Televisualist: Elsa; Mamet; And jPod's Cancelled, Dammit
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Televisualist: Elsa; Mamet; And jPod’s Cancelled, Dammit

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

Canterbury’s Law debuts tonight, and sadly, it’s got absolutely nothing to do with Geoffrey Chaucer, as much as some people were hoping. Instead, this show stars Jolianna Margulies as a rebellious defense attorney (I know, another television show about a lawyer, what are the odds) who takes on the clients nobody else wants to take… and who are (as far as I have seen) always innocent! What a stroke of luck for her. Someday somebody’s going to make a TV show about a lawyer who defends total scumbags, and that’s okay because everybody deserves equal representation before the law. Then the world will explode. (Global, 8 p.m.)
Remakes are usually a mixed bag, but the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair is the rare remake that actually improves upon the original. Turning Crown into an art thief from the bank robber he was in the Steve McQueen original was an inspired change, one that simply fits the stylish, thrill-seeker nature of the character better. And Rene Russo manages to out-tough and out-cool Faye Dunaway’s original role, which is no small feat. (Spike, 9 p.m.)

Tuesday

American Idol moves into the top 12, and this season is still the most boring ever. I would almost rather watch Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew, but the effort to turn on MuchMusic at a random time during the day so I can watch it is far too much trouble for me to bother. Anyway, expect Randy and Paula to be hammy idiots and for Simon to be hammy and vaguely sensible and fair, and for a mediocre singer to get eliminated. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
Cancelled show alert: MVP got the boot (along with Intelligence) by the CBC. Apparently Canadians are not that interested in the secret lives of hockey wives who have illicit dirty sex and shopping. (9 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “I Love Lisa.” Ralph Wiggum falls for Lisa, then inspires the town with his portrayal of George Washington—one of the truly great all-time Simpsons episodes. (CFMT, 10 p.m.)

Wednesday

One summer, when I was about sixteen, my younger siblings borrowed Born Free (on videotape!) from the library, and for the rest of the summer they wouldn’t stop singing the damn song. “Born FREEEEEE, as free as the WIIIIIIND BLOWS, as free as the GRAAAAASSS GROWS, Elsa my CHIIIIIIILD…” And, being the oldest child, I was of course not allowed to strangle them. Which explains why when I saw the listing for it, I twitched involuntarily. (Vision, 9 p.m.)
You know, sooner or later some Buddhist monk is going to realize that The Moment of Truth can be beaten by anybody with a solid grasp of lucid meditation skills, and then that monk’s monastery is going to get itself a big-ass flatscreen television. (CTV, 8 p.m.)

Thursday

Sneaker Confidential is the latest in CBC’s always-interesting run of Thursday night documentaries. This one is about—well, running shoes. I have no idea how this will end up being interesting, but the CBC Thursday night doc very rarely disappoints. (8 p.m.)
“That watch costs more than your car. I made $970,000 last year. How much you make? You see pal, that’s who I am, and you’re nothing. Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you! Go home and play with your kids. You wanna work here? Close! You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can’t take this, how can you take the abuse you get on a sit? You don’t like it, leave.” Glengarry Glen Ross, and if you haven’t seen it yet, then you really can’t miss it. (Bravo, 9 p.m.)

Friday

Fox debuts The Return of Jezebel James, their new sitcom starring Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose, with back-to-back episodes tonight. Given that they’re debuting a sitcom on Friday night, the odds that it’s going to last are… slim, to say the least. But come on, it’s Parker Posey. (8 p.m.)
Despite its ratings going up a bit in its new Friday night slot, jPod also got the axe from the CBC last week. It was an entertaining little show, well made, and sometimes these things just don’t get the audience they deserve, and the CBC can’t often afford to throw money at a critically acclaimed moneyloser like American networks sometimes do. Pity. (9 p.m.)

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