Televisualist: Idol's Night and "Inner Light"
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Televisualist: Idol’s Night and “Inner Light”

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.


The NCAA Tournament concludes tonight, with the final game being a titanic matchup between [team unknown at time of writing] and [other team also unknown at time of writing]. Will [first team] go all the way, or is this the year of [second team]? The only way to find out is to watch. (CBS, 8 p.m.)
Star! is thoughtfully running Oprah’s Big Give one day after the original episodes, because there’s nothing quite like Star! for really bad and pointless television. Oprah’s Big Give, in theory, should work – the idea of a reality competition show where contestants have to give money away in the most helpful and effective way possible is a good one. It should be like Brewster’s Millions: The Game Show. Unfortunately, the production on the show is terrible, the contestants are boring, and Oprah is Oprah, except with the shtick dialed up to 11. It’s a painful experience. (9 p.m.)


Flightplan is interesting because it’s one of those movies that showed up, made a reasonable profit then went to video without impacting the public consciousness particularly. Which means a lot of people ended up not seeing it, and that’s actually a shame, because it’s a smart, engaging thriller with good performances (including an excellent one from Jodie Foster) and a clever if slightly unbelievable (to say the least) premise. Well worth your time. (A-Channel, 8 p.m.)
Space airs arguably the single best episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation tonight. “The Inner Light” is definitely Patrick Stewart’s finest moment as Jean-Luc Picard, to be sure, and this story about Picard living out an entire lifetime with an alien civilization is TV science fiction at its best. If you’re one of those people who never really got the point of Trek, we can’t do much more then point you at this episode. Come on, it won a Hugo Award! (9 p.m.)


Tonight’s American Idol is the new tradition (started last year) of “Idol Gives Back,” wherein the producers and sponsors of American Idol give a tiny, tiny portion of the revenues they generate from this massively successful TV show and various Hollywood figures (this year led by… oh, god, Robin Williams and Billy Crystal? What did we do to deserve that?) tell us how good it is when you help people. BONO ALERT: There will be Bono. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Deep Space Homer.” All praise the inanimate carbon rod! It’s the rod! It’s the rod! (CFMT, 10 p.m.)


The 2008 Juno Awards (listed as “the 2008 Junos Awards,” because when you refer to an awards show in that sense, of course you pluralize it – hence all the references to “The Oscars Awards”) air on MuchMoreMusic, taking a break from airing the same terrible reality shows they air practically 24/7 nowadays to actually show us something related to music. Even if it is an awards show that aired four days previous. (8 p.m.)
New The Office! New 30 Rock! New Scrubs! It’s like Christmas came early this year! Er, and only brought new episodes of TV shows. Actually it’s nothing like Christmas, really. But it’s still good. Besides, the title of the 30 Rock episode is “MILF Island.” You know that’ll be hilarious. (8:30 p.m. and onward, NBC)
Futurama starts afresh on both YTV and Teletoon with “Space Pilot 3000.” I’m not sure if having both networks air the show at the same schedule is good or not, but either way, Futurama is still awesome, so I’m not complaining. (Teletoon 8:30 p.m., YTV 9 p.m.)


Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story! If you do not love this movie you have no soul. No soul, I tell you. (A-Channel, 9 p.m.)
People actually emailed me to complain about not mentioning the premiere of Battlestar Galactica last week, reinforcing the perception that Battlestar Galactica fans are the new Trekkies if nothing else. Look, here’s the thing: I still haven’t finished watching season three, okay? Sometimes I get behind! This is a hard life I lead here! Did you really need me to tell you the show was on? You knew months in advance, people! (Space, 10 p.m.)