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culture

Televisualist: Peak Ramsay (And Accordingly, Peak Donkey)

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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“Look, I cannot help you until you admit you’re a donkey.” “But I’m not—” “Say you’re a donkey.” “Look—” “Say you’re a donkey, or I will take my television cameras and free deluxe redesign away.” “…I’m a donkey.”

Monday

Hotel Hell exists only because there is a certain type of TV viewer who loves watching Gordon Ramsay criticize people and call them “you donkey!” and because Fox needed something similar to Kitchen Nightmares to put on the air—which is why it comes back for a second season tonight. However, Ramsay currently has five TV series airing on Fox (Hotel Hell, Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef, and MasterChef Junior), so we may well be at Peak Gordon Ramsay. Of course, we say that now, but maybe Fox has Diner Disasters or Food Truck Follies or MasterChef: Pet Edition With Goat-don Ramsay in the wings. It’s all possible. (Global, 9 p.m.)

Tonight’s The West Wing rerun, “In God We Trust,” features a stirring performance by Alan Alda as he confronts his lack of religious belief despite being the Republican presidential candidate, and then decides simply to abandon any semblance of realism whatsoever by publicly proclaiming said lack of religious faith despite being the Republican presidential candidate. Alan Alda’s still good, though. (CITS, 8 p.m.)


Tuesday

Gordon Ramsay is in no way related to Food Fighters, which is a new NBC competitive reality show whose gimmick is “home cooks versus pro chefs in a cook-off.” Which in practice just means one team wears chef whites and the other doesn’t. Adam Richman, host of Crime Against Food—sorry, Man vs. Food—hosts. (8 p.m.)

#CandidlyNicole is Nicole Richie’s reality TV series, which actually debuted last year on AOL as an online series, and although Televisualist generally scorns lifestyle reality shows, we admit that Richie is honestly pretty funny (aided in no small part by the editing), and there are worse ways to kill a half hour. On the other hand, time is the only commodity you can never get more of, etc. (M3, 9 p.m.)

Face Off returns for a seventh (!) season of competitive makeup artists doing makeup art. SEVEN SEASONS. This show has been in production only since 2011, you understand. (Space, 9 p.m.)


Wednesday

Who Do You Think You Are? returns for a fifth season of celebrities learning about their family trees and Televisualist pointing out again that nobody cares about anybody else’s family tree in everyday life, so why do you now care about Cynthia Nixon’s? (TLC, 9 p.m.)


Thursday

Hell’s Kitchen concludes, and we haven’t watched this season at all, but based on every season of Hell’s Kitchen, we’re just going to go ahead and guess that the final two aren’t ones who were depicted as blithering incompetents at the start of the series. Call it a hunch. (City, 8 p.m.)

Dave Foley alert: he shows up tonight on Hollywood Game Night alongside Seth Green, Monica Potter, and others. Given that we love both Foley and Hollywood Game Night, we are happy about this development. (NBC, 8 p.m.)


Friday

Tonight’s 30 for 30, “Slaying the Badger,” is about Greg Lemond, the only American to win the Tour de France (and not have it stripped from him afterward, anyway). The title refers to the fact that Lemond’s teammate, Bernaud “The Badger” Hinault (yes, they named a cyclist that, we don’t know why) had Lemond’s assistance winning the Tour in 1985 and then promised to return the favour in 1986—but, of course, he did not. (TSN, 8 p.m.)

If you want to watch what is essentially a half-hour advertisement for the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Teletoon has you covered. (9 p.m.)


The Weekend

Escaping Alaska is a new reality show about five young Native Alaskans leaving their villages to go live in San Diego, so basically Breaking Amish is a formula now for other non-Amish groups. Hooray? (TLC, 10 p.m. Sunday)

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