Televisualist: Barney, Hoops, and Dancing Goofs
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Televisualist: Barney, Hoops, and Dancing Goofs

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

Hot damn, finally new episodes of The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother! Ah, Neil Patrick Harris, how we have missed your razor-sharp comic timing. (Televisualist is being perfectly serious and in no way ironic. If you don’t believe us, watch the show yourself and be enlightened.) Tonight’s episode is St. Patrick’s Day themed, which is… we can’t remember the last time any show other than Cheers had a St. Patrick’s Day episode, so that’s neat. (E, 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.)
Once, back when I was in high school, our history professor wanted us to understand what 18th-century farming life was like, so he made us watch Witness (which, incidentally, has a very young Viggo Mortensen in it) for the portrayal of Amish community life. Of course, he made us promise not to tell anybody that we watched the whole thing, including the parts where Harrison Ford shoots bad guys, as that would not be really historical per se. So the moral of this parable is that, years after the fact, I totally just screwed over Mr. Young. (AMC, 8 p.m.)

Tuesday

It’s The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown! is one of the earlier Charlie Brown specials, identifiable as such because at this stage of development of the Peanuts characters, Peppermint Patty is smarter than Marcie. Interesting factoid: for some reason, this special is paired up on DVD with It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown. Because Easter and trees go together. Actually, they kind of do, if you’re talking about crucifixion. OH GOD I JUST CRACKED THE CODE. (ABC, 8 p.m.)
A brand new season of Dancing With The Stars kicks off. This time the stars include Penn Jillette, Marlee Matlin, Mario (not the plumber, the R&B singer), Adam Corolla and Shannon Elizabeth, who I really would have thought would have better things to do than be on this show. Also appearing: Steve Guttenberg, who really really doesn’t have better things to do. (ABC, 9 p.m.)

Wednesday

Paycheck. Ben Affleck fights with sticks and predicts the future with science. Incredibly fun movie which is also incredibly stupid. Get this: his character is a “reverse engineer.” Yes, as if it were an actual job description. “Shit, we need to figure out how our competition built their new product. Better call in a reverse engineer.” That is how wonderfully stupid this movie is. (Peachtree TV, 8 p.m.)
Bravo presents an entire half-hour special about Winnipeg-based film director Guy Maddin. Presumably, since it is about Guy Maddin, the entire special will be a series of absurdist vignettes which make no sense whatsoever on their own, but as a cohesive whole tell you something devastating about humanity (and/or Guy Maddin). Or maybe it’ll just be interview segments. Who knows. It’s Guy Maddin. (8:30 p.m.)

Thursday

The NCAA Championship Tournament kicks off, so maybe you’ll want to watch so you can keep track of your entry in whichever sweepstakes you’ve entered into. Go, Drake! Daddy wants an iPod Touch! (CBC, 8 p.m.)
At the other end of the spectrum, stage fans will appreciate PBS airing a performance of Madame Butterfly, live from Lincoln Center. Televisualist doesn’t know how you’d set up a pool for that, but if you know enough compulsive gamblers you can probably pull it off. (8 p.m.)

Friday

Compare and contrast: the 90s remake of Dr. Doolittle with Eddie Murphy versus the original 1967 version with Rex Harrison. Oh, AMC, sometimes I think your programming choices are deeply sarcastic. (8 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Homer’s Barbershop Quartet.” THE BE SHARPS! Another near-perfect classic episode, as CFMT is now deep into the best run of the series, period. Count the Beatles references (there are literally more than a hundred). (10 p.m.)

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