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.
CHCH airs The Princess Bride, because they think there’s not enough good stuff in your life. True story: last week we met somebody who had never seen The Princess Bride, not even once. You know how there was always that one kid in your class when you were little whose mom and dad didn’t let them watch TV and so, when you were at school and talking about cartoons, they just had to kind of stand to one side and not understand what all the fuss was about, and you kind of pitied them? It was like that, except we definitely pitied them this time. (8 p.m.)
Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas looks like your standard “famous person invites over their friends to sing holiday songs” special, but what’s truly galling is the lack of Adam Levine. Seriously, half the reason to watch The Voice is to watch Levine and Shelton rag on each other for fun. Why would you not do this, Blake Shelton? It’s television gold you are passing up here, man! (NBC, 10 p.m.)
It’s the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, brought to you by the people who realized that nobody watches any part of the Miss America pageants non-ironically except for the swimsuit competition. (Global, 10 p.m.)
Vindicated is a new docudrama sort of show, about people who have been wrongly accused and convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. It’s a combination of current-day interviews and America’s Most Wanted-style re-enactments. Wrongful conviction is a serious topic worthy of consideration and something that is well worth a TV show (rather than, say, yet another frigging show about weddings, although doubtless if this show is successful, next year TLC will bring us My Wacky Marriage to a Wrongly Accused Innocent Man), but we have to admit, our first instinct upon seeing the show was “Morris Chestnut deserves a higher-profile gig than this.” Because Morris Chestnut is a terrific actor who has been unfairly consigned to “urban” fare. Then again, there are dozens of black actors who could say the same. Morris Chestnut is just our favorite. (BET, 10:30 p.m.)
Titanic: Blood and Steel concludes with the ship actually leaving the dock, which confirms once and for all there were far, far more boring ways—such as this one—to tell the Titanic‘s story than whatever you disliked about the James Cameron movie, which at least had Billy Zane bein’ crazy and that bit where one guy falls to his death and bounces off the propeller. (CBC, 9 p.m.)
In case you have an extremely rare case of Grammy fever, the Grammy Nominations Concert is for you! It features performances by Maroon 5, The Who, Dierks Bentley, and The Band Perry, among others, and is hosted by the incongruous pairing of Taylor Swift and LL Cool J. Which demands that we ask: who the hell actually has Grammy fever anyway? (Global, 10 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Viva Ned Flanders,” where Homer and Ned go to Vegas and get Vegas-married. “I’ll have a Shirley… No, a virgin… No, a children’s… Oh, what the heck? You only live once. Give me a white wine spritzer!” (Comedy Network, 8 p.m.)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure is a sequel to the terrible-but-popular Christmas classic, and the sequel does not star Chevy Chase. Instead, there’s Randy Quaid as Chevy’s horrible relative. You know, the one you want to throttle. Anyway, it is very bad and if you watch it you will probably explode in despair. We can’t swear to that last part, because we aren’t doctors, but we’re pretty sure it will happen. (YTV, 8 p.m.)
So the big news coming out of the season finale of The Amazing Race is not this season’s race itself (which has been a sorta-okay-but-nothing-special season, with no clear favourite of the remaining teams), but instead the long-awaited announcement of The Amazing Race Canada, which will be a Canadian instalment of The Amazing Race—by which we mean “the actual race never leaves Canada.” The producers are claiming this is because they want to feature Canada’s diverse geography, which really only merits “Yes, and we’re sure the vastly reduced cost of producing the show by not going out of the country probably had nothing to do with it, right, CTV?” as a response. Literally every Amazing Race fan in Canada (self included) has had the same two-step reaction: first, “Finally I can enter!” followed by “…Oh, okay. I guess I still will” when they find out The Amazing Race Canada won’t leave the country, because Amazing Race fans remember quite well the “Family Edition” season of the show which did not leave North America and which, as a result, was basically terrible, because without the travel porn and culture clashes that are the heart and soul of the show, you have basically a boring obstacle course, and that bodes poorly for The Amazing Race Canada. Time will tell, we guess. Anyway, getting back to the American Amazing Race: boy, those Sri Lankan twins sure manage to be endearing and annoying all at once, don’t they? (CTV, 8 p.m. Sunday)
Home Alone is a Christmas movie where Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern take it in the crotch repeatedly, which is to say: it is the best kind of Christmas movie. (CBC, 8 p.m. Sunday)
Sin City Rules is about “powerful women in Las Vegas.” Ostensibly, it’s a reaction to the Real Housewives brand, since these women actually have, like, for-real jobs. Of course, it’s made by the people who bring you all the Real Housewives shows, so when we say “ostensibly,” we mean “really ostensibly.” (TLC, 10 p.m.)
This week’s column title originated by Mike McGee @MikeFromNowhere on Twitter.