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.
Madonna. She is timeless. For now, anyway. Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayIt’s the finals of NCAA men’s basketball, this year seeing Butler and Duke in the championship game. Warning to all non-fans of college hoops: rooting for Duke in basketball is like rooting for the New York Yankees, i.e., you can only root for the Yankees without looking like a bandwagoneer douche if you are actually from New York. Duke has won three NCAA championships, made it to the final game six more times, and made it to the Final Four fifteen times in total, so if you’re not a serious fan, you don’t want to cheer for them, because they will probably win, and that’s boring. Also, Butler has a slightly amusing name and an appealing team mascot (a bulldog!) so not only are they underdogs appearing in their very first NCAA championship final, but they’re also underdogs with charm! (SunTV, 9 p.m.)
“The Puffy Shirt” is probably one of the all-time great Seinfeld episodes, from the series’ peak (season five), mostly because of the shirt itself, which looks ridiculous and is a brilliant comic prop. Even if it is just like what the pirates used to wear. (Fox, 10 p.m.)
TuesdayMadonna: Sticky and Sweet is a special two-and-a-half-hour televised concert shot in Argentina, featuring Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Kanye West in addition to Madonna. Given that this is Argentina, what are the odds of a reference to Madonna’s appearance in the film version of Evita? Answer: probably quite low, unless Kanye is willing to do a rap to “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.” Which he might not be willing to do, because it’s Kanye. This is what Madonna gets for not asking Lil Wayne to come along instead. Lil Wayne would do rhymes in the middle of a cover performance of “My Sharona” by a polka band if they paid him enough. (SunTV, 8 p.m.)
Dr. No. If you had any doubt that Sean Connery is the best Bond (yes, even better than Daniel Craig, who’s good but no Connery), then watch and learn. (CHCH, 8:30 p.m.)
WednesdayThe not-as-good American version of Kitchen Nightmares is currently in a cycle of “revisited” episodes, wherein Gordon Ramsay returns to the restaurants he previously tried to help avoid bankruptcy and closure and sees how they’re doing now. Ramsay’s track record for restaurants he helps on Nightmares is pretty solid: if they follow his advice, they end up stabilizing and becoming relatively successful, and if they don’t they go out of business. (This is because Ramsay knows his shit, which is why Kitchen Nightmares is in many ways the inverse of Restaurant Makeover.) But really, this show is all about the schadenfreude. The delicious, delicious schadenfreude. (Global, 9 p.m.)
Televisualist generally avoids Unscripted, that show where a celebrity talks about themselves for a half hour in an attempt to seem genuine. But tonight’s episode features CCH Pounder, and CCH Pounder is made of pure distilled awesome. CCH Pounder shits platinum and farts lightning. That is how awesome CCH Pounder is. (Vision, 10 p.m.)
Thursday“Romantic Expressionism” is one of the weirder and funnier episodes of Community (a show that started off slow but just keeps getting funnier and funnier with every single episode), mostly because of the revelation point of the episode where Joel McHale points out that, despite his study group’s feeling of being a family, they aren’t related and therefore sexual tension can subvert the family dynamic. The following full minute of takes, double-takes, and triple-takes as everybody at the table assesses everyone else as a potential fuckbuddy is one of the funniest minutes of television ever. (City, 8 p.m.)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch? Oh, CHCH, your switch to all-movies-all-the-time just keeps getting more and more awesome with each passing week. It’s like Televisualist is thirteen again and First Choice/SuperChannel is still around! (First Choice/SuperChannel reference made solely to make people who recognize said reference feel old. You’re welcome.) (9 p.m.)
FridayMiami Medical did surprisingly well in the ratings for a show in the Friday-at-10 slot, possibly because nobody really expects anything to be on at Friday at 10, so it was a pleasant surprise. The show is not particularly good or anything (it’s a pretty rote version of your standard emergency room drama), but it’s a medical drama and there are always people jonesing for another medical drama, so if you are one of these people: look! This one has Cuba Gooding Jr.’s little brother in a supporting role! (CBS, 10 p.m.)
Some people argue for “Jurassic Bark,” but Televisualist maintains that “Luck of the Fryish” is the saddest of all Futurama episodes, and that it is all the sadder for having an ending that is both tragic and uplifting all at once. Not bad for a show with an alcoholic robot. (Teletoon, 9 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Radioactive Man,” wherein Milhouse takes up the role of Fallout Boy. Jiminy jillikers! “Ze goggles! Zey do nuzzing!” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)