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culture

Televisualist: Like a Cake Bosco

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.

Reality is cruel. Do not blame us for this.

Monday

Ron James Quest for the West is a seven-year-old special the CBC replays occasionally, presumably because Ron James has incriminating pictures of…everybody in power in Canada, we guess. Because it is not because Ron James is funny. Ron James isn’t just where humour goes to die. If you see laughing children and play Ron James sketches at them, the laughing children will stop laughing and start writing long, depressing novels. That is the power of Ron James. (CBC, 8 p.m.)

Cake Boss: Next Great Baker returns for a third season of being Top Chef, except only for cakes. Which is kind of like if American Idol did a spin-off series where contestants were only allowed to sing “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston. (TLC, 9 p.m.)


Tuesday

Most years, the Toronto Metro Bowl is something that maybe makes page six of the Star‘s sports section, at best. This year, however, it is potentially front-page news, because competing in the finals this year are the Don Bosco Eagles, aka “that team Rob Ford skips off his actual paying work to coach.” Don Bosco goes up against the Huron Heights Warriors, whom we will likely never think of again after writing this sentence. (Rogers 10, 8 p.m.)

If you are one of the six people who cares deeply about the bosses on Dragon’s Den, then this season’s finale of The Big Decision will be important to you! But, seriously: at least this season chose to focus on Arlene Dickinson (who is nifty) rather than Kevin O’Leary again (because he is human cancer). (CBC, 9 p.m.)

Dancing with the Stars concludes its All-Star season with three competitors remaining: former Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson; soap actress Kelly Monaco; and Melissa Rycroft, who was the girl Jason Mesnick broke up with on The Bachelor. We had to Google all three of these people, so we think this absolutely destroys whatever conceit Dancing with the Stars had about its stars, let alone the supposed “all-stars.” (CTV, 9 p.m.)


Wednesday

Christmas in Rockefeller Center is somewhat misnamed, because this is the annual special where the giant Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is lit and they have singers sing, as one does in November. Performing this year: Trace Adkins, Mariah Carey, Cee Lo Green, and Rod Stewart, among others, who will all be getting lumps of coal in their stockings because it’s still November. (NBC, 8 p.m.)

Saturday Night Live does a Christmas special on November 28, because combining something as hateworthy as the clip show with something as hateworthy as airing a Christmas special in November is exactly the sort of thing Lorne Michaels would do to destroy joy in this world. (Global, 9 p.m.)

For those looking to put off Christmas fare for another three measly days because that’s not too much to ask out of life, tonight premieres Love You, Mean It with Whitney Cummings, wherein Whitney Cummings does her standup thing in a more talky The Soup–esque sort of context. There are a lot of things that could suck more than this. (E! Canada, 10:30 p.m.)


Thursday

Panic 9-1-1 is basically COPS, but they can’t call it COPS because the COPS people would sue them for ripping off COPS. (A&E, 10 p.m.)


Friday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Bart The Mother,” wherein Bart adopts a baby lizard which could spell environmental doom for Springfield. Marks the final appearance of Phil Hartman on The Simpsons before his tragic death. “Hi, I’m Troy McClure. You may remember me from such nature films as Earwigs, Ew! and Man Versus Nature: The Road to Victory.” (Comedy Network, 8:30 p.m.)


The Weekend

The 2012 Canada Cup has been airing all this week, and Sunday brings us the men’s and women’s finals of this major curling tournament. You may want to watch this, in which case here is a list of sports you can never again mock for being boring: baseball, golf, bowling, cricket, poker, NASCAR (when nobody is crashing), marathon running, and fishing. (Women’s final 10:30 a.m. Sunday; men’s final 3:30 p.m. Sunday)

Be the Boss is the latest in the “employees exist only for bosses’ entertainment” genre of reality TV that has become more prevalent over the last few years. In this reality/game show, two employees of a chain will do a series of tasks to ostensibly prove that they can run a franchise of that chain, and the winner will get a franchise of his or her very own. There is something deeply, deeply wrong with this, right from the concept.

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