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June 29, 2017

“Leandro’s ‘Don’t Miss’ List” Monthly Column Debuts

WNET’s very own Leandro Mejia, a self-proclaimed public media superfan, has agreed to write 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.


Hail Caesar…well, his namesake month, July, and lend WNET’s summer offerings your ears (and eyes), whether you be a friend, Roman or countryman! Carpe July and use the time not only to view new programs, but also catch up on some older ones.

While summer is a great time to vacation, one does not necessarily have to go globe-trotting like some ACME agent after Carmen Sandiego. Given our very own New York City possess its own autochthonous (“indigenous”) beauty and history, try a “staycation,” and tune into MetroFocus on Tuesday, July 11 and Thursday, July 13 to learn more about local activities. MetroFocus will offer a guide on how to identify the 50 or so trees that we share the city with, and the following week, will focus on Governor’s Island and the wonders it has to offer, both natural (7,000 trees) and man-made (the Jazz Age Lawn Party).

POV is one of my all-time favorite documentary series on TV. Its strongest feature is the eponymous “point of view,” which allows for more candid and universally relatable narratives. Please tune in on Mondays, July 3 and July 10, as both POV premieres will focus on Syria: The War Show and Last Men in Aleppo. As a Westerner, I like to be thoroughly informed about current events from distant parts of the globe; POV always does a superb job in conveying the vicissitudes of the human condition.

On a lighter note, American Masters will save me from some missed-show guilt! On Thursday, July 6, the episode on Patsy Cline will re-air. While I am not a fan of country, I do understand its indelible importance to the American experience (pun intended!) as one of our own native musical genres. Then, Friday, July 7 will go from TGIF to TGIT (Thank Goodness it’s Thirteen) with another great re-airing: Eero Saarinen. His architectural wonders prove that, indeed, “architecture is art that you live in.” He has brought us closer to living like the Jetsons!

Another great show to catch is NOVA: Wild Ways. Aside from the great word play (referring to the types of passages that allow for wild animals to traverse highways more safely), the episode serves to underscore an increasing concern for human spaces: how to share them with other species. One scientist’s chiasmus sums the gist of the episode: “We need to find ways in which people can live with wildlife, and wildlife can live with people“. Those subway posters showing a deer as a “New Yorker” immediately come to mind.

Finally, as a student of history, I am eagerly awaiting the finale of The Story of China: The Last Empire Empire/The Age of Revolution, on Tuesday, July 11. I have always been impressed by how the Chinese have been one of the world’s few continuous civilizations, so this trilogy has been must see history, to slightly borrow an old slogan from a certain TV network!

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