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Your Toronto 2014 Issue Navigator

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culture

Televisualist: It’s Almost Like We Invented Basketball or Something

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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Unfortunately, we don’t have image rights to any NCAA basketball from this past year, so here is the next best thing!

Monday

Dancing With the Stars is back for yet another season of stars who are dancing. This time, the roster includes Drew Carey, Danica McKellar, Lando Billy Dee Williams, and Sean Avery. We’re rooting for Lando, personally. (M3, 8 p.m.)

The Real Housewives of New York City is also back for a sixth season of doing what Real Housewives do: e.g. throwing parties, doing charity work, and complaining about their lives. That’s real! (Slice, 10 p.m.)


Tuesday

These days, Turner Classic is airing Carson on TCM, which includes selected Johnny Carson interviews from his thirty-year run on The Tonight Show (which was probably a little more impressive before Jay-friggin’-Leno went for 21 years, but whatever). Mostly, this means “Carson interviewing comedians,” because those are the funniest and least dated interviews, but anyway: tonight you can watch Johnny interviewing Lucille Ball (1977; she was possibly promoting her TV movie Lucy Calls The President), Carol Burnett (1979, just after The Carol Burnett Show had concluded its 11-season run), Candice Bergen (1984, likely during the publicity run for Gandhi), Don Adams (1980; likely promoting The Nude Bomb, the movie spinoff of Get Smart), Jack Benny (1973, about a year and a half before Benny’s death), and Red Skelton (1983, probably just showing up because he was old Hollywood royalty and that’s what you did sometimes in the late-night TV game). (8 p.m.)

Two flavours of scavenging tonight for your viewing pleasure. If you like to watch people picking through the remnants of other people’s collapsed lives for profit, then Storage Wars is back for a fifth season. (A&E, 9 p.m.) However, if you prefer your scavenging to be more personal and have that one-on-one touch, then Storage Wars fan favourite Barry Weiss now has his own spinoff show, Barry’d Treasure, where he haggles with people who have junk that is actually valuable and tries to, well, rip them off for profit. Hooray for television! (A&E, 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

Wahlburgers comes to a close, no doubt making those people who were disappointed to learn this would not be a reality show about former Wiseguy star Ken Wahl opening up a burger shack at least a little happier. (A&E, 10:30 p.m.)


Thursday

Do you want to get into some college basketball? Because the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, or as it is better known, March Madness, is upon us, and this afternoon you can watch Syracuse—led by point guard Tyler Ennis, who hails from Brampton, has been a sensation this year for the Orange, and is a likely lottery pick in this year’s NBA draft—take on the Western Michigan Broncos. A first taste, if you will. (CBS Sports, 2:45 p.m.)

The March Madness game Canadians will be paying attention to in the evening will be No. 2-seeded Michigan taking on No. 15 Wofford; the Michigan Wolverines are a strong team, containing the Big Ten Player of the Year (and likely NBA Draft first-round-pick this year) Nik Stauskas from Mississauga, as well as Glenn Robinson III (son of two-time NBA All-Star Glenn “The Big Dog” Robinson). Wofford, meanwhile, are known as the Terriers, so they’ve got that going for them. (CBS and TSN2, 7:10 p.m.)

Tonight’s Community is entitled “Advanced Advanced Dungeons and Dragons,” as it is a sequel to its extremely good “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons,” but you would think a nerdbait show like Community would have taken the opportunity to call this episode “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Second Edition.” (NBC, 8 p.m.)


Friday

March Madness continues, and one particular game is important enough for TSN to air it on TSN You Can Get It on Basic Cable rather than TSN2; namely, No. 2 Kansas versus the fifteenth-ranked Eastern Kentucky Colonels. This is because Toronto’s own Andrew Wiggins plays for the Kansas Jayhawks. (Okay, technically he’s from Thornhill, but whatever, it counts.) Wiggins has had an underwhelming year at Kansas by some standards because many people were expecting him to score all the points ever, but it turns out Wiggins is very much a team-first player and prefers to be a distributor and playmaker rather than a pure scoring sensation. Of course, that doesn’t mean he can’t have a monster game when he feels like it, and he remains a strong contender to be the No. 1 pick overall in this year’s NBA Draft. (TSN, 3:30 p.m.)

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Regina Monologues,” in which they go to England. “We’re big-shot tourists from everyone’s favourite country, the U.S.A. We saved your ass in Vietnam and shared our prostitutes with Hugh Grant, so give me some free maps and none of that dry British wit.” (MuchMusic, 9 p.m.)


The Weekend

American Dream Builders is sort of like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, except the designers doing the super-speed renovations are competing against one another in teams and gradually eliminating each other, so it has a sort of Top Chef flavour to it. A rancid flavour, made out of bricks and drywall. (NBC, 8 p.m. Sunday)

CORRECTION: March 18, 2014, 11:00 AM This post originally stated that Syracuse would be playing Western Michigan on Wednesday in the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament; in fact, they’ll be facing off on Thursday.

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