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.
Another week, another premiere of a spinoff of The First 48. You may be thinking, “Are these supposed spinoff series not simply an attempt to extend the franchise beyond its saturation point?” And to that, we answer, “Can you ever see enough thinly dramatized re-enactments of horrific crimes?” (A&E, 8 p.m.)
WAGS stands for “Wives and Girlfriends”—in this case, specifically wives and girlfriends of professional athletes. Basically, this is an off-brand variant of the Real Housewives franchise, which was itself an off-brand variant of “good television.” (E! Canada, 10 p.m.)
Real Husbands of Hollywood returns for a third season of Kevin Hart being funny and also mostly not being good at acting. (BET, 10 p.m.)
Returning for reasons we do not know: Punk’d, the hidden-camera let’s-play-tricks-on-celebrities reality show formerly hosted by Ashton Kutcher, now hosted by King Bach (he’s Canadian!) and DeStorm “I’m big on YouTube” Power. There are some people who think that the show can only improve with a lack of Kutcher. We are not that cynical. Or, maybe, we’re too cynical and we think there is no way the show can improve regardless of casting. What is the truth of this quandary? Only we know for sure. (BET, 10:30 p.m.)
The Mystery of Matter is a short docu-series about the discovery of the science of elements: the periodic table, how radioactivity changes elements, the search for artificial elements, and so forth. One night only, get your matter (in all forms) here! (PBS, 8 p.m.)
AMC has a double shot of Scorsese tonight, with Goodfellas followed by Casino, which is the one that is very much like Goodfellas except Ray Liotta isn’t in it. (starting at 8 p.m.)
CBC is already at season 2 of Please Like Me, the Aussie comedy we discussed a few weeks ago, because they’re burning through new-to-Canada episodes at a tremendous pace. This may be because the show has already been renewed for a third season in Australia and the U.S. and the CBC wants to catch up. Or the Ceeb might just be burning through them because they need to air something other than old Air Farce reruns. (9 p.m.)
Fear the Walking Dead is the spinoff of, well, you can probably guess, and it’s about the start of the zombie apocalypse rather than well into it. Kim Dickens is a solid choice for the lead, but the show lacks anything resembling a point; The Walking Dead itself only really got good once it became a show about something (morality versus survival), and this right now is just a zombie show. A well-shot, well-acted zombie show, perhaps, but not surprising in any way. (AMC, 9 p.m. Sunday)
The Great Food Truck Race returns for its sixth season of…well, it’s not really a “race,” which would make it more interesting. Really, we think any reality competition show with the word “race” in the title should have an actual race involved. RuPaul’s Drag Race, for example, should not simply be a competition show for drag queens, but a cross between The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Mad Max: Fury Road. You know you would watch that. (Food Network, 9 p.m. Sunday)
American Ninja Warrior fans owe it to themselves to try and watch the Japanese original series, Sasuke. This playlist is a mostly complete run of all of the old episodes of Ninja Warrior that aired on G4, when they were just editing and recapping the Japanese footage, but if you want to watch the original, un-translated, uncut Japanese shows, many of them are available on YouTube as well—here, for example, you can find (in three parts) the most recent 2015 episodes of Sasuke. If we were to recommend one, however, it would be Sasuke 17, which is both a fun one and features one of the series’ few major victories (since watching Sasuke is mostly an exercise in watching people mess up on one of the world’s toughest obstacle courses).