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culture

Televisualist: Degrassi As Metaphor For The Inevitability Of Death

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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WHO ARE ALL THESE YOUNG PEOPLE? WHERE ARE THE ZIT REMEDY AND THEIR FUN SONG “EVERYBODY WANTS SOMETHING?” WHY AM I HYPERVENTILATING AND TYPING IN ALL CAPS??? OH GOD NOW I AM USING MULTIPLE QUESTION MARKS THIS IS SO BAD

Monday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Boy Meets Curl,” because it’s the one where the Simpsons are going to Vancouver! To curl in the Olympics, that is. “Let us curl, milady. Let us throw and sweep atwain until the heavens themselves drop their jaws in wonder and envy. And afterwards there’ll be beer and cocoa with marshmallows floating in the foam. And if, from 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!” (Comedy Network, 8:30 p.m.)

Tuesday

Hey, Gone With the Wind is on? Wow, talk about movies that haven’t aged well: I mean, Scarlett is basically an awful person, but so is Rhett, and Ashley, and really everybody in the movie who’s white come to think of it—because it’s a movie about the South whining about how it lost the Civil War, when you get right down to it. (Turner Classic, 8 p.m.)

Wednesday

Modern Dads is a show about stay-at-home dads, and it would have been really interesting and topical twenty years ago, but then again twenty years ago we were still impressed with the Super Nintendo, which come to think of it is still better than this show because you can play Super Mario Kart on it. (A&E, 10:30 p.m.)

Thursday

Degrassi appears to be going on a brief hiatus; it’s only eight episodes into the usual marathon season (not quite as marathonesque as the telenovela-style seasons the show experimented with for the three seasons before this one, but still a 27-episode order, which is hella big for TV these days), but there hasn’t been an announcement yet as to when the rest of the season airs. Most likely, there will be more Degrassi before the end of October at the absolute latest, though. Hey, want to feel old? All of the kids who started out appearing on the original run of Degrassi: The Next Generation have now long since graduated and their characters are all married and stuff, because they are freaking twentysomethings. The first episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation aired about six weeks after 9/11! You hadn’t realized that, had you? SO OLD. Snake is almost a grandfather now (or will be when Emma has a kid of her own, and it’s only a matter of time, you know). (MuchMusic, 8 p.m.)

Eurotrip is going to air. Maybe the best bit of this movie is the “Scotty Doesn’t Know” running gag. It’s a really good running gag, and it has some Matt Damon content in it, and the rest of the movie isn’t half bad either, so there’s that. (Slice, 9 p.m.)

Hey, have we mentioned recently how great Hollywood Game Night is? Because it’s pretty goddamn great, you guys. Celebrities getting drunk and playing charades or charade-equivalents, it turns out, is the best thing, and this week’s episode is loaded with celebrities: Minnie Driver, Angela Kinsey, Ellie Kemper from The Office, Kal “Kumar” Penn, Max “Schmidt” Greenfield, and Kenan “of Kenan and Kel from Good Burger” Thompson. Which one of these six will be this week’s Wilmer Valderrama and turn out to be totally useless at all party games? There’s always one! (CTV, 10 p.m.)

Friday

We Were There: The March On Washington—An Oral History is punctuated awkwardly, but firsthand accounts of the historic march, which was capped by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech, are, due to the ravages of time, growing rarer and rarer with each year, so this may well be worth watching now. (CNN, 10 p.m.)

The Weekend

Family Dance Off is exactly what it sounds like: a special where five families compete at dancing in order to win money. Dignity is probably optional, given that host Derek Hough explains the allure of the show as watching “normal people dance their butts off.” Oooooookay. (ABC, 8 p.m. Sunday)

If you want to watch the late James Gandolfini knock some acting out of the park, you can do worse than misguided Brad Pitt/Julia Roberts crime dramedy The Mexican, wherein Gandolfini’s gay hitman is practically in a different (and much better) movie. (CHCH, 8:30 p.m. Sunday)

The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards now routinely get the best (or, at least, most star-studded) slate of performers of any music awards in any given year, with the occasional exception of the Brit Awards. This year’s lineup: Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, and Miley Cyrus. Love them or hate them (or have mixed feelings, maybe), but either way that’s a murderers’ row of music’s top acts right now. (MuchMusic, red-carpet pre-show begins at 8 p.m. Sunday, actual awards begin 9 p.m. Sunday)

Cutthroat Kitchen is Food Network’s latest attempt to create a lasting cooking show. This time, the conceit involves competitors being given a “budget” that they can use to upgrade their own supplies or, instead, to sabotage their opponents. Which of course is something that happens in actual cookery all the time. (10 p.m. Sunday)

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  • geili

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