Televisualist: Racing, Ants, And Suzuki's Rants
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Televisualist: Racing, Ants, And Suzuki’s Rants

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

“Slap Bet” is probably the definitive episode thus far of How I Met Your Mother, seeing as how it established one of the greatest running gags of the entire show. Tonight’s episode, “Slapsgiving,” promises… well, more of the same, really, but that’s not a bad thing. (E!, 8 p.m.)
The Outdoor Life Network rerun of Sunday’s Amazing Race is a pretty good episode of what’s shaping up to be the best Race since at least season seven. (If you don’t watch The Amazing Race because of some bias against reality television, let Televisualist assure you that you are missing out.) This week: milking camels in Burkina Faso and teaching adorable West African schoolchildren basic English. Gold, baby! (9 p.m.)
This week’s Chuck is entitled “Chuck Versus The Imported Hard Salami.” No comment. (City, 8 p.m.)

Tuesday

ABC airs a double pack of Peanuts specials tonight: the classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving at 8, and then the very recent (2006) He’s A Bully, Charlie Brown at 8:30. The latter is actually noteworthy for Charlie Brown getting to be the hero for once, as it was one of the last TV projects Charles Schulz worked on before his death. It also has Charlie Brown going through an honest-to-god training montage.
Tonight on Nova, “Master of the Killer Ants.” Which, disappointingly, is about an African shaman using army ants to kill an infestation of termites, rather than a guy planning to conquer the world with giant radioactive death-ants. Even so, sounds interesting. (PBS, 8 p.m.)

Wednesday

“So there’s this new show, Phenomenon.
“Doo doo, doo doo doo.”
“What was that?”
“It was that bit with the Muppets. You know, instead of “mahna mahna,” you…”
“Right, don’t do that. You should write about it for Televisualist.”
“Why would I do that?”
“Because it’s a show to determine the next great mentalist!”
“…so it’s like American Idol for bullshitters?”
“Come on! It has Uri Geller and Criss Angel as judges.”
“…so it’s like American Idol for bullshitters and I want to kick the judges in the balls?”
“That’s not fair. I know you want to kick Randy Jackson in the balls.”
“True enough.” (NBC, 8 p.m.)
Interesting sidenote on the writer’s strike: Fox is already advertising on its reality shows, such as Kitchen Nightmares (which airs another probably-fun episode tonight at 9) for new participants. The studios can’t possibly be getting desperate this early, can they? Considering the strike was their fault in the first place, and all.
DODGEBALL! Specifically, the movie with Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller. That’s fine viewing, that is. (City, 9 p.m.)

Thursday

Sidenote on the writer’s strike, #2: this being the week that NBC ran out of new episodes of The Office, instead of their usual Thursday night lineup of smartcoms, they’re instead running The Incredibles at 8 p.m. Which is a great movie and all, but come on—we all own it already, don’t we? (If the answer to that question is “no”, Televisualist advises you to wait until after the writer’s strike to purchase it.)
Televisualist forgot to write about Across The River To Motor City last week when it debuted, and we feel badly about that. So: you should watch this show. Across The River To Motor City debuts this week, as it turns out, and you should definitely watch it. Not just because it’s Canadian-made, but because it is a genuinely good drama, and plus, it means you’re not helping the American networks. (Some may call us biased. We prefer to be thought of as “involved.”) (City, 10 p.m.)
The Nature of Things airs a special on climate change this week, and there’s nothing quite like David Suzuki telling us the blatantly obvious. (CBC, 8 p.m.)

Friday

Allan Gregg in Conversation With… this week features Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Televisualist will just say that Bret Hart is the is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. Well, at pro wrestling, anyway. Plus, we’ve been wanting to mention that somehow, Allan Gregg got himself a late-night talkshow, which is dreadfully odd. (TVO, 10 p.m.)
Amazingly, Moonlight, despite being total dogshit, has managed to find itself a niche audience, presumably all girls who wish Jason Dohring was really their sexy vampire lover. While we’re still talking about the writer’s strike, though (see what we did there?), Televisualist wants to call out Rick McGinnis, the writer of the “Idiot Box” column for Metro News (“the newspaper so good, you’re not willing to pay for it”), who called the striking writers “shameful” for bringing their kids along on the picket lines when said kids had a day off school. And indeed, nothing is so shameful as introducing children to the notion that workers have collective bargaining rights! (CBS, 9 p.m.)

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