Televisualist: Ramsay, Swaps, And Give HBO Their Props
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Televisualist: Ramsay, Swaps, And Give HBO Their Props

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.


Tonight on Two and a Half Men: “The Soil Is Moist.” You know what else is moist? John Adams, which is moist with the spirit of liberty! We haven’t said anything about it yet because it’s on TMN (official motto: “we have all the HBO shows everybody wants to see, which is the only reason our business model works”) and on Sundays, but holy crap, is John Adams good television. (CBS, 9:00 p.m. – Two and a Half Men, that is)
“Kurt Browning’s Gotta Skate VII.” “Skaters celebrate the music of Motown.” Why? Why must the CBC taunt me and make my job of making fun of the television redundant? Will Elvis Stojko show up wrapped in real iron chains and skate a manly routine to “Chain of Fools”? You probably think I’m joking, but seriously, even odds that it actually happens. (8 p.m)


Hell’s Kitchen makes its return, and it’s one of the more enjoyable reality shows going. A sneak preview of the upcoming fourth season promises a bunch of hopeless cooks (with, one would hope, the traditional role of “sweaty, panicky fat guy” getting filled as always), a lot of bad swears courtesy of Gordon Ramsay, and the terrible, lifeless narrator guy doing his best to deaden an otherwise awesome show. (Fox, 9 p.m.)
In the spirit of April Fools’ Day, YTV airs Dennis the Menace. Which is such a terrible movie that Televisualist is not sure if this is, like, a meta-April Fools’ joke or what. (8 p.m.)


Wife Swap has its most random episode ever: karaoke-singing mom from Maine trades places with amateur-kickboxer mom from Colorado. Okay, traditionally this show goes with two moms who are in some way opposite. How is karaoke the opposite of kickboxing? Do they have some lame ad copy like, “One kicks it old school… and one just kicks ass?” Was it a slow week in the Wife Swap offices, or have they just run out of curiously opposite mom-pairs and psychotic Christian “god warriors”? (ABC, 8 p.m.)
Flash back to that brief but glorious period when Axl Rose contributing a song to a soundtrack was actually a big deal. Terminator 2: Judgement Day. You could be miiiiiiiiiiyine. Also, we understand Arnold Schwarzenegger is in it. (AMC, 8 p.m.)


Televisualist cautiously approves of Miss Guided, not so much for the kinda bland premise (“nerd girl turned kinda cute relives high school by becoming guidance counsellor”), but mostly because Judy Greer is hilarious and awesome and we desire for her to succeed. (ABC, 8 and 8:30 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Homer the Vigilante.” “I don’t believe in anything any more! I’m gonna go to law school!” (CFMT, 10 p.m.)


Final episode of jPod airs tonight. Poor Alan Thicke. What will he do now? (CBC, 9 p.m.)
Spike TV airs Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Which we recommend strictly for the Darth Maul lightsaber fight sequence, so really you shouldn’t have to start watching it before 10:15; that way you get to avoid Jar Jar as much as possible. But if you want to watch the pod race as well, we guess you can watch the whole thing. (8 p.m.)
If you want something meatier than George Lucas ruining the most beloved movie franchise of all time, you can always catch Manufacturing Dissent, the 2007 documentary that is highly critical of Michael Moore without being assy about it. (Bravo, 8 p.m.)