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Televisualist: Suck On This, Switzerland

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.

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Any one of these schmoes could be the next American Idol! Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.

Monday

Dave remains an enduring pleasure, since it’s one of the rare political comedies that works on a lighthearted level rather than going to the well of dark, sardonic humour. Kevin Kline’s dual performance as asshole President and nice guy who takes over in the job remains one of his best, and also you get to see Ving Rhames before he went bald. (AMC, 8 p.m.)
Tonight on the Olympics: Canada’s women’s hockey team takes on Switzerland, who you would think would remain neutral in such fracases. (APTN, 5 p.m.) Also, men’s and women’s cross-country skiing, women’s luge, men’s snowboard cross medal final, pairs figure skating medal final, and men’s 500 m speed skating medal final. (SportsNet, TSN, CTV, NBC)

Tuesday

Tonight on the Olympics: Canada beats up Switzerland again, except this time it’s at curling. Take that, you Alp-loving Ricola-yodelling neutral bastards! (TSN, 12:30 p.m.) Also: snowboarding, men’s and women’s biathlon medal finals, men’s figure skating, and more women’s luge. (SportsNet, TSN, CTV, NBC, APTN)
Here’s a question: why don’t they move the fighting sports (judo, karate, those sorts of things) to the Winter Olympics? They’re performed indoor anyway, so there’s no reason they can’t be “winter” sports, and they’d get a little more prominence rather than getting lost in the Summer Olympics shuffle. We mention this because Enter The Dragon is on tonight and we needed to make it relevant somehow. (AMC, 8 p.m.)

Wednesday

American Idol reveals its top twenty-four semifinalists so America can vote on who its next probably irrelevant musical “star” can be! As you’ll recall, last year at this time we were just learning about Kris Allen, who went on to win Idol and then get completely outsold by Adam Lambert, whom he theoretically beat, but who it turns out is more popular with people who actually “listen” to “music.” Lambert gets to appear on major awards shows; meanwhile, Kris Allen is the first American Idol winner to perform in Malaysia and Singapore! (Fox, 9 p.m.)
Tonight on the Olympics: Canada’s women’s hockey team versus the Swedes, who presumably will be tougher to beat than the Swiss, if only because the Swedes will have built all their hockey sticks themselves with little Allen keys. (1 p.m., TSN) Also: men’s snowboarding halfpipe medal final, men’s 1000 m short track speedskating medal final, and the Battle of Former Czechoslovakia as the Czech Republic takes on Slovakia in men’s hockey. (SportsNet, TSN, CTV, NBC, APTN)

Thursday

The Nature of Things has a new episode tonight, about a scientist seaching for a rare red monkey deep in the jungles of Peru. If nothing else, it should be pretty. Furthermore, the excellent Nature of Things episode about the pros and cons of nuclear power is getting a rerun tonight, so you can double up on your dose of David Suzuki. (8 p.m. CBC; then 10 p.m. Newsworld)
Tonight on the Olympics: it is just not Switzerland’s week as now our men’s hockey team lines up to teach them the karmic lessons involved in being citizens of a nation that allows unpleasant dictators to hold bank accounts. (6 p.m., CTV) Also: men’s figure skating medal final, women’s snowboarding halfpipe medal final, and Canada vs. France at curling. (SportsNet, TSN, CTV, NBC, APTN)

Friday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?,” wherein Homer’s half-brother Herb Powell returns to regain his fortune by building a baby translator. Hey, they really need to bring back Herb at some point. He’s a great character. “Herb, this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe we blew two thousand bucks on it, when right now rollers could be kneading my buttocks.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)
Tonight on the Olympics: men’s ski jumping. Ski jumping is arguably the single stupidest sport for which one can get an Olympic medal. Televisualist refuses to dignify it with a joke. At least in biathlon, you get to shoot at things. Maybe if people got to shoot at the ski jumpers, it might be more entertaining. Also: men’s super-G skiing medal final, men’s and women’s skeleton medal final, and Canada’s women’s curlers take on Denmark. (SportsNet, TSN, CTV, NBC, APTN)

The Weekend

This weekend at the Olympics: two-man bobsledding, women’s super-G skiing, women’s freestyle aerial skiing, and the women’s hockey playoffs commence, at which presumably the Canadian team will dominate and destroy all in their wake. Also, Canada’s men’s curling team finishes our week-long destruction of Switzerland, who by this point are probably wishing they didn’t have holes in their cheese because the extra protein probably might have helped them look less pathetic. (SportsNet, TSN, CTV, NBC, APTN)
America’s Best Dance Crew begins the “real” round of competition after the regional semifinal rounds, and people who always want to know when Canadians are involved in American competitions should be aware that Blueprint Cru, a Montreal-based hip-hop crew featuring two former So You Think You Can Dance Canada contestants (Vincent from season 1 and Nicolas from season 2) have made their way through to single-elims along with such notable groups as a bunch of dancers who dance while jumping rope, a group of overweight dancers, and the first-ever crew to represent Hawaii. (MuchMusic, 10 p.m. Sunday)

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