stars" (A&E Network, 3-4pm E/P) This is Part 1 of a documentary account of of what it's like to be a child star in Hollywood. Here is the real story of how young celebrities deal with the fame, pressure, big money, and the trauma of being washed-up at age 12. Includes interviews with former child stars Fred Savage (The Wonder Years), Patty Duke (The Patty Duke Show), Jerry Mathers (Leave It to Beaver), Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family), Todd Bridges (Diff'rent Strokes), and others. Part 2 airs in this timeslot May 25

"35 Years And 60 Minutes" (CBS, 7-9pm E/P) This is a documentary special about special documentaries. For decades the Sunday evening broadcast of 3 short documentary reports on CBS has set -- and maintained -- a standard of research and filming that few have reached. In this 2 hour version, the 60 Minutes creator and correspondents reveal what happened on and off-camera with some of the famous and infamous people whose stories make up a history of the last 1/3 century. From lovable Tom Hanks to dictator Manuel Noriega, from Jerry Seinfeld to the fallen Shah of Iran, reports include the man who didn't earn a Medal of Honor but pretends he did plus hilarious outtakes when correspondent Bob Simon proves he's better at telling stories about bullfighters than trying to be one himself.

Monday, May 19

"Treasure Island" (Hallmark Channel, 8-10pm E/P) This is the best movie version of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson adventure novel. Recently Disney recently released a science fiction version, "Treasure Planet", which you might be interested in comparing -- both versions are available on video. Both are about a youth who comes by a treasure map and then sets sail (or launches into space) to the secret place where the treasure is buried. En route, some of the crew on his ship plot a mutiny and and after lots of adventures the youth gets back to England with the treasure. Available on video.

Tuesday, May 20

"Vikings; Warrior Challenge" (PBS 9-10pm E/P) In this documentary, British police officers and U.S. Airforce personnel re-enact the life of Vikings from ancient, pagan Scandinavia. These savage fighters were the 10th century equivalent of terrorists. They raided religious centers, plundered the great cities of Europe, including London and Paris, and demanded huge payments to leave their victims in peace. But their reign was short. Viking raids reached a peak at the end of the 9th century, and by the 11th century these were already fading. The accompanying PBS website has rich details about just how bad these people were.

Wednesday, May 21

"Our Town" (TCM Network, 8-10pm ET, 5-7 PT) This is a 1940 movie version of Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning play (often performed in high schools) about life in the fictional New Hampshire town of Grover's Corners in the years 1900 through 1913. It won Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Actress, Black-and-White Art Direction and its memorable score by Aaron Copland. Note: A 2003 version of the play, starring Paul Newman, airs on Showtime Network on Saturday, May 24.

Thursday, May 22

"Frontline/World" (PBS, 9-10pm E/P) This broadcast of 3 separate documentaries is unusual because the journalists are younger, sometimes students. The target audience is clearly young, too. If you're beginning to think about being a TV news reporter, watch the show and then log on to the accompanying website -- http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/. There, you'll you'll discover where the best journalism schools are -- because that's where these reporters were recruited from. The show travels to Lebanon, where the terrorist group Hezbollah has become an accepted part of mainstream society -- complete with its own uniformed army, political party, schools, and stores that sell everything from Hezbollah perfume to postcards. Then to the remote highlands of Guatemala and southern Mexico, where traditional coffee growers are being driven off their land; and Nepal, where a group of Sherpa women attempt to make history as the first to climb Mount Everest.

Friday, May 23

"On The Town" (TCM Network, 6-8pm EP, 3-5pm ET) If you liked "Chicago", you should see this movie. It's about New York: "it's a helluva town; the Bronx is up and the Battery's down; the people ride in a hole in the ground...." Well, you get the idea. Those Oscar winning lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, set to Leonard Bernstein's music, have made On the Town a permanent part of people's mental image of New York City. The story, inspired by Jerome Robbins's ballet Fancy Free, is pretty slight: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Jules Munshin play sailors with 24 hours' leave to take their bite out of the Big Apple. But you'll remember everything in this movie. Available on video.

"20/20" (ABC, 10-11pm E/P) In this newsmagazine, host Barbara Walters will conduct a one-on one interview with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. She's a strong interrogator and won't let his off the hook if he tries to be vague. He's been under pressure from the United States to agree to essential points in a "road map" for peace that has been presented to him and the new Palestinian premier, Mahmoud Abbas. The sticking points are the future of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, and whether or not Palestinians have a "right of return" to Israel.


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