www.whyville.net Dec 27, 2001 Weekly Issue

Staff Writer

What's On!

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What's On!

Times Writer

As you may or may not know, I really like hearing from you about the shows I post here -- which ones do you watch? What do you think of them?

Yesterday I received a review of last week's Lord of the Flies -- the movie about a group of kids shipwrecked on an island -- and here it is:

    I saw the movie Lord of the Flies and I didn't like it. It grossed me out and I didn't get the point of it. My aunt tried to explain it, but it made no sense. That's what I thought of that movie. Thanks for listening, Media Maven!

Thanks for your review! I'll keep it in mind when I choose next week's great shows. In the meantime, have a happy New Year!

Watch the shows and let me know what you think!
Email me, the MediaWiz of Whyville!

Friday, December 28
    Mark Twain: His Amazing Adventures
    Domino Day 2001

Saturday, December 29
    A League of Their Own
    Follow the River

Sunday, December 30
    National Geographic: Best of 2001

Monday, December 31
    Crucible of the Millenium

Tuesday, January 1, 2002
    Gulliver's Travels
    World Birthday

Wednesday, January 2, 2002
    Mill Times

Thursday, January 3, 2002
    Victoria and Albert

Friday, December 28

"Mark Twain: His Amazing Adventures" (A&E Network, 7-8 a.m. E/P) Instead of watching cartoons this morning, watch this documentary about the author who gave us Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Follow his rise from steamboat pilot to failed inventor to famous writer. I recommend you also read his autobiographical -- and very funny -- book about his teen years, "Roughing It", even though by his own confession it's full of outrageous lies about his exploits. (The TV show is pretty much accurate about him.)

"Domino Day 2001" (ABC, 9-10pm E/P) Here's the deal. Last year, a team of students from China, Japan and Korea established a world record by setting up 3.4 million dominoes in a vast, linked series of patterns -- the kind that can folks a thrill as they watch it topple. This year a team of Europeans, joined for the occasion by 5 Americans, plans to beat the record -- with TV cameras watching -- in the final hours of a 6-week marathon of 10 hour days on their hands and knees setting up their display of 3.75 million pieces. I hope nobody coughs or sneezes during the placing of dominoes number 3,400,000 and 3,400,001. There's also a cool game based on dominoes available at http://teachers.net/lessons/posts/421.html.

Saturday, December 29

"A League Of Their Own" (TBS Channel, 7-9:30pm E/P) This comedy about the women's baseball league, created during WWII to provide spectator sports events at a time when so many male athletes were away in the military, requires viewers to adjust to several unusual ideas. I mean, a movie about living conditions 60 years ago can be really interesting, girls can be terrific baseball players and can direct great movies (Penny Marshall, in this case) and some superstars can act in roles you would never expect (Madonna and Tom Hanks, in this case)..

"Follow The River" (Hallmark Channel, 9-11pm E/P) This is a movie version of the James Alexander novel about a young colonial woman who is captured by Shawnee warriors and uses her intelligence and own courage to escape in search of her home. Available on video.

Sunday, December 30

"National Geographic Explorer: Best Of 2001" (MSNBC, 8-9pm ET, 5-6pm PT) This documentary is sort of a job fair -- if you're interested in getting to know about the workaday world of certain scientific disciplines It's compendium of reports which ran this year about scientists whose work requires climbing mountains (Everest, for instance) canoeing into swamps (where there are alligators that can jump yards into the air) pulling long lost ships up from the sea bottom (including a Confederate submarine from 150 years ago) or chasing hippos and hurricanes.

Monday, December 31

"Crucible Of The Millennium" (PBS, 9am - noon E/P. Some stations will air this show delayed, from 9pm - midnight ET, 6-9pm PT. Please check local listings because this is not carried on all PBS stations) This 2-part documentary describes a turning point in history, maybe a wrong turn if you don't like what's going on in the world today. It seems that, once upon a time, before the year 1500, different powerful cultures could inhabit this planet, living separate lives and not have to pay any attention to one another. But around that year various folks got to travelling. With big consequences. At one seacoast town, Calicut (also known as Calcutta) in India, an ambassador arrived from the expanding Moslem Turkish Empire, mariners landed from Confucian China, explorers from Catholic Portugal "discovered" the place all about the same time. (The consequences are being played out on the tv news this week.) Also beginning around 1500 Africa and The Americas experienced the arrival of Europeans who soon began trading in everything from sugar to tobacco to human beings - forever altering social structures at both ends of the contact route. For more info, check out www.globaled.org.

Tuesday, January 1

""Gulliver's Travels" (Hallmark Channel, 6-10pm E/P) This 2-episode TV mini-series is based on the classic adventure novel by Jonathan Swift. We all know the part where the hero gets tied up by tiny Lilliputians. Not so well known - but depicted via fabulous special effects from the Jim Henson studio -- are his adventures in the land of giants and other weird creatures. You will also see Gulliver put on trial for speaking publicly of his adventures -- a really interesting part of the original novel that's never been put on film. Available on video.

"World Birthday" (The Learning Channel, 9-11pm E/P) This is the ultimate TV show about cultural diversity -- and human similarities. Nine teams of journalists report on the birth of a new family member one day last July to parents in China, Ethiopia, Germany, Brazil, India, Egypt, Mexico, England, and California. Every family's situation is different, but in many ways also the same.

Wednesday, January 2

""Mill Times" (PBS, 8-9pm E/P) This is a live-action and animated documentary about how the factory-worker transformed American business and lifsetyle. (Almost everybody was a farmer before there were mills to produce what folks wanted and needed.) It's about technology, competition and the effect on family life and is based on David Macaulay's popular book, "Mill". He's also know for his wonderfully illustrated book "How Things Work".

Thursday, January 3

"Victoria And Albert" (Part I, PBS, 9-11pm E/P) This is a dramatic TV mini-series based on the life of a smart, shy girl who became Queen of England at age 19 and succeeded in leading her nation to the status of the strongest world power of her era (they even named it after her -- the Victorian Era). She married her cousin, Albert, and had 4 high-spirited children. (Part II airs Thursday, January 10.)



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