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.
Tonight on 2 Broke Girls, they finally answer the question of what the titular broke girls are going to do when winter comes and they still have that horse. Also: probably some racism. (City, 8:30 p.m.)
Heart and Souls is one of those movies that did poorly at the box office but then rebounded on video in the long term, mostly because it’s a lovely little comedy about ghosts and love, and featuring Robert Downey Jr. just as the actor was starting his long slide down into addiction—so, in essence, this Young Robert Downey Jr. at his peak, immediately following Chaplin, and he gives a hell of a performance in a story that, without his talents—and those of Alfre Woodard, Charles Grodin, and David Paymer, among others—could have been mundane and dull. Recommended. (CHCH, 9 p.m.)
Christmas stuff tonight: A Sing-Off Christmas brings you all of the thrills of The Sing-Off, except with no voting or contest of skill and it’s all Christmas music (CTV2, 8 p.m.); A Charlie Brown Christmas is exactly what you should realize it is (ABC, 8 p.m.); How The Grinch Stole Christmas is not the classic Christmas special but the hideously bad Jim Carrey movie (Global, 8 p.m.).
Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays concludes, and…okay, we’re going to put on the Bad TV Critic Hat and admit that Televisualist has not managed to watch even one episode of the CBC’s sitcom which has actually significantly improved on its debut numbers. We promise in future to not spend time half-watching episodes of Family Guy, which we don’t even really like except for the baby and the dog. (CBC, 9 p.m.)
Storage Wars: Texas is the spinoff of Storage Wars, except it is Texas-style. We don’t know what that means, exactly. Maybe all of the lost possessions they purchase for cents on the dollar will come drenched in chili sauce rather than misery. (A&E, 10:30 p.m.)
Christmas stuff tonight: A Michael Buble Christmas is guaranteed to be the blandest Christmas special of the week (CTV, 8 p.m.); Last Man Standing has its Christmas episode, presumably so Tim Allen can complain about hippies ruining Christmas by saying “Happy Holidays,” and then Nancy Travis gives him an exasperated look (City, 8 p.m.); Turner Classic airs A Christmas Story for what will probably be only the first of seven thousand times in the next two weeks (9 p.m.).
It is thankfully not seasonal, and nothing from last week was better than Supernatural‘s ultimate Bobby Singer episode. No spoilers, but: this is how you treat a character right even when the news for that character is bad. Respectful, honest and fair. Idjits. (Space, 10 p.m.)
Christmas stuff tonight: A Christmas Carol—specifically the 1984 George C. Scott version, which is not the finest of them but has its moments (AMC, 8 p.m.); A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride and Will You Merry Me? are apparently actually for-real movies, if you can stand to watch them even with titles like those (W, 7 and 9 p.m. respectively).
America’s Next Top Model concludes its forty billionth season as Tyra Banks devours the final contestants alive. No, wait, that’s just what that discredited prophecy said. Or maybe we read it wrong. (CTV2, 9 p.m.)
Christmas stuff tonight: Community has its Christmas episode, “Regional Holiday Music,” as the study group fills in for the Greendale glee club—a lot of bad things seem to happen to the Greendale glee club, don’t they—and this is also the last episode before the show goes on hiatus (City, 8 p.m.); Wipeout has its annual “Deck The Balls” Christmas-themed Wipeout sort of thing (ABC, 8 p.m.).
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Burns’ Heir,” where Bart becomes, well, you know. “Are you gonna release the hounds? Or the bees? Or the hounds with bees in their mouths, so every time they bark at you, they shoot bees at you? Go ahead, do your worst.” (Comedy Network, 8 p.m.)
Christmas stuff tonight: Frosty the Snowman, along with the awful, awful, so-bad-it’s-actually-just-really-bad sequel Frosty Returns (CBS, 8 p.m.); Christmas With The Kranks, the unbearably terrible Tim Allen movie where the moral is, and we kid you not, the real meaning of Christmas is putting on a big showy expensive display for your neighbours (W, 9 p.m.).
The Amazing Race concludes a season that has been a little more lacklustre than average, but thanks to the surprise elimination of Andy and Tommy, the Snowboarders For Jesus, suddenly the team that has been winning practically the entire season is gone and we have a race between three reasonably strong teams. Televisualist is rooting for Amani and Marcus, because they are the most lovable of all three teams, which is not hard given that Ernie and Cindy always seem like they are on the verge of a meltdown and we are hardpressed to remember Jeremy and Sandy’s names despite having watched them for an entire season. No, really, we had to check Wikipedia to be sure. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute is not about soldiers or police, but instead mostly about people who have started charities or who work as community organizers and do good works for people who need help. We’re not sure how this happened to get on television, but there are far worse things to have on the news. (8 p.m. Sunday)
Christmas stuff over the weekend: A Very BET Christmas features performances by Monica, among others (8 p.m. Sunday); the original Miracle on 34th Street is still the best, even though Richard Attenborough was arguably a more charming Santa in the 90s remake (W, 9 p.m. Sunday).
CORRECTION: December 5, 2011, 3:30 PM The original post said that naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough played Santa in the 1994 version of Miracle on 34th Street. Santa was actually played by his brother, Richard Attenborough.