Televisualist: Spaceballs, Wing, and Pro Wrestling
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Televisualist: Spaceballs, Wing, and Pro Wrestling

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

Tonight on The Hour: Cyndi Lauper! And also Barbara Walters, presumably because Cyndi Lauper was too awesome for one show to contain and they needed to tamp it down a notch. It’s not like Barbara Walters doesn’t already have a lot of access to TV, you know? What more can you ask Baba Wawa that hasn’t already been asked? “How ’bout those Jays?” (Newsworld, 8 p.m.)
WWE Monday Night RAW is on, and – okay, I have to explain this one. See, the WWE has been doing really poorly in the Neilsens lately, which wouldn’t matter so much thanks to their international presence except that their American television is, like, the commercial for everything else that makes them a shitload of money. So Vince McMahon got really, really desperate and announced, with great fanfare and a media push (which involved sending out “pimp cups” to television critics, if you can believe that) that he would give away a million dollars to random viewers over the course of a bunch of episodes of RAW. Of course, this didn’t work, because bribing people with a contest to watch your show is idiotic. So halfway through the contests, Vince McMahon “died” in a storyline. Which is somewhere between innovative and desperate. Well, more desperate, really. (The Score, 9 p.m.)

Tuesday

Hell’s Kitchen wraps up its fourth season with a finale featuring two chefs: Christina, the young culinary student who tends towards flights of brilliance but whose kitchen performance is, at best, slightly erratic; and Petrozza, the grizzled late-forties catering director who’s competent at just about everything and as a result almost always comes in second in all the contests. This season has been exceptionally short on culinary talent, and the finale promises to be a clusterfuck of massive proportions. Which, really, is the point, because we watch this show to hear Gordon Ramsay say “fuck” and then get bleeped. (City, 9 p.m.)
CBC airs Just For Laughs: Oh Canada!, which looks to be a comedy special. Well, Russell Peters is hosting and Debra DiGiovanni is on it, so it can’t be all bad. (9 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Bart of War.” Surprisingly funny later-season episode, featuring Bart’s troop of Pre-Teen Braves versus Milhouse’s troop of Cavalry Kids, and with an ending which explains why they chose to air this episode on Canada Day rather than, say, the one where the Simpsons went to Toronto. (That episode? Was bad.) “War is not the answer.” “Yep. Except to all of America’s problems.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)

Wednesday

Teletoon airs Spaceballs, which is not actually a cartoon at any point during the movie and thus seems inappropriate for the network, but who cares? It’s Spaceballs! “It’s MegaMaid, sir! She’s gone from suck to blow!” (10 p.m.)
NBC has a show called Baby Borrowers, which… no. Just no. That’s it. Televisualist has hit its limit. If your choice is watching this or renting a movie, watch the movie. If your choice is watching this or sitting alone in darkness for an hour, enjoy the silence. You know, if NBC had sent me a pimp cup, maybe I’d be more inclined to give this show a chance. You’ve been warned, NBC! (8 p.m.)

Thursday

Televisualist thinks John Wing is hilarious, so thus we must heartily endorse The Truth About… Monogamy, which will no doubt allow John Wing to make a bunch more viciously funny jokes about his supposedly joyless marriage and his evil wife, who presumably is the most forgiving person on the entire planet. (CBC, 9 p.m.)
Showcase has taken to airing Secret Diary of a Call Girl, so Televisualist watched a few episodes, mostly because it has Billie Piper in it and we really liked her as Rose in Doctor Who. Unfortunately, Secret Diary of a Call Girl does not have any of the following things in it: the Doctor, Daleks, Cybermen, the Master, the TARDIS, or good writing. Memo to people making this show: more Daleks, please. (10 p.m.)

Friday

NBC airs that episode of 30 Rock where Alec Baldwin airs “A Salute To Fireworks,” and… wait, no, this is the Macy’s “4th of July Fireworks Spectacular.” My god, they’re doing it for real? Parody is dead. (9 p.m.)
A quick guide on how to watch Mambo Italiano, the generally decent Canadian comedy about the gay son of an Italian immigrant family: fast-forward through all of Mary Walsh’s scenes. It’s easier. Trust me. (Bravo, 8 p.m.)

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