Televisualist: Debate Mettle And... Christmas Specials?
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Televisualist: Debate Mettle And… Christmas Specials?

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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Monday

We’re starting to see reruns now where normally there would be new episodes, and by early December the networks will be just about out of product to throw at us (with the exception of Fox, which as always has a heap of midseason replacement sci-fi series to cancel in a hurry). However, this just means you have time to watch new episodes of good Canadian television, like Intelligence. And by “good Canadian television,” we mean television that is both good and Canadian, as opposed to “you are a bad patriot if you don’t watch it.” Heck, the Americans were preparing to rip off Intelligence six months ago, so it’s got to be worth a viewing, right? (CBC, 9 p.m.)
Tonight’s episode of CSI: Miami is entitled “CSI: My Nanny.” We checked, and no: there is no Fran Drescher in tonight’s episode, more’s the pity. (CTV, 10 p.m.)

Tuesday

Best decision ever: CBC letting the DVD box set for the first season of The Tudors go on sale while the actual series is still finishing its first run on the network. Brilliant, CBC, just brilliant. Televisualist doffs its cap to your marketing genius. (9 p.m.)
A Charlie Brown Christmas! So what if we mentioned Charlie Brown specials last week as well? They’re all good and you know you like them. Televisualist is not getting defensive! (ABC, 8 p.m.)

Wednesday

The “CNN/Youtube” Republican Presidential debate airs tonight, and previous Youtube-sponsored debates have actually had something resembling actual content you might want to watch. Then again, that was the Democratic debate, where the candidates could actually respond to queries that were off-message. Here, you will have a bunch of old white guys trying to shove somebody’s question about their local dogcatcher into a parable about 9/11. (8 p.m.)
More Christmas specials (In November? Seriously? Man, the networks are getting desperate to fill airtime, aren’t they?) on ABC: Shrek The Halls, which sounds about as wonderful as anything involving fucking Shrek and the fucking donkey and all the fucking characters from the fucking worst plague on animation in cinematic history, at 8 p.m., followed by “a special anniversary edition” of How The Grinch Stole Christmas at 8:30.

Thursday

If you were going to spend an hour watching a documentary about Paris Hilton, what would interest you more: her hair secrets, or an exposé about how the completely talentless heiress/model/accidental porn starlet is controlled and marketed to the public? The second, of course, which is why CBC is airing Paris Hilton Inc. tonight. Here is hoping that it is cynical and devoid of compassion. (9 p.m.)
Casualties of War airs tonight, and of all the Vietnam movies starring both Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn, we can say definitively that this is the best one. (AMC, 8 p.m.)
This week’s best The Simpsons rerun: “Bart Of Darkness,” the one where Bart breaks his leg and thinks Ned Flanders killed his wife in a Rear Window homage. Also: Martin’s ass. (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)

Friday

Some people will tell you that A Knight’s Tale‘s gimmick of pairing off a medieval sports-movie narrative with modern rock (well, the movie’s promoters called it “modern rock,” but come on, it’s Bowie and Queen and the like) did not quite work. These people are silly, because this movie is a lot of fun, and has decent eye candy regardless of your sexual preference. (City, 8 p.m.)
The Next Great American Band is mostly tanking in the ratings. Fox expected an Idol-style juggernaut, but it isn’t happening. Our theory: the lack of a snotty British judge. Snotty Australian judges just aren’t the same thing. It’s like wanting an Oreo cookie and getting Hydrox instead. (Fox, 8 p.m.)
ABC, meanwhile, airs… The Polar Express? Seriously? Okay, this crap is just getting out of hand. Does ABC stand for “Already Be Christmas” or something? (8 p.m.)

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