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July 31, 2017

Leandro’s Don’t Miss List: August 2017

WNET’s very own Leandro Mejia, a self-proclaimed public media superfan, writes a monthly column of his must-see recommendations on THIRTEEN. Check out his suggestions for new and encore programs you won’t want to miss.

And if you want to expand your vocabulary, click on the hyperlinked words for a definition.


Let August augur programming that will fan the flames of learning in your AC shielded estival ensconcements.

Billie Jean caused a scene, or so that old MJ ditty goes! American Masters on August 4 at 9:00PM serves one up the middle with a different Billie Jean…King, that is. As movie audiences continue to see a certain Amazon save the day, this episode shows how this real life wonder woman wielded her racket like a sword against the rivals of sexism and homophobia, in the battlefield of the tennis court (“I wanted to use sports for social change”).

In these dog #daysofdelay, dehydration and demoralization, inspire yourself by tuning in to MetroFocus on August 18 at 6:00PM to view a nascent initiative from Chasing the Dream called My Everyday Hustle. On a personal note, this series of vignettes shares a kindred appellation that draws parallels to a routine by Katt Williams, one of my favorite comics. In the commencement of one of his performances (aptly titled American Hustle) he makes use of Rick Ross’s “Everyday I’m Hustling” and re-imagines it as an anthemic battle cry for all working class strata. He ends the segment by encouraging anyone from librarian to fast food worker to feel proud of their labor!

New York City is itself a treasure within civilization’s treasure chest. On August 20 at 7PM, one of the city’s priceless institutions of pedagogy is explored in Treasures of New York: Columbia University. Bearing our nation’s personification of Columbia, this Ivy League-er is just so close to us; it’s down the block from my own alma mater (CCNY)!

On August 16 at 8PM, please view Lucasian luminary Prof. Stephen Hawking’s eponymous documentary Hawking. Then, tune in on August 21 at 9 PM for a stellar NOVA, literally! A nation-wide eclipse will grace the States that day. After the event, this terrestrial NOVA installment will inform you about this celestial sensation. To round of your cosmic cravings, watch The Farthest Voyager in Space (August 23, 9PM). Since the world did not end in 2012, we are all able to rejoice that, much like the original Star Trek, it is already in it’s own five year mission boldly going past the solar system.

Bookend your August with two Dick Cavett specials on two polemic events of the 1970’s. Dick Cavett’s Watergate (August 9, 8PM) will look at the infamous event that has lent its “-gate” surname to future scandals (e.g., Deflategate, Bridgegate), and whose zeitgeist is eerily becoming a relevant revenant haunting the halls and houses of American democracy. Finally, to augur the upcoming Ken Burns Vietnam documentary, one should view Dick Cavett’s Vietnam (August 29, 10PM) to supplement your knowledge through Mr. Cavett’s insightful interviews.

Don’t surf other channels, instead ride THIRTEEN’s heatwave of hits this August!

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