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culture

Televisualist: Surplusheroes

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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At a certain point, you’d hope they feel some shame about making this.

Monday

We’re glad to see Never Ever Do This at Home return for a second season—the weird combination of Mythbusters-style antics, HGTV-style home improvement, and corny gags is very much what we think of when we think of classic Discovery Channel-style comedy, and with the channel’s gradual drift towards less-discoverish fare, it’s nice to have it back. (9 p.m.)

Castle concludes its sixth season with Castle and Beckett finally about to get married—and this was the same season in which Beckett’s will-she-ever-bring-her-mother’s-killer-to-justice plotline was finally resolved forever. It’s sort of weird, because the show is moving forward gradually through its characters’ lives in a relatively sensible way, given that this is, after all, a weekly murder mystery. Ah, we’re just happy Nathan Fillion gets a paycheque. (CTV, 10 p.m.)


Tuesday

NCIS concludes its eleventh season of stuff like this. (Global, 8 p.m.)

Fool’s Gold is a Discovery reality show about a jolly dumbass who buys an abandoned mine in northern Ontario because he figures that, although it was mined out in the 1930s, modern gold-mining methods will find gold that they weren’t able to find back in olden times. He and his friends attempt to mine gold despite not really knowing what they’re doing. Comedy theoretically ensues. (8 p.m.)

Riot is an American reworking of an Australian “competitive comedy” improv show called Slide Show, whose most notable gimmick is tilting a set diagonally and then filming the ensuing chaos when performers try to do a scene on it (example here). Steve Carell is the exec producer of the American version, so, yeah, it’s Whose Line Is It Anyway EXTREME. Which sounds fine to us, really. (Fox, 9 p.m.)


Wednesday

At some point, Arrow just became a bad Batman show with all the Batman trademarks filed off and “Arrow” hastily scribbled in marker on top. Anyway, tonight is the second season finale of this awful show, which we don’t really watch because, come on, there’s so much superhero stuff these days that one can pick and choose what one wants to watch, so why watch the bad stuff? I mean, we’re getting a Constantine show this fall, and that’ll probably suck too (or just be Supernatural with a few name changes and no awesome car), and that’s before we even discuss Gotham, Fox’s attempt to do a Batman series without Batman (or rather with a 10-year-old Bruce Wayne, which should be even less thrilling). What we’re saying is that nobody should ever feel obligated to watch superhero shows just because they’re about superheroes. (CTV, 8 p.m.)


Thursday

Hey, it’s Goon! You saw Goon, right? No? Well you should get on that. It’s a fine movie about hockey, and we’re willing to start a holy war of some kind by stating unequivocally that it is better than Slap Shot. (Action, 9 p.m.)

Slice brings us a third season of The Undateables, commencing with a girl who has dwarfism. That’s it. She’s just a little person—that’s all. At least this show had a sort-of-repugnant point when it was focusing on, like, people with serious Tourette’s or whatever. (10 p.m.)


Friday

ABC celebrates Barbara Walters’s life and imminent retirement with a two-hour special entitled Barbara Walters: Her Story. We’re just left wondering who will now identify the most fascinating people for us at the end of each year. Ryan Seacrest, probably. He gets all the work. (9 p.m.)


The Weekend

The Amazing Race concludes a fairly strong All-Star season a bit limply, as your remaining teams are Dave and Connor (the father/son team who are remarkably skilled at almost everything and who nonetheless whine at every possible opportunity about how Dave is old and therefore other teams are wrong to worry about them, despite their five first-place finishes during the race’s various legs so far), Caroline and Jennifer (the largely incompetent country singers who latched onto Dave and Connor like a remora onto a hammerhead shark), and Brendan and Rachel (who aren’t as screechingly annoying and irritatingly dense/lucky as they were the last time around, but that’s like saying herpes isn’t as bad as bubonic plague). So basically we’re just gonna watch for Phil. (CBS, 8 p.m. Sunday)

The Billboard Music Awards are here to celebrate those who go under-recognized: multimillionaire pop stars! (CTV, 8 p.m. Sunday)

Comments

  • dsmithhfx

    If there was an award for the most awful, fake journalist of all time, Barbara Walters would have to share it with David Frost. Yechhh.

  • waltkovacs

    Nice to know that despite not watching Arrow you know that it’s both awful and just Batman in green tights … aside from the fact that it has little to compare it to Batman other than the same things that can be used to compare the Green Arrow of the comics and Batman. Taste is subjective, so I can’t call you out on you calling it awful, it is a show that grows better with time, so giving up on it early is a reasonable reaction, but it did get better for those that stuck with it. [See also Marvel's Agents of Shield, although the Captain America movie was a big part of that show turning around]

  • Pennyforth

    I don’t believe that the intention was to compare the source material of Hellblazer (i.e., the comics) to Supernatural–it was a statement of expectation that the television adaptation of Hellblazer will end up similar to Supernatural to a certain degree, as Supernatural is a “hit show” and Hollywood tends more towards “copying what seems to work” over a faithful adaptation. It’s a dig at how TV might treat Hellblazer, not a dig at or unfavorable comparison to it.