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Your Toronto 2014 Issue Navigator

How the candidates compare on some of the city's biggest issues.

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culture

Televisualist: Ben Stein Is Out of Style

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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“We’re sorry, but raising the roof is not an acceptable answer.”

Monday

The Emmy Awards are tonight, and the big story going into the awards is the seeming total collapse of major networks with respect to Emmy nominations: none of the Big Four broadcast networks has more than nine Emmy nominations, as compared to AMC and Showtime (10), Netflix and PBS (11), FX (19), and HBO (36). TV is fragmenting faster and faster, everybody! We’re here for the possible implosion! Seth Myers hosts said implosion! (CTV, 8 p.m.)

The U.S. Open kicks off today, and as Canadians, we are obliged to point out that both Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic are competing, in the women’s and men’s singles, respectively. Daniel Nestor, with eight men’s doubles Grand Slam victories and four mixed doubles Grand Slam wins since 2002, is again competing in the men’s and mixed doubles, so it is entirely possible that Canada could walk away with four out of five tournament wins at the U.S. Open. Okay, maybe it’s not likely, but come on—it’s at least feasible. (TSN, starting at 11 a.m.)


Tuesday

Pawnography debuted on the U.S. version of History Television about six weeks ago and instantly became a big hit, mostly because it’s a quiz show almost identical in format to Win Ben Stein’s Money, except instead of winning Ben Stein’s money, contestants are trying to win the Pawn Stars’ stuff—and following the final quiz-off, the contestant negotiates with Rick Harrison of the Pawn Stars, neither knowing his final score, and both knowing that if they can’t negotiate a deal, it’s winner-take-all and loser-lose-all. (Also, there is no colossal dickhead like Ben Stein present.) The result is an amazingly fun game show, hosted by Christopher Titus, of Titus fame (or lack of fame, if you don’t remember that show—but if you don’t, that is your problem). Great entertainment. (History, 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

Legends is a new crime drama series starring Sean Bean, and apparently Bean will not be killed off in this show, so what is the point, even. (Bravo, 9 p.m.)

Back for an amazing eighth season: Ice Road Truckers. Man, those ice roads; they just keep being icy. (History, 9 p.m.)

Biker Battleground Phoenix is a new reality show about a custom motorcycle business in Phoenix, and the show promises to have stars who are all corrupt and sneaky about… selling motorcycles, we guess? Okay, then. The show’s promo material suggests that some of their unethical behaviour will involve calling other bike shops names on social media, which… that does not seem like compelling TV to us. (History, 10 p.m.)


Thursday

Down East Dickering: a show about guys who work odd jobs. It sounds fancier than Down East Itinerant Labourers, we guess. (History, 10 p.m.)

The World’s Wildest Commercials is a special in which Chris Parnell gets a paycheque for hosting a show in which funny commercials are aired. Good work, Parnell! Keep getting dem cheques! (Global, 10 p.m.)


Friday

Spark airs The Cave, a surprisingly fun monster movie that flopped at the box office. This probably had something to do with The Descent having come out the same year—it was certainly the better movie in the “underground action/horror film set in a cave with cave monsters” genre. But The Cave is still a solid B-movie. (9 p.m.)


The Weekend

It’s the annual MDA Show of Strength Telethon, which will feature performances by Jason Derulo, Fall Out Boy, Rascal Flatts, and Jordin Sparks, all of whom taped their performances months ago, so… yeah. People used to give more of a damn about telethons, we guess. (ABC, 8 p.m. Sunday)

Returning for a second season, because TV hates you: Rachael v. Guy Kids Cook-Off. Rachael Ray AND Guy Fieri AND annoying children! This show has it all! (Food Network, 8 p.m. Sunday)

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