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culture

Televisualist: DAN-IEL BRY-AN (clap clap clapclapclap)

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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Dear Internet: Say hello to Can’t Believe Undertaker Lost Guy, the new hot meme for 2014.

Monday

So last night was WrestleMania XXX (XXX as in “30,” not “dirty sex hardcore”—get your minds out of the gutter), which means that tonight is the post-WrestleMania Monday Night RAW, traditionally one of the best episodes of the year, as the arena is packed with all the diehards who travelled thousands of miles to see WrestleMania and made sure to catch two nights of WWE on their trip, and WWE itself uses the show to introduce its new premium storylines for the year. With Daniel Bryan at last the victorious WWE Champion, the Undertaker’s legendary WrestleMania streak having finally been broken by Brock Lesnar, and Sting waiting in the wings to debut at long last in WWE, this show should be as exciting and fun as wrestling gets. Of course, chunks of it might suck, because that is also how wrestling gets. (The Score, 8 p.m.)

March Madness concludes as #7 seed Connecticut, led by Shabazz Napier (who both has a terrific name and is playing his way into the NBA draft seemingly by sheer force of will), takes on #8 Kentucky (with future lottery pick Julius Randle and the suddenly relevant Harrison twins). We’re rooting for the Huskies, because Kentucky is a dynasty, and booing dynasties is fun. Kentucky: the Lannisters of college basketball. (TSN, 8:30 p.m.)


Tuesday

The Toronto Maple Leafs basically have to win every game they have left at this point in order even to have a chance at the playoffs, so every game is completely important! (Until they lose again.) Tonight, the Leafs visit the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have already qualified for the playoffs quite handily, so it will be an uphill battle to say the least. (SportsNet, 7:30 p.m.)

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has mostly been, well, not that good, but we’re interested to see the next few episodes, because they will, it appears, tie into the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. So maybe it will be good now. Or not. (CTV, 8 p.m.)

Tonight, you can watch the season premieres of Disaster Decks and Decked Out, which makes us wonder when we missed this genre of reality show becoming a thing. (HGTV, beginning at 9 p.m.)


Wednesday

So Survivor has made it to the merge, and we have to say: for someone supposedly selected for the “Brains” tribe, Kass is playing a terrible game. First, she sabotaged her own original tribe by keeping J’Tia around after it was obvious J’Tia was not capable of finding her way out of a paper bag, much less doing things like “winning challenges” or “not setting the tribe’s rice supply on fire.” And now, she has betrayed her new alliance and probably fatally damaged her chance of winning the final tribal vote (assuming she ever makes it, because now she is sixth in an alliance of six), on the basis of what was, essentially, a fit of pique and impatience. She could have waited for just one more Tribal Council and booted Sarah out quite safely; now, she’s in a terrible position, and worse, thinks she’s in a good one. Which just goes to show you that sometimes people play Survivor and make needless or counterproductive moves just because they think “playing” means “doing stuff” and if you’re doing something then you aren’t losing. The problem with this theory is that it is wrong. (Global, 8 p.m.)


Thursday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Ziff Who Came To Dinner,” wherein Artie Ziff loses his fortune and moves in with the Simpsons, and … look, we’ve been doing the “Simpsons rerun of the week” for years now, and we’ve done every episode at least twice, and many of them aren’t even good episodes because in syndication they tend to air the crappier, more recent ones even more than the classics. So let us bid adieu to this sort-of-a-feature of this column. “Don’t tell my kids I’m going to jail! Tell them I joined the Blue Man Group! I’m the fat one!” (Much, 9 p.m.)


Friday

Kitchen Nightmares commences its sixth season with a return to Amy’s Baking Company, the restaurant that was owned by the legendarily crazy and possibly corrupt couple who made Gordon Ramsay completely give up on them mid-shoot. Are Amy and her husband Samy still crazy, resentful, and unethical? Only one way to find out. (Global, 8 p.m.)

Teletoon has All-Star Superman, the mostly pretty good cartoon adaptation of the widely acclaimed Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely comic series of the same name. Written by the late Dwayne McDuffie (the man primarily responsible for Justice League Unlimited being as good as it was), this cartoon is a Good Cartoon and worthy of your weekly time budgeted for all things Superman. We assume you budget some time for Superman on a weekly basis. It seems only practical. (9 p.m.)


The Weekend

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown returns for a new season and, well, it looks good. What else are we supposed to say? Anthony Bourdain is a known quantity at this point: he goes somewhere (this week it is Amritsar, India) and does his travelogue show and is generally entertaining in his mildly-dickish-but-not-too-mean-about-it way. (CNN, 9 p.m. Sunday)

Mad Men returns for its final season—or at least the first half of its final season, since AMC is pulling a Breaking Bad and chopping the final season into two halves, the second of which will air next year. This season jumps to 1969, and we have to say: between the mod dresses and Harry Crane’s amazing sideburns, we are sold. (10 p.m.)

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