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culture

Televisualist: Scientifically Accurate Spaceships

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: the totally accurate and completely radical spaceship.

Monday

Almost Human concludes its first season and… it’s been a little rough? The actors are still very good, but the show doesn’t seem to be going anywhere with its almost-crazy-ambitious concept. It’s doing a lot of work to sketch out the social divisions in its vision of the future, and that’s really quite interesting, but it’s almost… ambling through it. Still intrigued by this show, but there’s a lot of room to work here. (Global, 8 p.m.)

Back for another season: Bates Motel, which is definitely something we saw the pilot of and said “well, don’t need to watch any more of this one.” (A&E, 9 p.m.)

Don’t know much about Those Who Kill, A&E’s new crime/serial-killer-hunter series starring Chloe Sevigny, other than that it has a super-intense trailer, but that was a pretty good trailer, and also it has James D’Arcy (who was the best bit of Cloud Atlas) and Bruce Davison and lots of other good actors, so we’re willing to give it a go. (10 p.m.)

If you didn’t download the entire third season of Sherlock months ago, Showcase has the first episode tonight, because it is the network for TV procrastinators. (10 p.m.)


Tuesday

History Television airs Cryptid: The Swamp Beast because someone gave up all hope at some point. Probably some television executive, who just wanted to bring educational history programming to the general public, and who now sits in his office, chasing shots of Wild Turkey with hits of acid in the hopes he will see the future of which he dreamed. (10 p.m.)


Wednesday

Big Brother Canada was a huge hit by Slice standards (which means at least a hundred people watched it), so here comes the second season! Hooray! An original Canadian production—even if we do have to put “original” in scare quotes! (9 p.m.)

Save Our Business is the latest reality television show to feature noteworthy wealthy British douchebag Peter Jones, best known for being on the British version of Dragon’s Den and for telling everybody how he worked seventy thousand jobs when he was six. (Slice, 10 p.m.)


Thursday

Spun Out is Dave Foley’s latest return to Canadian TV, and in it, he stars as the head of a wacky public relations agency, and he is the best thing about the show. The problem is that all of the other things—the rest of the cast, the writing, even basic things like lighting—are so mediocre that this is essentially the spiritual successor to the famed “Get Smart‘s Don Adams returns to Canadian TV” series Check It Out!, which, too, was terrible. Foley deserves much, much better than this. (CTV, 8:30 p.m.)

Flip It to Win It is a game show about house flipping, because that’s something we need to encourage. (HGTV, 9 p.m.)

Motive returns for a second season of being the crime procedural in which figuring out why a baddie did a murder is the most important thing, as opposed to all those other boring crime procedurals in which they don’t care. (CTV, 10 p.m.)


Friday

Kirstie is TVLand’s latest “hey, remember all these actors in old sitcoms you liked, here they are again” sitcom. This one has Kirstie Alley, Rhea Perlman, and returning-from-exile-after-some-racist-comedy Michael Richards. If that appeals to you, you will already know just based on seeing the names. If not, well, TVLand knows it’ll get enough from the people it does appeal to, so there. (CTV, 8:30 p.m.)

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Strong Arms of the Ma,” which is the one where Marge gets herself jacked and toned thanks to questionable athletic supplements. “Somewhere in that sea of bull hormones is the sweet, wonderful girl I married. The woman who instead of swatting a fly would give it a bath and send it on its way. I’d sure like to go home and have Jiffy Pop with her.” (MuchMusic, 9 p.m.)


The Weekend

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is the successor to the famous 1980s Carl Sagan–hosted science-fact series; this time around, uber-science-nerd Neil DeGrasse Tyson hosts, and for some reason he is in a spaceship. We’re not sure why he’s in a spaceship, but we’re willing to live with it because the spaceship does look pretty baller, and also, let’s be honest, Neil DeGrasse Tyson isn’t going to be on any spaceship without explaining if the spaceship is scientifically plausible or not. (Global, 8 p.m. Sunday)

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