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Televisualist: The Hatewatch Begins

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 swear we did not just make this up. Ruben Studdard needs your help!

Monday

The Carrie Diaries, based on the book of the same name, is the prequel series to Sex and the City, and we are already predicting that this show will be the Most Joyfully Hatewatched Show of 2013. Despite the presence of Freema “Future Ms. Televisualist—No You Shut Up” Agyeman, this show is still gloriously horrible. Whether it’s overwrought Carrie Bradshaw monologues now actually being delivered by a whiny teenager (as opposed to just sounding like they were), or the presence of 1980s everything, or just the generally precious writing, this show is bad bad bad bad bad bad, and in fact is so bad that it eventually becomes sort of good. Kind of like Showgirls, except with fewer tits. (City, 10 p.m.)

The American version of Being Human kicks off its third season. Still not into it. Seriously, if vampires and werewolves and ghosts aren’t British then what is the point, we ask you. (Space, 9 p.m.)


Tuesday

Pioneers of Television returns with an episode ostensibly about “the first female standup comics on TV,” which would be fascinating, but instead this episode appears to be more about the history of female standups on TV, since it covers everything from Phyllis Diller and Lucille Ball to Margaret Cho and Tina Fey, with everybody else in between. Not that this is bad or anything. It’s just a bit unfocused for this show. (PBS, 8 p.m.)

It was inevitable: Real Husbands of Hollywood. Or perhaps not! See, this is a scripted comedy series parodying the Real Housewives bandwagon, featuring Kevin Hart, Boris Kodjoe (who we loved in Undercovers), Nick Cannon, J.B. Smoove, and Robin Thicke (whose inclusion in this show is so random it is awesome). We’re really just hoping this series is like a full-length ongoing version of “Queen of Jordan” from 30 Rock, because that would be the best thing ever. (BET, 10 p.m.)

Similarly, Second Generation Wayans is another scripted “reality” series featuring Damien Dante Wayans and Craig Wayans as the latest Wayans who Wayans and Wayans. Not in the show: Damon Wayans Junior, because that dude has a for-real job. No, we’re kidding, he’ll probably show up at some point, because Wayanses stick together. They’re like a comedy army. (BET, 10:30 p.m.)


Wednesday

American Idol is back for its seven billionth season (we think), and yet again we have an entirely new cast of judges, not counting Randy Jackson. (Whoever thought that Randy Jackson would prove to be the barnacle that hangs onto the Idol ship for dear life, refusing to let go? Well, probably everybody, come to think of it.) This year we have Mariah Carey in the “former superstar whose album sales are no longer really that great and who needs to transition to the “personality” phase of her career” slot, Keith Urban in the “country star we can get cheap because country and also country” slot, and Nicki Minaj, who… actually is currently a top-level music star and touring attraction. How the hell did they get Nicki Minaj? Anyway, we get three weeks of shitty joke auditions to let us know who this season’s The Simon is. Our money is on Urban, because Mariah Carey will have to be the loving mama bear and Nicki the “I’m your best friend” archetype. (CTV, 8 p.m.)


Thursday

Undercover Boss Canada returns for a second season of bosses pretending to be proles for a whole day, then giving prizes to those workers who did really good jobs! It’s like the lottery! If it made you want to vomit. (W, 9 p.m.)

The answer to “what would the UFC be like if it were run by people barely able to add two and two” finally comes to television: Bellator MMA Live promises to give MMA fans the live-fight action they crave, with none of those boring top-level UFC guys. Just say “up and coming stars of tomorrow” as often as possible! (Spike, 10 p.m.)

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Boy Meets Curl,” wherein Homer and Marge compete in curling at the 2010 Winter Olympics. We know we’re supposed to be offended as Canadians that Homer and Marge could just take up curling for fun and become part of the Olympic team, but… eh, it’s curling. “Let us curl, my lady. Let us throw and sweep between until the heavens themselves drop their jaws in wonder and envy. And afterwards, there will be beer and coco with Marshmallows floating in the foam. And if and now till the end of time someone should ask what we were doing on the eve of the seventeenth of November, we shall proclaim, that we were curling.” (Fox, 11 p.m.)


Friday

Fringe comes to its end, finally, as a show that has literally re-invented itself multiple times during its five-year run, had any number of gimmick episodes (many of them inspired), a positively Shakespearian turn by John Noble, a prodigious improvement in acting skill by Anna Torv, and a cow in a hat. Now, it gets its finish—a finish the creators intentionally built toward, as they were aware over a season ago that this was the end of it all. We are hoping for a hell of a final episode. (City, 8 p.m.)


The Weekend

If you like football—well, Televisualist doesn’t like football, but we respect the people who do like football, generally speaking. (Except for Rob Ford, but that went without saying.) Anyway, this week you can watch the NFC Championship Game as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Atlanta Falcons, and then the AFC Championship Game as the Baltimore Ravens take on the New England Patriots. All this, and then the Super Bowl eventually! Which is never as good as the conference championship games anyway, so just watch these and then spend your Super Bowl party making sure you get the best part of the chili: the sides of the pot where you get the nice burnt crusty ridge. Yeah, we know you know what we’re talkin’ about. (CTV, NFC game 3 p.m. Sunday; AFC game 6:30 p.m. Sunday)

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