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 Democratic National Convention kicks off tonight (well, technically it started Sunday, but all the good speakers happen in prime time on weekdays). If you want to see Jimmy Carter, Caroline Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi speak, watch PBS’s or CNN’s coverage starting at around 7 p.m. If you just want to see Michelle Obama speak, tune into the major networks when they switch to convention coverage at 10 p.m.
Alternately, rather than watch the whole boring convention you could just watch The Daily Show‘s coverage of it, which will probably be vastly more entertaining. Unless they prominently feature Rob Riggle. Does anybody else get really creeped out by Rob Riggle? I mean, I know “creepy” is his comedic shtick of choice, but on top of that he just seems genuinely creepy, you know? (Comedy Network, 11 p.m.; CTV, 12 a.m.)
Convention Night 2: Democratic Boogaloo! Featured speakers are Mark Warner (running for Senator somewhere, getting a “push” by the DNC much like a professional wrestling federation might give a major up-and-comer additional mike time to get over), Lilly Ledbetter (who got fucked over by the U.S. Supreme Court in a bid to receive equal pay for equal work despite being a woman), and Hillary Clinton, whom Televisualist suspects you know already and who will be the headline speaker for the major network coverage starting at 10 p.m.
The Comedy Network reruns the classic “Trapped In The Closet” episode of South Park, or as you might know it, “the one where Trey Parker and Matt Stone balls-out attack Scientology and repeatedly make not-quite-accusations that Tom Cruise and John Travolta are gay.” This is also the episode that caused the late Isaac Hayes to quit as Chef. So, yeah, it’s a pretty noteworthy (and funny) episode. (9:30 p.m.)
The convention goes into its third night now, and the big guns on deck are Bill Clinton and vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden, the latter being tonight’s 10 p.m. speaker. Be sure to watch and see if the press collapse in nervous wrecks waiting for Biden to accidentally say “fuck.”
Some Like It Hot is one of the great comedies of all time, contains probably the best Marilyn Monroe performance of all time, and definitely has the best final line in a movie of all time. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Heck, it provided the basis for Nuns On The Run, which is still funny twenty years later, and Nuns On the Run is only a ripoff of Some Like It Hot. (Turner Classic, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Joy of Sect,” which is The Simpsons‘ slightly more veiled but still entirely vicious attack on Scientology. “Nananananananana Leader! Nananananananana Leader! Leader! Leader!” “BATMAN!” (CFMT, 10 p.m.)
Last night of the Democratic Convention, AKA “The Olympics Of Talking About Public Policy.” Tonight’s speakers are Al Gore and some guy named Barack Obama, who gets the big network slot. Man, ahead of Al Gore? That Obama guy sure is uppity.
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is honestly pretty great as DC Comics animated movies go: the Joker is awesomely creepy (you can’t go wrong with Mark Hamill’s voicework as the Joker – yes, Ledger gets all the hype, but Hamill’s Joker is legendary among animation nerds) and the action pretty awesome as well. If you haven’t seen it, do. (Teletoon, 10 p.m.)
Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! was supposed to launch the romcom careers of Kate Bosworth, Topher Grace and Josh Duhamel. Four years later, Bosworth has been in some big flicks but generally failed to make an impact (we at Televisualist are disgustingly huge Superman fans, and it wasn’t until we checked her IMDB page that we remembered she was Lois Lane in Superman Returns), Grace is now most well-known for playing Venom in Spider-Man 3 (which sucked), and Duhamel… well, he was one of the soldiers in Transformers, I guess. But this movie isn’t bad. In its way. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
Alternately, if you want to see a movie that’s genuinely good where you don’t have to say things like “in its way,” BET is taking time out of its busy schedule of airing total crap for a screening of Lean On Me, Morgan Freeman’s fantastic 1989 movie about a dedicated, tyrannical principal of an inner city school who smashes things with baseball bats and Angers The Wrong People While Doing The Right Thing. It’s genuinely excellent. (8:30 p.m.)