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culture

Televisualist: “Like Nashville If It Were Bad”

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.

We don't want to be accused of male gaze or anything, but...yeah, Reba's facelift? It's pretty bad.

Monday

The Voice continues to the “knockout rounds,” which are a new thing the show added this year when they decided to have twice as many people get into the semi-finals and then realized they needed another round of semi-finals—Semi-finals Deluxe, if you will—in order to knock down the competitors to a vaguely manageable number. Unfortunately, this just means they all sing some more, instead of having a boxing match or something. Knockout rounds. Whatever. (CTV2, 8 p.m.)

Canada’s Worst Driver returns because, as Canadians, we can’t quite bring ourselves to laugh at Canadians doing things stupidly unless they at least have the opportunity to win prizes by redeeming themselves. Or something. (Discovery Channel, 10 p.m.)

Primeval: New World is the Canadian version of the British scientists-versus-dinosaurs series Primeval. It is set in Vancouver because of course it’s set in Vancouver. Vancouver is the place in Canada where the science fiction happens. All we get in Toronto are the high-stakes workplace dramas. There is a moral here, possibly. (Space, 10 p.m.)


Tuesday

Ellen DeGeneres receives the Mark Twain Prize for American humourists, which is sort of a lifetime-achievement award. Previous winners include Lily Tomlin, Carl Reiner, Steve Martin, Bill Cosby, and also Billy Crystal for some reason. (PBS, 8 p.m.)

More literary, and therefore more Canadian, is the hour-long special the CBC has devoted to the presentation of the 2012 Giller Prize. This year’s contenders: a bunch of books I didn’t read, sorry, because I’m the television critic and stop judging me. (9 p.m.)

Total Blackout returns to Space, because we need more of Urkel—sorry, Jaleel White—getting people to chew on other people’s butts in the dark. If you had any doubt that Space is getting “Bell-ized” to the point where it’s completely ignoring its supposed reason for existence in favour of cheap imported programming (like every other specialty channel Bell owns), doubt ye no longer. (10 p.m.)


Wednesday

Tonight is Halloween, which of course marks the Toronto Raptors season opener against the Indiana Pacers. Which they will probably lose, because the Pacers are a pretty good team and the Raptors…look, we cheer for the Raptors, and we’re glad to see Kyle Lowry and JoVal and the other new players all showing up. We even have some hopes that Demar Derozan will finally live up to his potential. But if the Raptors go .500 this year, they will have exceeded absolutely everybody’s expectations. So let’s cheer, but be realistic about it, because the Miami Heat are probably winning the next three or four championships. Seriously. The Lakers are gambling on oldness (excuse us, “experience”) and the Thunder just traded one of their most valuable players because they decided that spending money to win a championship was not really “their thing.” If those two teams ain’t beating the Heat then we sure as hell aren’t doing it. (TSN, 7 p.m.)

ABC has It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, because life is good and we deserve to have some fun. “I got a rock.” (8 p.m.)


Thursday

Performing at the 46th annual Country Music Association Awards: Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Jason Aldean, and Kelly Clarkson (wait, since when does Kelly Clarkson sing country?). Or, if you prefer, the same sort of folks who perform at each of the approximately 6,000 awards ceremonies the country music industry has every year. Televisualist is pretty sure that if we started a honky-tonk band tomorrow, by the end of the year we would have three awards just based on the law of averages. (ABC, 8 p.m.)


Friday

Last Man Standing returns for another season of Tim Allen being gratuitously sexist. Hooray! (City, 8 p.m.)

Malibu Country is Reba McEntire’s return to sitcoms! In this show, she plays a mother of two who moves to Malibu in order to restart her country-music career after she divorces her worthless husband. Not coincidentally, this is the plot of Reba, McEntire’s previous sitcom, except with country music added in. So you know what you’re gonna get, except this time around they added Lily Tomlin as McEntire’s pot-smoking mother (who, we note, would have needed to have given birth to Reba when she was 15, but whatever!) and Jai Rodriguez as A Gay Man (but admitting that gays exist is a step up for Reba sitcoms). But, really, the true pleasure of this show is watching 57-year-old Reba McEntire try to play a fortysomething single mom, which shows that Hollywood is finally trying to fake-youthen women now as well as men. Women have finally made it after all! (City, 8:30 p.m.)


The Weekend

Not quite The Simpsons rerun of the week: The Simpsons Movie is, as post-peak Simpsons anything goes, pretty decent. The jokes mostly work and the plot makes sense, which definitely makes it better than average for The Simpsons nowadays, and it doesn’t drag. So there’s that. (Global, 8 p.m. Sunday)

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