I remember being nineteen years old, I was attending community college and working, had a decent car, lots of friends and didn’t have too much trouble finding dates; it would have never occurred to me there would be a time in my future that I would look forward to staying in on Friday or Saturday night to watch something on PBS.  My nineteen-year-old self would be appalled!  That being said, there are two programs I am looking forward to watching this weekend on local PBS affiliate KQED.

The Real Marry Poppins (Friday 10 PM) tells the incredible life story of Pamela Travers, the creator of Mary Poppins.  The making of the popular Disney film based on Travers’ book was recently dramatized in Saving Mr. Banks with Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks; I look forward to this version because it will delve a bit deeper into the life of Ms. Travers, which should make for a truly compelling hour of television.

West Side Story (Saturday 8 PM) is a superb, Academy Award winning musical which modernizes the story or Romeo and Juliet, placing it among the street gangs of 1950’s New York City; if you’ve never seen it then you have really missed something.  Starring the beautiful and talented Natalie Wood (among many others), this film is as much a part of American pop culture as Rebel Without A Cause or Midnight Cowboy; in other words, it is not simply good entertainment but also part of the rich tapestry of the best American cinema making it a must see for even the most casual of film aficionados.

I wish I could tell my nineteen-year-old self that I’ll simply DVR these two programs and go out on the town those nights, perhaps even drive into the city, hit a few of the new bars, or go on a date; truth be told it’s far more likely I’ll watch them live while basking in the warmth of my space heater, wearing my acorn slippers and drinking some herbal tea.  Woe is me!