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culture

Televisualist: ARROW!

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.

Yep. Zombies again.

Monday

The Voice begins its “battle rounds,” as the judges have all selected their teams and now must proceed to the winnowing-down phase. As this year’s blind auditions led to a number of moments where the judges were just outright saying “we fucked up” by not choosing certain singers, as well as the inevitable round of singers who, while competent, are not going to win this because they aren’t good enough or even as good as the aforementioned fuckups, this year’s battle rounds seem potentially less surprising than normal. But who knows? Maybe that godawful husband/wife duet Christina Aguilera picked—possibly out of spite—will surprise America! Or not. (CTV2, 8 p.m.)

So CTS is syndicating The West Wing, and tonight’s episode, “In This White House,” is the one where the awesome Ainsley Hayes makes her debut. “Sam’s getting beaten up by a girl!” We never tire of that. (8 p.m.)

White Collar returns for season three, which actually aired last year in the United States and is already out on DVD, but we’re sure that Bravo has some cunning plan to make sure that Canadians don’t buy DVDs. Possibly it is the same cunning plan that prevents fans of the show from downloading or streaming the show online, which seems to be “stick fingers in ears and chant I’M NOT LISTENING over and over again.” (10 p.m.)


Tuesday

After Mitt Romney attacked PBS in the debates, Frontline presents “The Choice: 2012,” an in-depth examination of each candidate’s views on issues, policy preferences, and why Mitt Romney is a filthy liar and terrible human being unfit to be seen in public. Well, probably not that last one, because PBS is much nicer than it should be. (PBS, 9 p.m.)

We should really have some sort of template for Top Chef ripoffs. Like Ink Master, for example, which is Top Chef But With Tattoo Artists. What would go in this template? [Tom Colicchio wannabe], of course. Maybe [self-important host]? And of course [guest judge you've never heard of but is really important, trust us]. So many options. (Spike, 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

The newest “bring superheroes to TV” effort is Arrow, the CW’s completely-unrelated-to-Smallville show about Green Arrow (but definitely not the Green Arrow who was on Smallville—that is a totally different Green Arrow), except that we guess he doesn’t get called Green Arrow because…Arrow! We just like saying it with a dramatic flourish. Arrow! Maybe if we keep saying it dramatically we’ll be able to get past how charisma-less Stephen Amell is as…wait for it…Arrow! (CTV2, 8 p.m.)

Chicago Fire is NBC’s new drama about firemen who are in Chicago. Rahm Emmanuel makes a cameo in the premiere. It has nothing to do with the Major League Soccer club of the same name, and there is no swearing like there was in Rescue Me. We have already run out of interesting things to say about this show. (Global, 10 p.m.)

Nashville is, we think, probably the most ambitious pilot of the season, as it is about a legendary country singer lady (Connie Britton, aka Mrs. Coach from Friday Night Lights, who is totally awesome) who suddenly finds her status as Most Important challenged by a young, blatantly evil go-getter with no real musical talent (Hayden Panettiere). They sing a lot of country music. If they were singing pop, then it’d be just another Glee, but they’re going for a totally different demographic and one that generally does not go in for TV musicals. But it’s a really, really great pilot. We would love to see this succeed, not least because it has Mrs. Coach in it. We just aren’t that hopeful. (CTV2, 10 p.m.)


Thursday

So, with the media seemingly in uniform agreement that A) Mitt Romney won the first presidential debate and B) he also lied a shit ton but that doesn’t matter, the stakes have been raised for the vice-presidential debate. In one corner, a young, hungry, Rand-loving congressman named Paul Ryan who has shown he is not entirely comfortable lying about his deficit-enabling, poor-punching budgetary plans, because he really, really likes them a whole lot and why shouldn’t everybody, right? In the other corner, Joe Biden, who people like to mock for his gaffes—but then again, he’s also the guy who ended Rudy Guiliani being taken seriously ever again with a single sentence, so it’s kind of a double-edged sword that he wields. (American networks and CBC Newsworld, 9 p.m.)

Or instead of politicians discussing the budget you could watch actual vampires: season premiere of The Vampire Diaries. (CTV2, 9 p.m.)


Friday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “My Sister, My Sitter,” wherein Lisa babysits Bart, technically. “Simpson? Look, we’ve already been down there tonight for a sisterectomy, a case of severe butt rot, and a leprechaun fight. How dumb do you think we are?” (Comedy Network, 8:30 p.m.)


The Weekend

The Walking Dead returns for season three, and promises a lot of things that were very popular in the comic: the prison, Michonne, Shane being dead and not coming back, that sort of thing. Also, Michael Rooker’s psycho racist-hillbilly guy comes back! So that will be fun. Hopefully there will not be a lot of whining while sitting around a farmhouse, which was a large part of why season two of this show was really not very good at all. Don’t get us wrong: we totally understand that the point of zombie fiction is not the zombies, but the stories of the people who have to live in the zombie world and how they are the real monsters, et cetera and so forth. But at least do that but not in the farmhouse any more. Please. (AMC, 9 p.m.)

Comments

  • Anonymous

    I suspect Shane’s not going to be nearly as much of a nuisance now he’s zombied. One bullet in the right place, and he goes down. Again. No more glowering, and casting brooding, longing looks at Lori.

    Season two was largely the gang sitting on their butts, getting vaguely annoyed with each other. The herd invasion needed to have happened a lot, lot sooner.

    Oh yeah, Michonne will totally rock. Hard as nails, and then some. I wonder if we’ll be making the acquaintance of the Governor this season?

    • Anonymous

      I’ve heard the Governor has already been cast (though I forget who got the part and can’t be bothered to look it up at the moment), so I’m sure we’ll meet the Gov — and root for him to kill the main characters.

      • Anonymous

        David Morrissey got the part. He’s already a familiar face to Who fans (amongst others), thanks to his role in a Christmas special (‘The Next Doctor’ – Victorian Cybermen and what have you). I’m intrigued to see what he’ll do with the role.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=599685514 Dan Radice

    “Rudy Giuliani — there’s only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, a verb, and 9/11.”