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culture

Televisualist: Unapologetically Booing Italian Soccer

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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“Yep. That’s sand.” Tyrant looks to be a boring show.

Monday

Today in World Cup action: Australia vs. Spain in the Game Nobody Cares About of the Day, since both teams have already been eliminated (Sportsnet, 11:45 a.m.); the Netherlands take on Chile to see how the top two slots in Group B will shake out (CBC, 11:45 a.m.); and then Brazil vs. Cameroon (CBC, 3:45 p.m.) and Croatia vs. Mexico (Sportsnet, 3:45 p.m.) will determine the pecking order in Group A—which should end up being Brazil and Mexico (although Croatia could pull off an upset, but it’s unlikely).

Game of Stones is a reality show about gemstone prospectors, and we see what you did there, Discovery Channel. (9 p.m.)

Teen Wolf returns for another season of attractive teenagers turning into vicious wolves. Also, there is a plot of some kind, we understand. (MTV Canada, 10 p.m.)


Tuesday

Today in World Cup action: Group C’s Italy and Uruguay compete for both (likely) second place and the title of Most Unlikeable Team in International Soccer (CBC, 11:45 a.m.). Costa Rica tries to pull off the unlikely sweep against England, who aren’t even doing their usual job of pretending to be contenders (Sportsnet, 11:45 a.m.). Then already-qualified Colombia plays desperate-to-qualify Japan (Sportsnet, 3:45 p.m.), and likely-to-qualify Ivory Coast plays probably-won’t-qualify Greece (CBC, 3:45 p.m.).

Cake Boss: Next Great Baker enters its fourth season of being that Cake Boss guy’s not-really-that-great Top Chef knockoff—proof that with a strong enough brand, you can overcome anything. See also: Guy Fieri. (TLC, 9 p.m.)

FX’s big summer project is Tyrant, about a self-exiled heir to a fictional Middle Eastern throne working as a doctor in America who returns home and becomes involved in his country’s rule. Right now, the show is primarily notable for having cast Adam “clearly not Middle Eastern in any way” Rayner as the lead, and for Ang Lee’s having quit as the pilot episode’s director. Which is not a good start. (FX Canada, 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

Today in World Cup action: It is still technically possible for Iran to make it into the elimination rounds, but to do so, they will have to beat Bosnia-Herzegovina (Sportsnet, 11:45 a.m.) and score two more goals than Nigeria scores against Argentina (CBC, 11:45 a.m.). In Group E, Ecuador has to beat France (CBC, 3:45 p.m.) in order to have a realistic shot at qualifying, since it is likely that Switzerland will annihilate Honduras (Sportsnet, 3:45 p.m.).

Returning for a 16th season: Big Brother. Still hosted by notably charisma-void Julie Chen, the show is now the final CBS show to make the move to HD (it had been filmed in standard definition up until this season), so now we’ll be able see the cast’s skin defects along with its personality defects. (Global, 9 p.m.)

Taxi Brooklyn is a show about a cop who loses her driver’s licence, so she teams up with a cab driver to fight crime, and they really made this, and they really couldn’t come up with a better title than “Taxi Brooklyn,” either. (NBC, 10 p.m.)


Thursday

Today in World Cup action: The United States will guarantee themselves a spot in the elimination rounds if they tie or beat Germany (CBC, 11:45 a.m.); meanwhile, for Ghana and Portugal, the only realistic chance at qualification involves beating the other and scoring a lot of goals in the process (Sportsnet, 11:45 a.m.). Finally, in Group H, Belgium plays South Korea—and should win, because they have been playing very solid, boring, reliable soccer, and the Red Devils of South Korea have not been playing well at all (CBC, 3:45 p.m.)—and Russia and Algeria play the game nobody cares about today even though the winner will likely qualify (Sportsnet, 3:45 p.m.).

TSN is airing part of the 2014 NBA Draft, but only from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., mostly because Toronto’s own Andrew Wiggins will get drafted during that time—with luck, Mississauga-born Nik Stauskas or Toronto native Tyler Ennis will also get drafted in the first hour’s worth of picks, but it’s doubtful that the Raptors (picking 20th and hoping that Ennis drops) will get their pick aired by TSN. (7:30 p.m.)

NY Med, ABC’s docu-reality series about New York hospital life/hospital staff, returns for a second season after a two-year hiatus (mostly because it took them a long time to line up permits and consents). The first season was honestly very good reality TV, bending more to the documentary side of the reality TV scales; we are hopeful the second season will mirror that. (10 p.m.)


Friday

It’s the 2014 NHL Entry Draft! The Leafs, for the record, pick eighth, and are generally expected to go for a winger in the first round, be it Jake Virtanen of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen, Nicholas Ritchie of the OHL’s Peterborough Petes, Nikolaj Ehlers of the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads, or Brendan Perlini of the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs. (TSN, 7 p.m.)


The Weekend

This weekend in World Cup action: We’re into the qualifying rounds now, so: on Saturday, the winner of Group A plays the second-place team in Group B—which will probably mean Brazil versus either the Netherlands or Chile. (CBC, 11:45 a.m.). Then the first-place team in Group C—almost certainly Colombia—plays the second-place D team, which will be either Italy or Uruguay, and in either case we are all for Colombia in that match. (CBC, 3:45 p.m.) On Sunday, first-place B team (again, either the Netherlands or Chile) plays the second-place team in A, which will probably be Mexico (CBC, 11:45 a.m.), and the first-place team from Group D—which should be Costa Rica—plays the second-placer from C, and we’re going to predict that Ivory Coast will grab that particular brass ring. (CBC, 3:45 p.m.)

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