Televisualist: Cyd, Footy, and Reality
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Televisualist: Cyd, Footy, and Reality

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.


“I like the shores of Amer-i-ca! Comfort is yours in Amer-i-ca! Knobs on the doors in Amer-i-ca! Wall-to-wall floors in Amer-i-ca!” If you haven’t seen West Side Story yet, you’re missing out on a touchstone of pop culture history, and you don’t want to be culturally ignorant, do you? (Bravo, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “You Only Move Twice.” You probably know it better as “the one where Homer goes to work for Hank Scorpio.” This is without doubt one of the greatest Simpsons episodes of all frigging time. “By the way, Homer, what’s your least favourite country? Italy or France?” (CFMT, 10 p.m.)


New reality show debuts: Wipeout, which is kind of like Fear Factor minus the “eat something gross” part and with a stronger emphasis on the insane stunty portions. That, plus the lack of Joe Rogan, means we’re already way ahead of Fear Factor. Don’t seek out and punch Televisualist, Joe Rogan! We tease because we love! By the way, it is awesome when you go up to Dane Cook or Carlos Mencia and call them hacks to their faces. Do more of that. (Global, 8 p.m.)
“I Survived A Japanese Game Show.” Core concept: put white people on Japanese game shows. Hilarity (presumably) ensues. You know, a long time ago I rented “Japanarama” from Suspect Video, which is this underground compilation tape of Japanese television, and let me just say those white people have no frigging idea what they’re in for. I wonder if they’ll be forced to wear skimpy G-string wrestling singlets? Also, how racist will this show be? (City, 8 p.m.; if you want to watch this and Wipeout, it’s a two-hour block on ABC starting at 8)


BET has a discussion/roundtable special with the wonderful title of “Hip-Hop vs. America II: Where Did The Love Go?” We can only hope that someone says that America “used to be cool.” (8 p.m.)
Euro Cup semifinals are this week, and tonight’s the first of two matchups, featuring Germany versus Turkey. I’m not going to watch this because I live on St. Clair, so instead I have the handy alternative of just waiting to hear if people start honking their horns insanely. If they do, Turkey won. If not, Germany. Nobody honks their horns when the Germans win. Germans don’t honk their horns when the Germans win; that would be undisciplined and inefficient. (Sportsnet, 2 p.m., replay at 8 p.m.)


Second half of Euro Cup semifinals: copy previous item, but replace “Germany” with “Russia” and “Turkey” with “Spain” and you’re good to go. Admittedly, Russians aren’t like Germans. Russians don’t honk their horns when they win because given the choice between spending time honking their horns and having another round, Russians know how they like to celebrate. (Sportsnet, 2 p.m., replay at 8 p.m.)
Trash classic alert: The Wizard, the 1989 feature-length film starring Fred Savage and Christian Slater that is little more than a ninety-minute advertisement for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Especially amusing now: the fearsome reputation the film gives the Nintendo Power Glove, which with the benefit of hindsight we understand to be near-totally useless. (SunTV, 8 p.m.)


A-Channel debuts ABC’s Dance Machine, trying to capitalize on the success of shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars. The twist here? Most of the people who appear on this show dancing for money aren’t any good at it! Man, how do those network geniuses keep coming up with these? (8 p.m.)
Turner Classic honours the late Cyd Charisse with two fantastic musicals: Singin’ In The Rain, which needs no introduction but only has Charisse in one (admittedly memorable) scene, and The Band Wagon, memorable as Fred Astaire’s last truly great work as a dancer and featuring Charisse in a much more prominent role. There are worse ways to spend a Friday night in. (Rain at 8 p.m., Band Wagon at 10 p.m.)