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culture

Televisualist: Maybe Bob Benson Is Just, Like, This Guy, You Know?

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.

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The mystery around this cast photo of “Whodunnit”: which of these people was NOT Photoshopped into the picture?

Monday

World’s Weirdest Restaurants returns for a second season of novelty restaurants you’d never want to eat at. Tonight’s featured restaurant: a German eatery where guests must communicate what they want for dinner to the staff via charades. Yes, that definitely is someplace we wouldn’t want to eat. (Food Network, 9 p.m.)

Don’t Drive Here is a pretty clever idea for a travel/reality show: dude goes to various densely populated third-world cities, learns what traffic is like, and then tries to drive there. Tonight’s episode starts off relatively easy in Delhi, which is just insanely chaotic vis-a-vis its traffic (“Have you ever seen anybody die in traffic?” “Oh yes, many times”), but later episodes will feature the host trying to drive tuk-tuks and motorcycle taxis as opposed to just cars. Don’t know if there’s more than one season’s worth of fun here, but that’s enough for now. (Discovery, 10 p.m.)


Tuesday

It’s the live finale of The Voice, and this year’s finalists include two of Blake Shelton’s country protégés: the quite-decent Swon Brothers (the first duo to advance to the finals) and the 16-year-old, might-be-good-in-a-decade-but-why-is-she-a-finalist-right-now Danielle Bradbery. This just goes to show that The Voice‘s fanbase is skewing more and more towards country singers. Maybe fellow finalist Michelle Chamuel, rocking the “talented nerd with pipes” schtick and coached by Usher, can sneak up between the middle of the two country acts and eke out a win. (NBC, 9 p.m.)


Wednesday

Tonight’s The West Wing rerun, “In The Shadow of Two Gunmen,” kicked off the second season following the assassination-attempt cliffhanger of the first season. It’s generally considered to be where The West Wing ascends to true greatness. (CTS, 8 p.m.)


Thursday

If you’re in the market for a comic book adaptation that utterly failed in every possible respect, how about The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Because it’s a bad movie: horribly shot, horribly directed (Stephen Norrington has not directed anything since), the acting is mostly awful (it’s not for nothing that Sean Connery retired from acting after making this flick), the plot mostly stupid and all the subtleties of the original Alan Moore/Kevin O’Neill comic are shoved in your face and exaggerated to irritating, ridiculous levels. It’s not even fun bad. It is just bad bad. (FX Canada, 7 p.m.)

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “G.I. (Annoyed Grunt),” wherein Homer joins the Army when Bart accidentally enlists. “Yo! I don’t know which one I dig more: Hip-hop, crunk, or serving my country.” Comedy Network, 8:30 p.m.)


Friday

Hey! Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle! We never have anything bad to say about this movie, or indeed any of the Harold & Kumar movies, not even A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. Really, the franchise resurrected Neil Patrick Harris’s career, and aren’t we all thankful for that? The answer to that question is “yes.” (MuchMusic, 10 p.m.)


The Weekend

Whodunnit? is a reality competition series with an interesting gimmick: the contestants’ challenge each week is to solve a mystery (usually a “murder”). This is the sort of show that could be brilliantly fun or it could be awful, based largely on how difficult the murders are to solve. If they’re too simple, we’ll think the contestants are idiots, and if they’re too hard, we’ll think the contestants are idiots. So basically, appearing on this show is a lose/lose when you get down to it. (CTV, 9 p.m. Sunday)

If you’re sitting around thinking, “man, I wish I had a summer TV series to watch that had a lot of cops in it” then Crossing Lines is your cup of cop tea! This is a show where William Fichtner leads a team of international (almost entirely white) cops to fight international crime, in places like Europe and also other parts of Europe. Donald Sutherland plays the boss of the international cops because he can do what he likes at this point and nobody will say boo about it. (NBC, 9 p.m. Sunday)

CNN premieres Crimes of the Century, leading off with the 2002 DC sniper attacks, so basically this is yet another excuse for CNN to do CNN’s Greatest Hits, because it’s easier for them to do shows about when they were relevant rather than do anything to become relevant again. (9 p.m. Sunday)

Okay, so we haven’t had time to watch practically any of this season of AMC’s Mad Men and have no idea what’s going on. All we know is that there is a character named Bob Benson and people are obsessed with him having some sort of secret, and also during one episode all the characters took drugs and the show got real trippy. Oh, and Pete is now balder than ever, and if we were Vincent Kartheiser we’d be annoyed about having to shave our heads partially to portray “guy balding early,” but then again that’s why Vincent Kartheiser makes the big money, right? (10 p.m. Sunday)

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