Each week, Torontoist examines the upcoming TV listings and makes note of programs that are entertaining, informative, and of quality. Or, alternately, none of those. The result: Televisualist.
Shawn Ashmore is a for-reals doctor! Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayIt’s the return of The Bachelor! This time around, the Bachelor is some fucko you probably won’t like much who’ll screw at least half of the twentysomething female contestants when the cameras aren’t looking and then proclaim that one of them is his True Love, which will last for, oh, let’s say three months before they get sick of each other and realize that nobody will take their phone calls in Hollywood just because they were on this cancer-stick of a show. (City, 8 p.m.)
ABC then follows that up with Conveyor Belt of Love. No, really. That’s the name of the show. Not even slightly kidding. They really, really made this show. Yes, it does sound like something a bad sketch-comedy writer would come up with in order to make fun of reality television, doesn’t it? But it’s not that. It’s for real. It’s really for real. (10 p.m.)
TuesdayThe Biggest Loser comes back yet again, seeing as how it has been off the air for a whole three weeks. Couples Season Three boasts the single fattest fatty ever to take a stab at becoming the biggest loser, a guy who weighs five hundred and twenty-six pounds. Also, the heaviest couple ever: a pair of twins who collectively weigh nine hundred and sixty-nine pounds. If The Biggest Loser keeps trying to one-up themselves like this, very soon they’ll have to go to completely immobile obese people like you see on “Freakiest Freaks”–type specials. How will Jillian Michaels bully them into running a marathon, huh? (City, 8 p.m.)
Want to watch some sports? Drink beers and watch sports? Eat nachos and watch some fucking sports? How about the world junior hockey championships’ gold medal game? Canada versus the United States, even! Patriotism! National pride! Beating the Americans at things! It’s got everything! It’s goddamned motherfucking sports! (TSN, 8 p.m.)
WednesdayThe CBC premieres Republic of Doyle, an action-dramedy about an extended family that also works together as a private investigation outfit in St. John’s. With Allan Hawco (who was in H2O in a small role that you probably don’t remember; heck, Televisualist only went “oh, yeah” because the press kit mentioned it) as the engaging protagonist, this is a pretty good offering from the Ceeb; the closest we can come to describing it in tone is a sort of Canadian, PI-themed version of The Unusuals, which was a very good show indeed. Worth a try. (9 p.m.)
It’s the return of I Get That A Lot, the prank show wherein celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Rachael Ray fuck with people who recognize them by saying, “No, I’m just a celebrity impersonator.” Yes, this really is a thing, we guess. (CBS, 9 p.m.)
ThursdayThe Nature of Things this week concentrates on bee population declines and what would happen to vegetation if they continue unchecked. Just in case you needed to be scared, you see. (CBC, 8 p.m.)
College football national championship game! It is the University of Alabama versus the University of Texas! As someone who would be pretty damned blue-state were he American, I am not sure why people care about college football when there isn’t the opportunity to sit down on a national holiday. But hey—here it is! (Fox, 8:30 p.m.)
FridayBuzz Hargrove appears on Allan Gregg. Televisualist loathes Buzz Hargrove with a passion and vaguely wishes this show had a call-in segment so we could phone in and then make fart noises. (TVO, 10 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Fat and the Furriest,” wherein Homer makes a bear-fighting suit for the purpose of fighting a bear. Surprisingly lacking a Stephen Colbert cameo. “Hmm… your husband appears to be travelling with the bear. Either as a hostage, or as what we call a ‘forest bride.’” (CFMT, 7:30 p.m.)
The WeekendHBO Canada debuts Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, the TV series based on Vincent Lam’s Giller Prize–winning book of the same name. Starring Iceman… excuse me, Shawn Ashmore as the lead student doctor, the pilot is appealing in a pleasantly low-key sort of way; the show feels different from a lot of hospital dramas and the performances are all decent. That being said, Byron Mann doesn’t look right for the role of Chen. (8 p.m.)
Chuck returns for a special Sunday-night double offering to kick off the third season before moving to Mondays. Tonight, Chuck first must deal with the horrors of spy school, and then with the horrors of Vinnie Jones (continuing this show’s tradition of truly excellent guest stars). Ah, Chuck. We have missed you. (City, 9 p.m.)
If you haven’t seen Shake Hands With The Devil yet, the CBC has you covered. And you should see it, because it is very good. (CBC, 8 p.m.)