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culture

Televisualist: “We Had A Deal!”

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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“At least we’re agreed that we’re not going to mess around with the debt ceiling.” “Yes, that would really be crazy.” (And then they both turn and look at the camera pointedly.)

Monday

The Voice progresses to the “battle rounds,” in which the singers sing at each other until one falls, bleeding and unaware. Well, not really, but that sounded awfully dramatic, didn’t it? (CTV, 8 p.m.)

Space gives us the second-season premiere of Falling Skies, which aired in the States over a year ago. On the one hand, normally we scold Canadian networks for not staying up to date with American showtimes, because they lose viewers this way (because the internet is a thing where you can watch TV). On the other hand, come on, it’s only Falling Skies. Even nerds have some standards. (9 p.m.)


Tuesday

The Biggest Loser returns yet again, and among this season’s cast members is former American Idol winner Ruben Studdard—which amuses us terribly because although it’s been a long time since we had to make an American Idol joke, Ruben Studdard was always one of our go-to punchlines because he was very briefly megafamous and then we all forgot about him. (CFMT, 8 p.m.)

Anger Management just keeps on going, and we don’t know why, exactly. Didn’t we all get tired of Charlie Sheen a long time ago? Is “winning!” still a thing anywhere in the world? We bet somewhere in the deepest Amazon a remote tribe is probably saying “winning!” to one another in its remote tribe language and thinking it’s the coolest thing ever. (CTV2, 8 p.m.)

The BET Hip Hop Awards have gotten very important very fast, which is both a tribute to the show itself and also a condemnation of the lack of attention given to hip hop by the media. That might sound odd, but think about how many freaking country music awards shows there are (hint: there are approximately eighty-three of them). Anyway, this year’s show has performances by Kendrick Lamar and a bunch of other people who are not Kendrick Lemar, so who cares about the other people. (8 p.m.)

Real Husbands of Hollywood returns for a second season of spoofing all those terrible reality shows we constantly make fun of, so of course we’re going to say it’s good. Also, we love Kevin Hart in this show. And generally as well! But especially in this show, when he’s getting pepper-sprayed by Shaq. On the downside, though, Robin Thicke will not be appearing on the show this season because he’s concentrating on his “music career,” which is a shame because Robin Thicke’s greatest talent in life is being slapped by somebody else on camera, and that happened enough in the first season of Real Husbands that it instantly became legendary. (BET, 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

Toy Story of TERROR! is a Halloween special featuring the Toy Story characters, so hopefully it’s not terrible? Please? Don’t taint the franchise, Disney? (ABC, 8 p.m.)


Thursday

Wonderfully coincidental given real-life events: tonight’s rerun of The West Wing is “Shutdown,” in which President Bartlet and his staff engage in political war with the GOP after the Republicans renege on previously agreed upon terms on the budget and demand more cuts to public spending. It’s amazingly coincidental! Except for the bit where Steven Culp’s weaselly Speaker of the House is nowhere near as scummy as the modern-day Republican party. (CITS, 8 p.m.)

Oh, man, Reign is so, so bad. So bad. Where do we begin? With the French, Scottish, and Italian characters speaking in English accents (many of which are not genuine, considering the fact that most of the cast is either Canadian or Australian)? With Rossif Sutherland’s hammy, silly turn as Nostradamus, who of course has ominous visions of the future? With the fact that Toby Regbo, 21 years old, is playing a character who in real history died at the age of fourteen? We’re glad that Megan Follows is still getting work (she’s playing Catherine de Medici) but, man, does it have to be in this? (CTV2, 9 p.m.)


Friday

For now, while the steady Halloween drumbeat doesn’t seem oppressive, we can recommend Beetlejuice with confidence, because this movie reminds us of when Tim Burton was still great, as opposed to now, when he’s the guy who just directs Johnny Depp being the same flavour of weird in every movie ever. We miss this Tim Burton. Hell, we’d even take the Tim Burton who did that lousy Planet of the Apes remake that didn’t make any sense over the current Tim Burton. (YTV, 8:30 p.m.)


The Weekend

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Treehouse of Horror VII,” in which Kang and Kodos disguise themselves as Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. “My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball; but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!” (MuchMusic, 6 p.m. Sunday)

Scream 4 was a vaguely uninspired continuation (or end? We don’t know, nobody knows, this one just keeps going) of the Scream series, doing the same old same old, oh, look the killer isn’t who you expected, so here’s a really silly reason to justify a murder spree, of course all the survivors from the first Scream make it through, et cetera. It has good performances, though, and the direction of the horror sequences is vintage Wes Craven. This is one of those ironic slasher flicks that gets that sorta “ehhh” hand wave. (M3, 6 p.m. Sunday)

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