I am grateful for PBS.

#ProjectZen #Day5 #GratitudeProject

Perhaps I am becoming a grouchy fuddy-duddy (or maybe I have always been one). What passes as popular television viewing at the moment, turns my brain to absolute mush. I just cannot embrace scripted and shallow “reality TV” and find it disheartening that our lowest common denominators as a society are reflected in such programming. Surely there is more out there than fighting, cheating, taking joy in embarrassing others, lying, and the “win at all cost” attitudes…..oh, and doing all of this while half dressed. I know these shows exist because people want to watch them. I just don’t happen to be one of them. 

I have never understood public demand and approval for Schadenfreude (German: the pleasure derived from the misfortune of others).

My personal refuge on television is PBS. I don’t turn PBS on to be mindlessly entertained. I turn it on to learn.

I know detractors may jump in and decry funding issues, or “political bias”, or present a case that PBS is no longer needed because of extensive cable/satellite programming.  This blog isn’t about any of that at all. It’s about the fact that PBS brings me programming I actually want to see (with the additional bonus of watching an entire show, documentary, or news segment commercial free).

PBS introduced me to British humor. Shows like Are You Being Served, Keeping Up Appearances, and Last of the Summer Wine. I have enjoyed British crime dramas like Luther, Father Brown, and Sherlock.

Monday through Friday I always catch the evening news segment, PBS NewsHour, after watching local and national news on other channels.

One of my favorite programs on PBS is Nature PBS, which my local affiliate broadcasts on Wednesday nights.

Wonderful series programming from Masterpiece on PBS kept me enthralled and begging for more. Downton Abby, Call the Midwife, and Home Fires.

As of the date of this blog (2/5/17) I am currently enjoying Mercy Street and Victoria.

I have watched many of the American Experience programs. I highly recommend this series. Over 100 programs with over 300 episodes, many of them award winning documentaries, all of them educational. 

Do you like science? Check out Nova. I have learned so many fascinating things.

How about independent programming? Check out Independent Lens. I have become aware of people, places, issues, and events I never would have learned about otherwise.

While I do not have children of my own, many of my friends that do, have often mentioned to me how much they appreciate PBS Kids programming.

My local PBS station is WILL (Radio TV Online – Illinois Public Media) located in Urbana, Illinois.  

Illinois Public Media is a not-for-profit public media service of the College of Media at the University of Illinois, educating, entertaining, inspiring and empowering by airing the best of public television and radio programs, producing local content for broadcast and the Web, and working with community partners to address needs and concerns.


I am grateful to PBS because life-long learning is a good thing. I appreciate the diversity of programming. I appreciate the cultural and arts programming. I trust PBS as a news source, and because of PBS I can explore NPR, BBC News, and Charlie Rose. When I want the straight scoop on current events, PBS is my go-to channel. I just want to know what’s going on, without the hype. I am grateful that PBS treats me, an average viewer, like an intelligent human being by presenting me with a plethora of high quality content. 

*** I have never been employed by PBS, nor have I been offered compensation for my opinion. I am just a viewer and supporter.


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