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Culture

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culture

Televisualist: The Rise of Jimmy Fallon (and Also, We Still Hate the Olympics)

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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Not pictured: Canadian athletes taking selfies with Vladimir Putin, because seriously, what the hell, you guys.

Monday

Today in Olympics: Lots and lots of snowboarding, two-man bobsled (you can cheer on the Jamaicans, because come on, why wouldn’t you cheer on the Jamaicans, they’re the only reason to watch the Winter Olympics, really), women’s mass biathlon (this is like the seven thousandth biathlon event; how many biathlons are necessary? Do we just want to give Norway medals? Couldn’t we do that without biathlons?), team ski jumping (sadly, they do not all jump off the ramp at the same time, so this sport is a lie), and Canada versus Switzerland in the women’s hockey semifinals. (all day, CBC, TSN, SportsNet, and NBC)

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Gorgeous Grandpa,” from last year, in which Grandpa turns out to be a former professional wrestler. It also features a really brilliant Mr. Burns song: “You’ve got to love to be hated / find the good in being bad / oh the crowd is full of gentlemen / but they’ve paid to see the cad.” (Fox, 11 p.m.)

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon should prove a welcome change from Jay Leno’s antiquated, mediocre, nobody-ever-really-liked-it-but-it-stuck-around show, considering that Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night proved to be an excellent talk show, friendly and engaging, like a warm blanket made out of puppies or something like that. Anyway, Fallon’s first guests are Will Smith and U2, so yeah, big times. (midnight, NBC)


Tuesday

Today in Olympics: women’s giant slalom, short-track speed skating (the roller derby of speed skating, except everybody has knives on their feet, because skating), ice-dancing finals (“it’s like team figure skating, but less exciting!”), halfpipe snowboarding, and the “men’s individual Gundersen,” which is proof that the Olympics are just fucking with us now. (all day, CBC, TSN, SportsNet, and NBC)

Tonight in West Wing reruns: “In The Shadow of Two Gunmen,” the first of the second season premiere two-parter that follows the assassination attempt where Josh gets shot and that kicks off the best season of the show and one of the best in television history. (CITS, 8 p.m.)


Wednesday

Today in Olympics: Women’s giant slalom medal finals, halfpipe medal finals, more short-track speed skating, women’s semifinals in curling (how can you stand the suspense of waiting to see who makes curling finals, really), yet more biathlon, and women’s bobsled. (all day, CBC, TSN, SportsNet, and NBC)

Nature tonight is all about honey badgers, presumably because the good folks at PBS know how to cash in on a meme: i.e., with educational science programming! That’s what moves the tote bags! (8 p.m.)

Super Fun Night concludes and, well, it wasn’t that good, really, so we are marking its demise with solemnity. Solemnity we say. (City, 9:30 p.m.)


Thursday

Today in Olympics: “Team Gundersen” (really), the gold medal match in women’s curling (which will either have Canada involved or people will just complain a lot because we didn’t make the finals), the women’s bronze medal and gold medal games in hockey, and women’s figure-skating free skate (actually, technically the sport calls it “ladies’” rather than “women’s,” but we say hell with that noise). (all day, CBC, TSN, SportsNet, and NBC)

Aw, hey, Ever After! We remember when every girl we knew was totally into this sorta-feminist (but still sometimes questionable) “realistic retelling” of the Cinderella story, with Drew Barrymore in the Cinderella role and also no magic. Man, that was a long time ago – wait, only 1998? Man, we could’ve sworn this was early ’90s. That makes us feel better. (Lifetime, 8 p.m.)


Friday

Today in Olympics: Men’s gold medal curling, men’s semifinals in hockey, team pursuit speed skating (which is sort of like tag on skates, except there’s no tagging), and still more goddamn biathlon. Maybe the biathlon events start on day one of the Olympics and just go the whole time? That might make sense. (all day, CBC, TSN, SportsNet, and NBC)

Despite its title, Hello Ross has nothing to do with Ross from Friends but is instead a vehicle for Ross Matthews. Does that disappoint anybody else? We miss Friends. We would even take Joey at this point. (E!, 10 p.m.)


The Weekend

This weekend in Olympics: On Saturday, we have men’s biathlon (of course we do), the men’s hockey bronze medal game, the women’s figure-skating gala performance, slalom skiing, and four-man bobsled. On Sunday, there are the end of four-man bobsled and the gold medal men’s hockey game—and then we’re done with stupid Olympics until 2016. We will have made it. Our long struggle is nearly over, people. (all day, CBC, TSN, SportsNet, and NBC)

As if by magic, as the Olympics leave us, The Amazing Race comes back! This is another “all star” season and features a lot of repeat All Stars (the cowboys, the Harlem Globetrotters, etc.) but so what: it’s still the Amazing Race, and that’s so much better than the Olympics it ain’t even funny. (CTV, 8 p.m. Sunday)

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