August Sleeper Picks
Our chief programming officer, Jim Wiener, has put together his short list of must-watch programs for August – and they’re not ones you might hear about elsewhere. Check out the list below and mark your calendar or set that DVR!
Secret Life of Pigeons
Thursday, August 4, at 9pm on CET
“I’m SMART… not like everybody says!!” If pigeons aren’t the Rodney Dangerfield, they’re the Fredo Corleone of the bird kingdom. Dismissed as “sky rats,” dirty, dim-witted, pigeons are actually valuable to scientists in research on navigation and Alzheimer’s. They’ve been utilized for transporting paper messages, particularly around battlefields in World War I. They’re revered in other countries with pigeon racing big in Canada, Brazil and Taiwan.
And keeping with birds, check out From Billions to None at 10pm. This looks at how the passenger pigeon went from being so populous in the mid-19th century as to darken the skies in flight… to the very last one (Martha) dying in the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914. This includes footage of art students led by celebrated wildlife illustrator John Ruthven painting the pigeon mural that we now see at 7th and Vine downtown.
Dick Cavett’s Watergate
Tuesday, August 15, at 8pm on CET and ThinkTV16
Cavett’s talk show mixed entertainers with politicos, and most key players in the Watergate scandal eventually dropped by here in the early ‘70’s. The ties were wide, the collars were large, and what they knew and when they knew it make this a fascinating time capsule.
Women of ’69, Unboxed
Friday, August 19, at 10pm on ThinkTV14
College classmates in the 60’s, these women look back, then ahead, as they turn 65. If their parents made up the Greatest Generation, maybe they made up the Loudest.
Girls in the Band
Saturday, August 20, at 9pm on CET
Sunday, August 21, at 9pm on CET Arts
The all-girl band in Some Like it Hot wasn’t just an implausible plot device to get Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in drag. There were such bands, particularly jazz bands, that flourished in the 30’s and ‘40’s.
We get contemporary interviews with several musicians matched with footage of them back in their playing days. They made the best of a situation where jazz inspired them to learn to play, only to find that bands were men’s only in hiring. Artists include pianists Marian McPartland and Geri Allen, Clora Bryant on trumpet and Jane Ira Boom on soprano sax. Herbie Hancock also makes an appearance.
There’s also more jazz as a replay of Ken Burns’ Jazz wraps up at 9pm that Sunday on ThinkTV14.