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culture

Televisualist: A Stunning Lack of Vuvuzelas

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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Just add 70,000 screaming fans.

Monday

Bravo has picked up Murder in the First, the first series that Steven Bochco (NYPD Blue, L.A. Law, Hill Street Blues) has created in seven years. Like Bochco’s earlier Murder One—which was a good show—this is a murder procedural/mystery that tracks one murder case over the entire season. The cast is strong: Taye Diggs, Kathleen Robertson, Steven Weber, Richard Shiff, and Tom “Draco Malfoy” Felton as the accused murderer (because Tom Felton has very smartly recognized his career niche of “ambiguous sort-of-villain,” and good for him). (10 p.m.)


Tuesday

Pretty Little Liars returns for its fifth season, and if your first reaction to that news is to ask, “How did this show get five seasons?” you are probably old and have to, like, use Metamucil. How does one use Metamucil, anyway? Do you eat spoonfuls of it, or is it a drink, or what? We wouldn’t know, because we’re not Metamucil-old yet. (M3, 8 p.m.)

Chasing Life is an ABC Family series about a young woman who is just starting out in her dream journalism job when she discovers she has cancer, which is in many ways the only way a TV show that wants to challenge its lead could go, because if she just lost her job then she wouldn’t be able to have a TV apartment, she’d just be “TV poor.” Which isn’t really poor. Man, we digressed into class issues quickly on this one, didn’t we? Probably because the show looks awfully dull. Just go see The Fault in Our Stars instead—we hear it’s been getting good reviews. (Spark, 8 p.m.)

Speaking of class issues, CNBC debuts the new season of Secret Lives of the Super Rich tonight, in case you needed to feel murderously socialist for a few minutes. (10 p.m.)


Wednesday

Duck Dynasty returns for a sixth season of everybody’s favourite loveable fake-hillbilly bigots. Tonight: a special guest appearance by Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal! No, really. (A&E, 10 p.m.)

Big Smo is A&E’s new reality series about Big Smo, the hick-hop rapper who sounds like Kid Rock if you added two hundred pounds to him. (10:30 p.m.)


Thursday

Thursday is the Ontario provincial election and—after you vote, of course—TV has you covered. CP24′s coverage begins at 8 p.m.; CHCH’s likewise at 8 p.m.; CTV’s begins at 9 p.m., because it really wants to show a Big Bang Theory rerun first, which says a lot about CTV, we guess; and CBC Newsworld’s begins at 9 as well, but not because of Sheldon going “bazinga.”

If you find the provincial election incredibly depressing, we don’t blame you, and suggest another good option for tonight: the 2014 FIFA World Cup, commencing with host nation Brazil taking on Croatia in a match that should be an entertaining opener (which everybody wants) but still a likely victory for Brazil (which Brazilians want). (CBC, 3:45 p.m., rerun at 8 p.m.)


Friday

The World Cup continues! Today: Mexico takes on Cameroon in the battle to gain leverage in Group A after Brazil likely trounces Croatia (Sportsnet, 11:45 a.m.); Spain takes on the Netherlands in the battle to become top dog in Group B (CBC, 2:45 p.m.); and Chile and Australia will battle—man, we’re using the word “battle” a lot, huh? This soccer-as-metaphor-for-warfare thing sure is effective. (CBC, 5:45 p.m.)


The Weekend

The World Cup just keeps going: on Saturday, Colombia takes on Greece (CBC, 11:45 a.m.); Uruguay goes up against Costa Rica (CBC, 2:45 p.m.); England takes on Italy, giving everybody the sublimest of sports fandom opportunities—namely, the chance to boo Italy (CBC, 5:45 p.m.); and finally, Les Elephants of Ivory Coast take on Samurai Blue of Japan in a “the best nickname wins” match. (CBC, 8:45 p.m.)

On Sunday in World Cup action: Switzerland faces off against Ecuador (CBC, 11:45 a.m.); France takes on Honduras (CBC, 2:45 p.m.); and Argentina most likely wallops the hell out of Bosnia and Herzegovina. (CBC, 5:45 p.m.)

The 2014 MuchMusic Video Awards will likely feature very little soccer, but will feature performances by Imagine Dragons, Lorde, the Sam Roberts Band, and Hedley, among many others. (9 p.m. Sunday)

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