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Your Toronto 2014 Issue Navigator

How the candidates compare on some of the city's biggest issues.

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culture

Televisualist: Doctors!

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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The all-important “people in a boardroom having a meeting” scene, crucial to AMC dramas. Next season of The Walking Dead will be all boardrooms.

Monday

MasterChef is back for another season of Gordon Ramsay trying to be nice and supportive to home chefs who are mostly really nice people with the occasional dickhead mixed in for flavour (COOKING METAPHOR!). (CTV, 8 p.m.)

NBC is doubling down on American Ninja Warrior this year with both a preview special and a two-hour season premiere. We’re fine with this, because the crazed obstacle course that is Ninja Warrior is a fine thing, perhaps the best of thing—no, wait, according to The Shawshank Redemption, that’s hope. But Ninja Warrior is good, too. (8 p.m.)

Also returning: The Listener, which has become the spunky little Canadian sci-fi/procedural series that could. Well, they could’ve called it something awesome like Teleparamedic (come on, that’s a ’70s-style sci-fi title if ever there was one), but what they chose is fine, too, if a little generic. We’ve literally had people ask us if this show is about a therapist of some kind. (CTV, 9 p.m.)


Tuesday

America’s Got Talent is back for another season as people with talent are judged by Howard Stern, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Melanie “Scary Spice” Brown. We are not going to bother making the joke. You can think of it yourself. (City, 8 p.m.)

The Night Shift is a doctors show, because of course what we need is yet another doctors show. This doctors show is about doctors who doctor at night. One of the doctors is a loose-cannon doctor! Sometimes the doctors make wacky jokes, and sometimes the doctors are very serious. Sometimes they cry! In conclusion: doctors. (Global, 10 p.m.)

W has picked up Chrisley Knows Best, the “reality sitcom” about businessman Todd Chrisley and his family. There is strong division among critics as to whether this show is entertaining or whether it is terrible. Allow us to bridge the divide: it is entertaining in its terribleness. (10 p.m.)


Wednesday

So You Think You Can Dance returns for an 11th season, and what else is there to say? This is still the most relentlessly entertaining competition reality show on TV: skilled young performers, tons of talent behind the scenes, and judges who often manage not to be terrible people, which is about as high as the bar can be raised in this genre. (CTV, 8 p.m.)

Turner Classic has the 1957 remake of My Man Godfrey—the original had William Powell and Carole Lombard, whereas the remake has David Niven and June Allyson. For our money, Niven is very slightly superior to Powell in the Godfrey role, but Allyson can’t hold a candle to Lombard. However, this is still as screwball as screwball comedies get, and the 1957 version might raise fewer questions about class in the viewer than the 1936 version. (8 p.m.)


Thursday

Undateable is a show about a bunch of sorta-losers who are bad at dating and a guy played by Chris D’Elia (who was the best thing about Whitney), who decides to try and help them out. We can’t help but think that timing-wise, with the recent Santa Barbara shooting stirring up a (well-deserved) storm of controversy over the pickup artist community, this can’t be the best time for this show—however well-intentioned it might be—to debut. (NBC, 9 p.m.)


Friday

Crossbones is a pirate show that stars John Malkovich as Blackbeard, and you’re probably already programming your PVR now. (Global, 10 p.m.)


The Weekend

AMC’s latest stab at creating a new viral TV hit is Halt and Catch Fire, a show about Dallas computer programmers reverse-engineering IBM’s PC designs in the early 1980s. It’s got decent talent in front of the camera (Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy), and clearly AMC is hoping that the period-piece vibe lets it go all Mad Men on this sucker, but the first episode, while well-acted and at least interestingly shot, feels a bit disconnected from itself. There’s promise here, but who knows if AMC can sustain it. (10 p,m. Sunday)

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