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September 27, 2019

Leandro’s Don’t Miss List: October 2019

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.


August may have its dog days, but October has its cephalopod days (and more)!

Frontline: The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia (October 1 at 9pm). This installment takes a closer look at the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (also known as MBS) and the death of the journalist Jamal Kashoggi.

Nature — Octopus: Making Contact (October 2 at 8pm). Alaska Pacific University’s Dr. David Scheel and his daughter, Laura, show us how Heidi the octopus displays great degrees of intelligence (and affection). From Houdini-esque escape strategies, the use of tools, and even watching TV, we see a different side of these often maligned malacological marvels.

Wild Metropolis (October 2-16 at 10pm). This three-part miniseries begins with Residents, and how wild animals, like pythons in Bangkok, are setting up shop in human cities. In Commuters, learn how, just as many of us do, ingress and egress cities as a lifestyle! Finally, Survivors shows us how displaced animals like the heron are surviving our urban environs.

NYC-ARTS: Eldridge Synagogue and Museum (October 3 at 8pm). Just days after Rosh Hashanah and before Yom Kippur, learn more about this historically and culturally important landmark. Located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side at 12 Eldridge Street (between Canal and Division Streets), the Eldridge Street Synagogue began its life in the late 19th century, serving as a cultural and religious hub for the East European Jewish immigrant to the area. Though it continued to serve the Jewish community throughout the 20th century, by the 1970s, the neighborhood had changed and the building fell into disrepair. But the synagogue has since been restored, with a museum built inside of it, drawing an estimated 40,000 visitors per year, 25 percent of those from outside the U.S. Visitors are in for a treat, be it with its Moorish design, a facade beautifully depicting Jewish religious themes (for example, the twelve rosettes on its round stained glass window represent the Twelve Tribes of Israel, while the doors directly beneath stand for the Five Books of Moses), or from its plethora of community events and programs. For more information, visit www.eldridgestreet.org

Great Performances: Now Hear This (October 4 and October 11 at 9PM). Last month’s quartet rounds out with Scarlatti: Man Out of Time on how the Italian composer innovated classical music, followed by Handel: Italian Style, and the influences the former (along with Vivaldi and Corelli), had on the latter.

POV: The Feeling of Being Watched (October 14 at 10pm). Journalist and filmmaker Assia Boundaoui investigates the possibility of ongoing FBI surveillance of her Muslim Chicago suburban community.

American Masters — Rothko: Pictures Must Be Miraculous (October 25 at 9pm). Clips from the Tony Award-winning play Red, (with Alfred Molina, aka, Doc Ock, playing Mark Rothko; this month’s octopus theme continues!) help flesh out the career of the late great abstract expressionist. In November, Red will be shown in full as part of Great Performances‘ Broadway’s Best lineup!

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