Televisualist: Rita, Hills, and Holiday Thrills
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Televisualist: Rita, Hills, and Holiday Thrills

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.


Intelligence airs a special two-hour all-new extravaganza tonight, and word has it that CBC is looking to the numbers for the airing to help them decide whether or not the show—which is one of the best ones ever made in Canada, if you were wondering—should get a third season. So help them get a third season. (8 p.m.)
Your pick of terrible Christmas specials tonight! You can go with the traditional, always-dreadful Rita MacNeil’s Christmas Special on CTV, which I’m sure will have the usual assortment of Cape Bretonesque musical hi-jinkery, or the newer but still pretty bad I Want A Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown! on ABC, which is just like A Charlie Brown Christmas minus the warmth and wit. (Both at 8 p.m.)
The finale of The Hills. If you watch it… man, Televisualist just doesn’t have enough ways to mock you. (MTV Canada, 8 p.m. aftershow—yes, an aftershow—at 10:30 p.m.)


New episode of Futureweapons, featuring “the latest multi-caliber weapon.” Insert dick joke here. (Discovery Channel, 9 p.m.)
Tonight on Boston Legal: Alan and Dennycrane! sue the National Guard. Any episode that focuses on Alan and Dennycrane! is usually a better episode than average. Why this show bothers with any other cast members is beyond me. (E!, 10 p.m.)
Reruns of ongoing series with old Christmas episodes begins this week with Corner Gas: “Merry Gasmas,” which is actually a pretty funny episode. (CTV, 8:30 p.m.)


About A Boy is in many ways an excellent Christmas movie, as it has the proper amount of heart and self-revelation, combined with the main character absolutely loathing the holiday because it drove his father to drink himself to death. No, no, I’m kidding. Mostly. But it’s a really good movie either way. (City, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Italian Bob,” which combines the traditional Simpsons-go-to-wherever episode with Sideshow Bob. Also, there is a homicidal child other than Bart. (Fox, 11 p.m.)


This is the last Thursday episode of Survivor: China before the finale on Sunday, so to sum up the home stretch, your remaining contestants are: Todd, the fey, gay overconfident tiny odds-on favourite who possesses much of the strategic ability in the game; Amanda, the tall twentysomething who has all the rest of same; Courtney, the amusingly selfish bitch who’s so thin she disappears when you look at her from the side; Denise, the token fortysomething unglamourous type who’s banking on being ignored long enough and winning a key immunity to make the finals (which never, ever happens); and Peih-Gee, whose alliance got annihilated a while back but who, amazingly, keeps winning immunity to keep herself alive despite not being that athletic because nobody else left is athletic either. Smart money is on Todd if he makes it to finals, but others are all-too-willing to boot his ass. It’s a tossup, which is when Survivor is most entertaining. (Global, 8 p.m.)
A Saturday Night Live Christmas airs tonight, despite it being neither Saturday nor Christmas. Go fig. (NBC, 9:30 p.m.)


The chance to see Tom Hanks before he really became TOM OUR GENERATION’S ANSWER TO JIMMY STEWART HANKS is rare these days, so catch Dragnet tonight. It’s not his greatest early work, but it’s reliably funny most of the time. Plus you get to see Hanks and Dan Aykroyd dancing in feathered duck pants. (SunTV, 8 p.m.)
And Televisualist may hate it, but we can’t not mention that It’s A Wonderful Life airs tonight. Normally nowadays it only airs once during the holiday season, on Christmas Day, on one channel (NBC has the rights this year). This year, we’re getting a screening on December 15th. Writer’s strike, anyone? (8 p.m.)