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.
How would a sock rise from the grave, anyway? Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayDancing With The Stars concludes this week, starting tonight with the final round of performances. The remaining stars are sportscaster Erin Andrews, Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, and Evan Lysacek, who won the Olympic gold medal in men’s figure skating this year as well as the world championship the previous year. Isn’t putting someone like him (with reasonably related athletic skills and in his physical prime) in this against the likes of, say, Buzz Aldrin and Kate Gosselin kind of like the Dancing With The Stars equivalent of putting in a ringer? We’re just saying. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
Chuck concludes season three with a double episode and a renewal for a fourth season, which this critic honestly was not expecting. It just goes to show you that NBC is really, really desperate for a dramatic series that might make a little more money than it costs at this point, and Chuck does well enough for a series that can get by quite well with trick editing and the occasional clever guest star who doesn’t cost too much. (NBC, 8 p.m.)
24 ends as the longest-running espionage-themed series in television history after a fairly dismal season, which just goes to show you: don’t hire Freddie Prinze Jr.! (Global, 8 p.m.)
TuesdayAmerican Idol also concludes this week, with Crystal Bowersox taking on Lee DeWyze. Now, typically one would say that Bowersox is really talented and one of those rare singers that Idol doesn’t turn into boring singer-like mush vocalizing “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Music,” and since she has a personality and skill and talent and charisma, she will win. However, after last year, when boring Kris Allen beat out far superior Adam Lambert, you have to be careful because you never know how far middle America will go to defend its ears from anything even slightly offbeat. And believe us: if there is any beat that is not off, it is Lee Dewyze, who is like the human personification of a plain tee-shirt. In any case, tonight is the final performance episode, so you can watch it and then pretend to vote! (CTV, 8 p.m.)
The Biggest Loser concludes season nine, and if you like Biggest Loser, then you’d better enjoy it while you can because now you’ll have to wait a whole four months for the next season to start. (City, 8 p.m.)
WednesdayIdol ends! Hooray for Crystal Bowersox! Or possibly Lee DeWyze, on track to make Justin Guarini look like a nobody. Oh, Justin Guarini, you never fail to be the butt of Idol jokes. It was your own fault for having that awful hair. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
ThursdaySo You Think You Can Dance returns for its seventh go-round, with a bunch of new changes: this season will feature only ten contestants rather than twenty, and the ten contestants will dance with “all-stars” (read: previous, popular contestants), and most importantly, scream-queen Mary Murphy is no longer a judge! Honestly, even if all the other changes are terrible (and they probably are), getting rid of Mary Murphy makes it totally worth it. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
Hollywood salutes Matt Damon! “Thank you, Matt Damon, for being a solid second-tier Hollywood star, capable of opening a big-ticket movie without being so demanding in terms of salary that you’re like Tom Cruise or something, who won’t even make an appearance on 30 Rock. We hope this television special will serve as an adequate substitute for the acting Oscar you haven’t got yet and will not receive until, oh, 2015 or so. Keep up the good work!” (ABC, 9 p.m.)
FridaySo, here’s the thing: CHCH sent us a press release telling us that Ed the Sock was making his triumphant return to TV at midnight, Friday the 28th. (They didn’t clarify if they meant Thursday-to-Friday midnight or Friday-to-Saturday midnight: strike one, CHCH.) The show, entitled This Movie Sucks, is apparently Ed the Sock and a sidekick making fun of a bad movie Mystery Science Theater 3000–style, which sounds terrific, and the first movie up is Bride of the Gorilla, a 1951 crapfest starring Raymond Burr. Possibly as the gorilla. However, as of this writing, neither This Movie Sucks or Bride of the Gorilla appear in regular TV listings, which can sometimes indicate a schedule-shuffle. We didn’t want to not mention this, because, come on, it’s Ed the goddamn Sock and he’s a Toronto icon, but take this viewing advice with a pinch of salt. (CHCH, midnight? Midnight yesterday?)
This week’s Hollywood’s 10 Best is “Sarah Jessica Parker Movies.” We gave it a lot of thought and came up with L.A. Story and Ed Wood, then went to her iMDB page to see if we could find more and you know what? Sarah Jessica Parker has been in a whole lot of shitty movies, people. (W, 8:30 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Cartridge Family,” wherein Homer buys a gun and…well, that’s all you really need to know. “When I held that gun in my hand, I felt a surge of power…like God must feel when he’s holding a gun.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)
The WeekendBananas is one of Woody Allen’s earliest directorial works and basically unlike anything he did later in his career: no New York, no romance between Allen and a conspicuously young ingenue, only a slight amount of neuroticism. This is a straight-up farce, and it’s really a very funny one even today, although it has aged quite a bit. It used to be that people would complain that Allen didn’t make movies like Bananas any more, but this movie’s aged worse than, say, Annie Hall or Manhattan. Still, worth a watch. (TVO, 8 p.m. Saturday)
Turn The Beat Around is a made-for-TV movie starring Romina from the first season of So You Think You Can Dance Canada as a young dancer trying to bring back disco. Okay, don’t you give us that look. What do you want from us? It’s officially summer! The time when writing this column gets a lot more difficult! (CTV, 8 p.m. Sunday)