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Olivia Chow for Mayor

Toronto can do better. This is how.

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culture

Televisualist: Do The Robot

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 my partner. Nobody ask him what love is. He hates that. Also, it makes him explode.”

Monday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace,” a tenth-season just-before-the-decline episode in which Homer decides to try and out-invent Thomas Edison. “I brought you a tuna sandwich. They say it’s brain food. I guess because there’s so much dolphin in it, and you know how smart they are.” (MuchMusic, 8:30 p.m.)

You can catch the season finale of Franklin and Bash tonight, secure in the knowledge that there will indeed be a fourth season for some reason we don’t quite understand. Mark-Paul Gosselaar probably has insane blackmail secrets on all the important Hollywood people. (Bravo!, 9 p.m.)


Tuesday

The Rick Mercer Report and 22 Minutes have best-of episodes—part of their ongoing quest to be as unlike The Daily Show as possible. (CBC, 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., respectively)

Turner Classic has a pair of great Peter Sellers movies back to back: The Party and then Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. It’s a given that the use of brownface in The Party makes it problematic, but the movie is still worth consideration as one of the truly great slapstick comedies of the twentieth century, and as one of Sellers’ greatest achievements despite the racist overtones. And of course Strangelove is just Sellers at his satiric peak, so you get two very different flavours of one of the great film comics. (8 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., respectively)

Scandal For Real is a special about famous American political scandals, because people really like Scandal and, well, branding of cheap content! Hooray! (ABC, 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

Man, can you believe Twister was once a major summer tent-pole picture? Try to remember those few months in 1996 when Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt were considered headliners and “people chase a tornado because of science” was something that studios would consider making. Nowadays, it would have to have an evil criminal using the tornadoes as cover for crimes, or maybe aliens using the tornadoes to destroy the midwest. (AMC, 9 p.m.)


Thursday

CNN brings us The Assassination of President Kennedy, because the fiftieth anniversary is next week, and it wants to scoop all the other networks on something that happened fifty years ago. (9 p.m.)

Ground Floor‘s pilot is a bit clunky, but there’s clearly talent here: it’s a Bill Lawrence (Spin City, Scrubs, Cougar Town) joint, so you know there’s a competent hand at the wheel; the cast is charming as all get out (it includes several alumni from Pitch Perfect); and, of course, there’s John C. McGinley basically playing a banker riff on Dr. Cox, and Dr. Cox—even second-hand Dr. Cox—makes all things better. Worth checking out. (Comedy Network, 10:30 p.m.)


Friday

Raising Hope debuts its fourth season with back-to-back episodes, and we’re glad to see it back, because it’s a strongly written and very funny series that never shrinks away from brutal commentary on class. This may well be the last season; the show is two seasons away from reaching the magic 100-episode mark that would make it especially syndication-worthy, but ratings have never been especially high for Hope, and they’ve been steadily shrinking over the years. Which sucks, because there are so many bad shows that get good ratings—and that might sound like a cliché, but so what, it’s still true. Why do you people let this happen, anyway? That’s right, we’re blaming you. Especially you on the left. (City, 8 p.m.)


The Weekend

We’ve reached the last—and probably the most daring—of the fall genre premieres: Almost Human is J.J. Abrams’ new series about a cop who has to pair up with a robot cop in the future. That is, of course, a glib description of a serious show, because it’s funny to write it that way, but Karl Urban (as the human cop), Michael Ealy (as the robot cop), and Lili Taylor (as their police captain) all absolutely nail their roles, and the world is fully realized. Must-watch. (Global, 8 p.m. Sunday)

Battle of the Blades concludes, with your remaining teams being Jason Strudwick and Violetta Afanasieva, Mathieu Dandenault and Marie-France Dubreuil, and Scott Thornton and Amanda Evora. You can vote on the website if you like this sort of thing—we don’t hold with it. We like our hockey stars like we like our steak: well done. Wait, that simile didn’t work. Damn Battle of the Blades getting us all messed up! (CBC, 8 p.m. Sunday)

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