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culture

Televisualist: So We Say We Don’t Want A Revolution

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.

Our point is that this is nerd-energy better spent on figuring out which Community timeline caused Dan Harmon to get fired.

Monday

Hey! It’s a Here Comes Honey Boo Boo marathon! You can decide for yourself if this is a bad thing or a different type of bad thing. (TLC, 8 p.m.)

Who Do You Think You Are?, the show where famous people learn about their ancestors, has inexplicably been a hit everywhere else it’s been aired, so now it’s Canada’s turn to watch our own version of the show where celebrities are staggered to learn that they are descended from real people in surprising ways. The first episode is of course focused on Don Cherry, and unless we learn that he is in fact the product of hyena interbreeding at some point four or five generations back it’s going to be as boring as this show always is. (CBC, 8:30 p.m.)

Revolution is NBC’s much-ballyhooed sci-fi-ish offering of the year, and…it’s really bad. The premise (the world suddenly loses all forms of power, and can no longer generate power, because of A Conspiracy Or Something, although guns still work because they’re exciting) is stupid. The acting is largely boring (with the exception of Giancarlo Esposito as The Fascist Baddie Person, because Giancarlo Esposito makes all things better). The plot of the opening episode is trite. What we’re saying is that this is a bad television show and NBC and executive producer J.J. Abrams should feel bad, and NBC needs to stop trying to capture the Lost lightning in a bottle because that show debuted eight years ago and ended two and a half years ago, so maybe it’s time to try something else. (CTV, 10 p.m.)


Tuesday

It’s time for the season premieres of The Rick Mercer Report and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, both of which will no doubt have timely commentary on Stephen Harper’s scientist gag order, Mitt Romney selecting Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential candidate, the Eurozone meltdown, the Olympics, and everything else that happened while our topical news comedy shows were off for their usual five-month break. (CBC, 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.)

Bad 25 is a documentary celebrating the 25th anniversary of Bad by Michael Jackson, and features a lot of old video footage of Michael preparing for and creating the album. While Televisualist acknowledges the importance of Michael Jackson as a general rule and understands that these sorts of shows are both inevitable and even meritious, BET’s attitude towards the whole affair comes across to us as mercenary and even somewhat ghoulish, and makes us think of our favorite MJ song, or at least the one most appropriate for this occasion. (BET, 8 p.m.)

Hot Set follows in the footsteps of Face Off‘s “Top Chef for movie jobs” trail by being a Top Chef-like contest show for set designers. If you like seeing people fiddle around with bits of scenery, this is the show for you! (Space, 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

Survivor comes back for its twenty-fifth season, and this time the gimmick they’re advertising is the usual “old castaways return.” In this case it’s three contestants who were forced to leave the game because of injury (Russell Swan from Survivor: Samoa, AKA “the non-evil Russell,” Michael Skupin from Australia who fell into a fire pit, and Jonathan “openly hates Jeff Probst and doesn’t give a damn who knows it and is therefore the best contestant ever” Penner, making his third return to the show). However, in addition to them, this season also has former all-star baseball player Jeff Kent, Blair from The Facts of Life, several beauty pageant winners, and a guy who has applied seventeen times to play the game. So it should be fun. We hope. Survivor is a very cast-dependent game, after all. (Global, 8 p.m.)

Titanic: Blood and Steel is yet another epic miniseries about the Titanic because just one of them was not enough to make us think “hm, maybe James Cameron’s movie wasn’t long enough.” (CBC, 9 p.m.)

OLN brings back Top Shot, because there’s nothing so much fun as people shooting at targets! (9 p.m.)


Thursday

The Office commences what is now officially Season The Last (or, if you prefer, Season Two Seasons After What Should Have Been The Last, or if you are a real cynic, Why Didn’t The Show End When Jim Married Pam). (Global, 8:30 p.m.)

Parks and Recreation also returns because there is beauty in this world, yes there is. (City, 8:30 p.m.)


Friday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Mother Simpson,” where Homer’s hippie mom returns after faking her death. “Mom, I’m sorry I never come to see you. I’m just not a cemetery person. ‘Here lies’—Walt Whitman? Damn you, Walt Whitman! I hate you, Walt freakin’ Whitman! Leaves of grass, my ass!” (Comedy Network, 8 p.m.)

Look, I know everybody was all “Honey Boo Boo is the worst thing in television ever,” but I present to you TLC’s latest offering, Secret Princes, wherein four foreign aristocrats who are all worth more than King Midas go to Atlanta and pretend to be poor working-class immigrants. In other words, this is Slumming: The Series. We challenge you to be introduced to Lord Robert Jonathan Walters without wanting to punch him in the dick. At least Honey Boo Boo is likeable. (10 p.m.)


The Weekend

It’s the 64th Annual Emmy Awards! The real ones, not the Daytime Emmys that are generally only used as doorstops or Susan Lucci taunting devices. The nominees this time around are the usual suspects: your premium HBO and AMC series, a buttload of nominations for Modern Family, et cetera. But Idris Elba did get nominated for Luther, and even if he doesn’t win (and he probably won’t), it’s nice to hope. Also, Jimmy Kimmel is hosting, and ten years ago I would not have thought that I would look forward to such a thing, but here we are. (CTV, 8 p.m. Sunday)

Comments

  • Carol

    I seem to recall that there was a Canadian version of Who Do You Think You Are? a couple of years ago… Huh, Wikipedia says it was in 2007-2008, and that the Don Cherry episode aired in January 2008. I guess that the CBC assumed everyone would have forgotten it by now, thus it’s safe to show it again.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    The earliest date I have for Survivor is 1992, which would give it 20 seasons, no?

    • NotTheBuddha

      They do more than one a year

  • DensityDuck

    “Titanic: Blood And Steel” sounds like a good title for a sort of steampunk Space Battleship Yamato, where they dredge up the ocean liner and refit it into a zeppelin battleship.