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culture

Televisualist: Whit-More

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.

If more Food Network shows had butt-touching of food, it would probably be... well, TLC, if we're being honest. Especially if the butt-touching was of wedding food.

Monday

Health Inspectors is the natural culmination of the Food Network: having done all their shows where they profiled restaurants, remade restaurants, saved restaurants, had restaurants compete against one another, and witnessed the birth of restaurants, the only thing left is the ultimate killer of restaurants. (Other than “nobody eats there anymore,” which is actually the ultimate killer of restaurants, but let’s be honest, health inspectors are more dramatic than that and make for better TV.) Granted, this show will presumably be about the saving of restaurants from the dreaded health inspectors, because otherwise nobody would agree to participate in it, so this is not exactly the Food Network’s version of Six Feet Under. But at least it confronts the dreadful underbelly of restaurant operation. We’ll probably have to wait a few more seasons for a show about restaurants that exploit illegal-immigrant labour. (9 p.m.)

Teen Mom 2 is just like the previous Teen Mom except this time the teen moms are made of intelligent liquid metal, and only a normal old-fashioned teen mom can save us all. (MTV Canada, 10 p.m.)


Tuesday

Little People, Big World: Wedding Farm marks the return of little people to TLC, or more accurately the return of little people to TLC on a weekly basis, since they had some specials after their show of five years was cancelled. But now it’s back, thanks to loyal fans of this show, who apparently exist in real life and everything. (9 p.m.)

Catfish: The TV Show is based on the movie of the same name, which was internet-famous because it was a documentary about internet dating where someone finds out that his internet-girlfriend is actually lying about her entire life. (SPOILER WARNING: the movie is almost three years old, so don’t complain about spoilers.) Anyway, the TV show is more of the same, except the show promises that some of the internet relationships will in fact be completely genuine and that occasionally the people will be absolutely thrilled to meet one another, which seems to go in the face of the point of the whole thing, but whatever. (MTV Canada, 9 p.m.)


Wednesday

Back for a second season: Whitney, Whitney Cummings’ sitcom, which the internet decided was worse than cancer because Whitney was considered to be in competition with Community, and also because the internet loves overdoing a cheap joke to death, like how a zombie is dead, and also bacon monkey ninja. But we here at Televisualist liked the relationship between Cummings and Chris D’Elia’s characters right from the start, and although the show this season has lost Maulik Pancholy (who was one of the show’s highlights, because his emergent bisexuality was handled in a completely adult—which is not to say boring or not funny—manner), it still has that core relationship that we think makes the show work as a sitcom. So here’s to you, Whitney—even if two gets you five that you’re cancelled by the end of the year. (CTV2, 8 p.m.)

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Lisa the Skeptic,” wherein Lisa accidentally discovers what appear to be the bones of an angel. This is one of the episodes where the series’ downward turn really started to become apparent, as Stephen Jay Gould’s cameo makes no sense whatsoever. But the writers still get in some truly choice digs. “Science is like a blabbermouth who ruins the movie by telling you how it ends. Well, I say there are some things we don’t want to know! Important things!” (Comedy Network, 8 p.m.)

Eddie Murphy: One Night Only is not really a two-hour brand new Eddie Murphy standup special (for which we would pay all the money). It is, rather, a tribute to Eddie Murphy’s standup featuring standup performances by Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Arsenio Hall, Tracy Morgan, Adam Sandler, and also Tyler Perry for some reason. The show promises that it will have some Eddie Murphy standup in there somewhere, and that’s certainly better than no Eddie Murphy standup. (Spike, 10 p.m.)


Thursday

For all those of you still jonesing for NHL hockey content of some kind, TSN presents the 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, wherein Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure join the Hockey Hall of Fame and everybody talks about how great they were and video highlights will presumably be shown. And then, tomorrow, there will still be no NHL hockey this season! (8:30 p.m.)

Following its weekly airings of Say Yes to the Dress and Four Weddings, TLC now has Jersey Brides, which is a show about guess what. You know, some time ago we said, in the spirit of purest cynicism, that TLC would have to combine Jersey Shore with its wedding shows at some point. And now they’ve done that! Presumably the next lowest common denominator TLC can find will wear itself out about a year from now and be re-combined into yet another fucking wedding show, so we’re calling Honey Boo Boo Came To Our Wedding! for late 2013 right now. (10 p.m.)


Friday

We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute To Whitney Houston features performances by Celine Dion (singing guess what song), Jennifer Hudson, Usher, and Cece Winans, who will all sing Whitney Houston songs and… say how awesome she was, we guess. (Global, 10 p.m.)


The Weekend

It’s the 40th Annual American Music Awards! Featuring performances by Carrie Underwood, Pink, Pitbull, Taylor Swift, Linkin Park (really?), Ke$ha, and Usher (man, Usher keeps busy), the American Music Awards continue to be “That Awards Show That Probably Would Have Made More Sense Last Year.” (CTV, 8 p.m. Sunday)

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