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Televisualist: I’m Spelling As Wet As I Can

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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This is a show ostensibly about spelling. No. Really.

Monday

ABC Spark has picked up Huge, which aired on the ABC Family Channel a few years ago in the United States before being cancelled pretty quickly. The cancellation was not one to be applauded: this good little show set at a weight-loss camp explored weight issues and had a great cast (including Nikki Blonsky from Hairspray and Gina Torres). It’s only a ten-episode commitment! Give it a go! (8 p.m.)

Power Broker is another show about professional house hunters who get hired by rich people who can afford to hire professional house hunters to hunt houses in expensive and lucrative real estate markets. Totally relatable! (HGTV, 9 p.m.)

Tuesday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “There’s No Disgrace Like Home”—the first-season episode in which the family goes to visit Dr. Marvin Monroe for family therapy and they shock each other half to death during shock therapy treatment. Mostly, we’re just glad to be back revisiting prime Simpsons after a spate of more-recent reruns. “I’m sorry, Marge, but sometimes I think we’re the worst family in town.” “Well, maybe we should move to a larger community.” (Comedy Network, 8:30 p.m.)

Wednesday

It’s the return of Ice Road Truckers, which means everything you love about this show is back: the potential for crashes, and, uh, all the other stuff. Really, sometimes we think Ice Road Truckers is just for people who think NASCAR isn’t scenic enough. (History, 9 p.m.)

Hatfields & McCoys: White Lightning is not a sequel to last year’s sorta-boring hit miniseries. Instead, it’s a reality show that chronicles the latest iteration of the famous backwoods family feud. Both sides are trying to work together because an investor wants to give them money to make authentic Hatfield & McCoy moonshine. Can they keep from squabbling? No! Watch people relive the feuds of their ancestors and not realize how sad that concept is! (History, 10 p.m.)

Spell-Mageddon is kind of grating. Don’t get us wrong: we’re glad to see that Alfonso “Carlton Banks” Ribeiro is continuing to get work. But a spelling bee show is pretty simple: you take people, have them try to spell words, and that’s all you need. This show’s creators decided that exposing contestants as dummies who have trouble spelling relatively innocuous words (like “innocuous”) is perhaps not the best idea, so went with combining the idea of a spelling bee with classic gross-out game shows like Double Dare. Yes, complete with slime sprays and giant foam props. It used to be about the spelling, man. (ABC Spark, 9 p.m.)

Thursday

Showcase brings back Royal Pains for its fifth season, only about two and a half months after it initially aired in the USA—so good for you, Showcase! Simulcasts are surely in your near future. (10 p.m.)

God, Guns and Automobiles is a reality show about a small-town car dealership that would be totally uninteresting except for the fact that one of the co-owners is semi-famous radio personality Erich “Mancow” Muller. So it’s still totally uninteresting! (History, 10 p.m.)

Friday

For everybody interested in Game of Thrones—Showcase is airing season two starting this week. If you complain about spoilers for episodes that first aired in 2012 (and which were based on a book that is about 15 years old), we will punch you. (10 p.m.)

The Weekend

We’re not actually recommending you watch the MDA Show of Strength Telethon per se; we’re just mentioning it because recently some footage surfaced of Jerry Lewis on the set of The Day the Clown Cried, his infamous never-will-be-aired Holocaust movie, and that made us think of “Jerry’s Kids” from back when Lewis used to host the telethon every year. Who do they have now? We’re not sure if they have anybody, but we assume that there will be celebrities now that ABC, rather than a bunch of independent stations, airs the telethon. But will they have Old Hollywood smarm/style like Lewis did? We doubt it. Unless it’s Hugh Jackman, because Hugh Jackman can do that sort of thing in his sleep. (Sunday, 9 p.m.)

CORRECTION: August 27, 2013, 10:30 AM This post originally said Royal Pains will air on Bravo. In fact, it will air on Showcase.

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