Televisualist: Fans, Earthsea, and Black Canary
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Televisualist: Fans, Earthsea, and Black Canary

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.


Sometimes Televisualist is surprised to see what shows still have new episodes left at this point. For example, tonight there is a new episode of Girlfriends, the sitcom about four successful black women trying to live their lives out loud without compromises and so on and so forth. It’s not a bad show or anything, but you have to wonder at the logic. “Yes, our last-ditch wall against the writer’s strike? Girlfriends. America will be enthralled by Maya and Darnell’s relationship issues.” (SunTV, 9 p.m.)
Turner Classic Movies airs Wings, the first movie to ever win Best Picture at the Oscars. It’s interesting to see as a historical exhibit if nothing else. (8 p.m.)
NBC, trying to grind out the writer’s strike (hopefully in its last weeks), presents extra-long 90-minute episodes of American Gladiators and Deal or No Deal tonight. Now, finally, all of your unanswered questions about Mayhem can be answered. (8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.)


Tracking the downward spiral of Mira Sorvino’s career, we see that she is now guest starring on House as a patient. Guest starring on House as a patient is for character actors, younger stars trying to get a series gig somewhere, and people who are getting desperate for work. Mira Sorvino ain’t a character actor and she ain’t young. You do the math. (Global, 9 p.m.)
All of the major news networks cover the Super Tuesday primary results. Well, except for NBC, which has decided that a two-hour edition of The Biggest Loser: Couples is more important than the next leader of the free world, but there’s a reason NBC is number three these days. If you’re not interested in real-world politics, enjoy a close fascimile instead, as CKVR airs Primary Colors, the 1998 film starring John Travolta as Not Bill Clinton and Emma Thompson as Not Hillary Clinton. (8 p.m.)


Lea Thompson alert! She shows up on this week’s episode of Head Case, the somewhat amusing new sitcom starring Alexandra Wentworth as a psychologist. However, be forewarned that in addition to getting to see Lea Thompson, you may also accidentally see Andy Dick. You have been warned. (10 p.m., Starz)
Tonight on Smallville: the (kinda) long-awaited debut of the Black Canary. Who, and this is of course totally a coincidence, is dressed up like Daryl Hannah’s sex robot in Blade Runner. Completely accidental. Completely. There is no show quite like Smallville for swinging from the peaks of awesomeness straight into the depths of the valley of suck on a week-to-week basis. (CKVR, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Homer At The Bat.” I told you to shave those sideburns! (CFMT, 10 p.m.)


The debut of Survivor: Micronesia has a “fans versus favourites” theme. By “fans,” we of course mean “the usual collection of wannabe actors and refugees from the beauty pageant circuit, plus one representative of Middle America so the casting agent doesn’t look lazy.” By “favourites,” we mean… well, in fairness, Yau Man and Jonathan Penner are back, and that’s cool, but bringing back James and Ozzy is just kowtowing to Jeff “Douchebag” Probst’s inner homoerotic desires, and nobody ever needed to see Johnny Fairplay ever again. And Parvati Shallow? Really? Oh, god. I hope some contestants collapse in agonizing pain this time around. (Global, 8 p.m.)
In case you missed the season premiere of Lost last week, ABC airs it again, right before this week’s episode, where apparently we finally get to meet the new faction on the island. So you can be, I dunno, all caught up on the one week. (8 p.m. then 9 p.m.)


We probably should have mentioned this earlier, but CBC, responding to jPod’s crappy ratings numbers, has switched its timeslot with MVP, its hockey wives soap. Can jPod flourish on Friday night, AKA “the geek timeslot?” Can the Coupland fanboys discover it at long last? Is this the last, valiant stand of Alan Thicke? We hope for the best, because jPod is honestly pretty decent. (9 p.m.)
Space airs the first half of Earthsea, the TV adaptation of the beloved children’s fantasy books by Ursula K. Le Guin. Fun fact: Le Guin was not consulted in the development or production of this miniseries, and upon seeing it bluntly told anybody who would listen that the Sci-Fi channel ruined her books. Additional fun fact: in the books, the lead character is black. In the series, it is the guy who played Iceman in X-Men. (9 p.m.)