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.
High School Musical: Get In The Picture concludes tonight, and… no, sorry, Televisualist does not care at all. Go somewhere else and maybe they will make a joke about Zac Efron. We have standards. (ABC, 8 p.m.)
If you’re up for a relatively-late-airing great movie, Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb is on. Come on, it’s a classic: Peter Sellers in three roles (before Eddie Murphy took that sort of shtick and ruined it forever), George C. Scott’s crazy general, Slim Pickens riding the nuclear bomb… if you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s that sort of movie. (Turner Classic, 10:30 p.m.)
Space starts airing classic Star Trek in prime time with “Man Trap,” the very first episode ever, and for those who can get past the Styrofoam rocks and silly-looking costumes, it’s worth watching; the story and acting are still compelling, all these years later, and it’s easy to understand why Star Trek became what it eventually became.
One of CTV’s American pickups this season is Fringe, the new sci-horror drama from J.J. Abrams, who created Lost and Alias (and who is directing the cinematic revival of Star Trek, so you know he is a Big Deal). Having already seen the (reasonably entertaining) pilot, Televisualist thinks that Fringe owes more to The X-Files than Lost, with a strong “monster of the week” design evident in the show’s structure and setup. Yes, there’s a shadowy conspiracy in the background, but then again there’s a shadowy conspiracy in every show these days. We think Charlie Sheen’s character on Two and a Half Men is probably a Mossad counterintelligence agent in deep cover, hunting anti-Semitic werewolves. (8 p.m.)
Space is likewise airing Star Trek: The Next Generation in prime time again, and kicking things off by starting at the beginning with “Encounter At Farpoint,” which nowadays is noteworthy in many respects: the first appearance of Q, the last appearance of DeForest Kelley as a very, very old Dr. McCoy, and one of the very few episodes where female and male crew members in the background can be seen wearing short-shorts. (8 p.m.)
The winner of Canadian Idol is announced! Hooray! For whoever it is. Actually that’s kind of unfair, because this season’s gimmick of having the contestants sing in small band-like groups has actually been really entertaining. It’s just that we can’t remember any of the singers’ names. There’s one called Steve, right? There’s usually a Steve. (8 p.m.)
Space is also airing Star Trek: Deep Space Nine once a week in prime time as well starting this week. Unlike the sometimes meandering Next Generation, DS9 rewards multiple viewings of the entire series and has character growth arcs both realistic and meaningful. Although you will have to wait a while to see Worf show up, unfortunately. (8 p.m.)
So You Think You Can Dance Canada kicks off with a two-hour premiere, and I am goddamned stoked for it (in a totally manly and heterosexual way, of course). Unlike the Idol franchise, Dance spinoffs have typically equalled or even bettered the American version, which is awesome. Plus, we have Bitchy Blake from the first season of the American show as a judge. That is also awesome. Nothing about this show can possibly be bad! (CTV, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Viva Ned Flanders,” where Homer and Ned get married to slot jockeys in Vegas. Okay, so it’s a pretty weak week for Simpsons reruns, but Homer and Ned’s escape sequence at the end of the show from the entirety of Las Vegas is pretty damn funny. Especially when the Moody Blues show up. (CFMT, 10 p.m.)
Voyager is on Space. I mention this strictly for the sake of completeness. Because it is ass. (Space, 8 p.m.)
Enterprise. I wish I could be surprised that Space is airing it on Fridays when nobody watches TV. Instead, I am merely thankful. Chronic masturbators will want to note that this is the first episode where the annoying Southern guy and the boring Vulcan chick rub goop all over each other. And I mean chronic masturbators, because, come on, can’t you just find some porn instead? (8 p.m.)
“Man, it’s the same bullshit they tried to pull in my day. If it ain’t that piece of paper, there’s some other choice they’re gonna try and make for you. You gotta do what Randall “Pink” Floyd wants to do man. Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin’, man. L-I-V-I-N.” Ah, Matthew McConaughey, how stoned you once were in Dazed and Confused. And… yeah, you’re still stoned, aren’t you. (MuchMusic, 9 p.m.)