Three months ago, on the blog before this one, I was thrilled to write a paean to the wondrousness of PBS Television.  At the time, I was excited half-to-death over the “all-Jane-Austen-all-the-time” Masterpiece shows on Sunday nights for the first quarter of the year, tickled over the Saturday afternoon episodes of Victory Garden, and happier to see The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and New York Now than I ever was over mainstream media.

Things have changed a bit since February. I discovered and tuned in to Monarch of the Glen, the best comedy I’ve seen in years, which ended with a satisfyingly happy ending last weekend (although, given that I cry at endings purely on the principal that “good things shouldn’t always have to end,” there were a few tears).  I’ve spent probably a dozen hours watching documentaries like The Jewish Americans, The War Years in Troy, and the odd episode of Nature.  And having received the June edition of Outlook (the WMHT Member Magazine) in today’s mail, I’m thrilled to see the line-up for the next month.

A new British Mystery series (well, new to the US, originally put together in 2003) is taking over the spot vacated by Monarch.  I’m not a huge fan of mysteries, but I’ll give it a few views before making up my mind.  There are three different Frank Sinatra specials this month, a half dozen folk music presentations, three of my favorite operas on Great Performances at the Met (Pucinni’s La Boheme, Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde [if only it were Lohengrin, instead!], and Donizetti’s La Fille du Regiment).  Also, a showing of Anne of Green Gables (which is one of my favorite PBS pieces ever), a Katherine Hepburn biography, and a new Niall Ferguson World War II documentary called The Clash of Empires.

Each month’s edition of Outlook convinces me more fully that I’ll never subscribe to cable again.  The only things I miss are Grey’s Anatomy, which I can watch online a few days after the original airing, and The L Word, which I can view “on demand” via netflix as soon as the seasons are released.  Which means that I won’t need to deal with crappy advertising again.

A year ago, when I “got rid of television,” I figured I’d never watch much of it again.  I never would have thought that there was so much fabulous programming on one little station.  Instead, I’m constantly amazed by how much there is to choose from.  Hurrah for public funds being used to produce art, education, and entertainment that means something.

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