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culture

Televisualist: Finals Week

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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In the end, one was shot and killed, one died of cancer, one had his first wife die of cancer and then his second wife leave him, and one played a tiny conductor on a children’s show about terrifying intelligent trains.

Monday

TCM has A Hard Day’s Night, the classic 1964 Beatles musical comedy that barely has a plot and doesn’t really need one at all. This is one of the truly great movies, so if you haven’t seen it, make the time. (8 p.m.)

Returning for a second season, presumably because somebody has some really good blackmail material: Mistresses. (To be clear: we’re not saying that because this is a female-centric series. We’re saying that because it’s a bad show.) (CTV, 10 p.m.)


Tuesday

Premiering tonight on A&E are both Storage Wars AND Shipping Wars, because every job can be described as a war! Debuting soon: Plumbing Wars, Accounting Wars, and Insurance Underwriting Wars. (Storage 9 p.m., Shipping 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

Global, for some reason, has the network premiere of Anonymous, which is a terrible, stupid film about the conspiratorial idea that the plays of William Shakespeare were actually written by someone who was not William Shakespeare—in this case, Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. The de Vere theory is one of the more popular alternative-authorship ones, because he died in 1604, which was before Macbeth, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, or The Tempest were written. No, wait—we’re sorry. Those are reasons the Oxfordian alternative authorship theory is stupid—our mistake. Who would have thought that a bogus theory that attempts to refute historical records and is based on naked classism would be flawed? Well, at least Rhys Ifans (as de Vere) is fun in this. (8 p.m.)

Tonight also marks the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals, which will feature the Los Angeles Kings versus the New York Rangers, and oh, man, we can hear Gary Bettman drooling over the TV revenues from over here. (CBC, 8 p.m.)


Thursday

The NBA Finals commence with a sequel to last year’s Miami Heat/San Antonio Spurs showdown, which was widely acclaimed as one of the best and most exciting championship series in NBA history. And this return outing is even more anticipated—the Spurs have gotten even better and are determined to avenge their loss (and Tim Duncan wants to win his fifth ring), while LeBron James wants the threepeat so he can show everybody he’s definitively in the running for greatest basketball player of all time. Basketball fans everywhere are pumped for Heat/Spurs II—it’s true. (TSN, 8:30 p.m.)


Friday

Tonight, you can catch The Adjustment Bureau, a fun little sci-fi movie with a killer cast (Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, John Slattery, Terence Stamp, Anthony Mackie) and a plot that deals with destiny versus free will and the nature of the universe and true love. The film doesn’t fully deliver on its ambitious premise, but it’s enjoyable and smart and doesn’t pander (or, at least, doesn’t pander too much). It did okay but not amazingly at the box office and seems destined to become a Film That Time Forgot—but it probably deserves more than that, so maybe give it a watch. (W, 9 p.m.)

Or, if something that is fun and smart isn’t your thing, there is the season premiere of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, because maybe you hate yourself and other people—we don’t know. (TLC, 9 p.m.)


The Weekend

There’s a stupidly strong slate of plays competing for Best Play this year at the 68th Annual Tony Awards–our personal “wish we had seen it” is All the Way, about Lyndon Johnson’s passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (with Bryan Cranston as LBJ), but Case Valentina, Harvey Fierstein’s drag dramedy, and Terrence McNally’s Mothers and Sons have both been widely acclaimed as well. Anyway, since we haven’t seen any of them, we’ll have to settle for enjoying Hugh Jackman’s hosting, which is fine, because Hugh Jackman is really good at hosting awards shows. (CHCH, 8 p.m. Sunday)

Or, if Hugh Jackman being charming and entertaining is not your thing, there’s always the Miss USA Pageant, because maybe you want to make fun of the costumes. (NBC, 8 p.m. Sunday)

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey concludes, and it has been an entertaining, ambitious, and educational show in so many ways—not least because of its willingness to stand up clearly and decisively for scientific research over religious dogma, a move that might seem less important in this day and age, but really isn’t. Also, Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a badass. (Global, 9 p.m. Sunday)


CORRECTION: June 2, 2014, 11:05 AM This post originally stated that A Hard Day’s Night would be broadcast on TMC. The station is in fact called TCM.

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