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Real City Matters

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culture

Televisualist: Rumble in the Bumble

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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If you’re too grown-up for this, that’s your problem, not ours.

Monday

Sleepy Hollow comes to a finish this week, already renewed for a second season after it turned out to be far better than anybody anticipated before this season began in earnest; it turns out that if you really commit to your show being absolutely balls-out insane, and follow through on the balls-out insanity with logical and entertaining characterization resulting from the aforementioned balls-adjacent insanity, you will have a really fun show. (Global, 8 p.m.)

Tonight, you can watch the premiere of MasterChef Canada, or as you might prefer to call it, MasterChef Without Gordon Ramsay What Is Even the Point. (CTV, 8 p.m)

Meanwhile, in truly important news, Hollywood Game Night is back for its second season! Tonight’s episode has Martin Short, Jason Alexander, and Valerie Bertinelli, because Hollywood Game Night is a show that takes no prisoners. (CTV2, 8 p.m.)

Klondike marks a sort of turning point for the Discovery Channel, since it is a miniseries that is an explicit piece of fiction on a network that has never really previously been interested in such things (even Moonshiners, which was basically a sitcom, tried to pretend it wasn’t). Granted, Discovery is making a sincere attempt for this miniseries to be sort of educational if you squint right; Ridley Scott is the executive producer, and Ridley Scott is noted for his obsession with historical detail. But then again, you don’t hire Richard “Robb Stark” Madden, Tim Roth, Abbie Cornish, Ian Hart, Tim Blake Nelson, and Sam Shepard to re-enact the mundane details of mining life in the Yukon gold rush: you hire them because you want some goddamn explosions. (9 p.m.)


Tuesday

Opposite Worlds is a weird concept: the idea is that you have two teams of contestants, one of which lives in a luxurious apartment and the other of which lives in a dirty cave, and a glass wall divides them so they can see each other, and then they compete in challenges. SyFy is billing this as “Space Age versus Stone Age.” If the Stone Age guys also got spandex jumpsuits, we guess. (Space, 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “New Kids on the Blecch,” in which Bart, Milhouse, Ralph, and Nelson form a boy band. “We’re not signing anything unless it’s a contract.” (MuchMusic, 9 p.m.)

Hey, what’s the most ludicrous idea you can come up with for a new reality show? Was it “Donnie Wahlberg and Mark Wahlberg open up a gourmet hamburger restaurant?” TOO LATE. Because Wahlburgers is a for-real thing. (A&E, 10:30 p.m.)


Thursday

Our vote for “show most likely to crater in record time” goes to Rake, which is a show about Greg Kinnear as a sleazy lawyer with maybe a heart of gold and oh look you didn’t even finish this paragraph, did you, you just skipped ahead to the next one. Can’t say as we blame you. We’ve had to come back to this three times to finish the paragraph. We bet the editors won’t even notice if we “accidunttttly” moospell sum wirds. (Global, 9 p.m.)

Mother Up! debuted on Hulu back in November, but this animated comedy starring Eva Longoria, which can best be described as “what if Peter Griffin on Family Guy was a sexy single mom type of person and also all the jokes were retreads from Family Guy and that’s not really a compliment,” is Canadian, so City gets Cancon credit for airing it. Hooray, we guess? (9:30 p.m.)


Friday

NBC hasn’t yet announced the cancellation of Dracula, whose season finale airs tonight, but given the numbers, it seems very likely that it will be cancelled. Apparently, people weren’t really interested in a Dracula story that involved weird secret societies and Nikolai Tesla, which doesn’t sound like it makes sense until you realize it also kind of sucked. (Global, 10 p.m.)


The Weekend

Sandwiched in between this past weekend’s conference finals and next weekend’s Super Bowl is the 2014 Pro Bowl, which nobody really cares about, not even football fans. Football is the game to which an All-Star Game matters the least, possibly because football teams are so large, or possibly because it comes right before the Super Bowl, or possibly because football players aren’t going to nearly kill themselves for the All-Star Game as they would in any “real” game. The NFL has considered all of this, and its new solution to make people care about the Pro Bowl is to abandon conference teams and instead have Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders draft Pro Bowl teams, which is the reasoned logical planning you expect from a league that prefers to pretend that concussions don’t exist. (TSN, 7:30 p.m. Sunday)

If you don’t like football and still want to watch something inconsequential, then there’s always the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. (City, 8 p.m. Sunday)

So this weekend, there is also the annual WWE Royal Rumble, and there are two major stories in wrestling right now. The first one is that Daniel Bryan is skyrocketing in popularity to Steve Austin/The Rock levels (see: this GIF or, if you want the full experience with sound, watch this, and then if you want to see people doing the chant at a Michigan State basketball game, watch this), despite being maybe 5’10″ on a good day and ostensibly not the sort of wrestler who becomes a superstar. The second story is that the WWE just announced the launch of the WWE Network, which is basically “Netflix for wrestling,” in what is clearly a pretty blatant attempt to abandon the PPV market altogether and start providing its content directly via the internet—a risky move, to say the least. We mention these stories together for two reasons. First, they are wrestling related, and we didn’t have much to say about the Rumble itself (other than that, thanks to the truly ridiculous number of statistics it generates, it’s always fun), and second, Daniel Bryan’s ascension to superstardom is happening just as the WWE plans to air its first pay-per-view directly through the WWE Network—namely, WrestleMania 30 in a couple months’ time. Interesting times, etc. (PPV, 8 p.m. Sunday)

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