Televisualist: Josie, Bones, and Republican Moans
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Televisualist: Josie, Bones, and Republican Moans

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

The Republican National Convention technically starts today, but with Republicans all terrified of looking insensitive while Hurricane Gustav (maybe) pounds the shit out of the Gulf Coast, they’ve essentially scrapped the schedule entirely, and it looks like they’ll be winging it. So nobody knows what they’ll talk about! Accordingly, Televisualist predicts that night one’s theme will be “tulips” and that Karl Rove, Mike Huckabee, and Bill Frist will perform an erotic three-way all-male flamenco. (CNN and PBS covering all day; major networks begin coverage at 10 p.m.)
The new season kicks off with the first two episodes of Prison Break. When last we left Michael Scofeld, he was all escaped from prison number two and driving off into the sunset to avenge the murder of Sara Tancredi. Of course, they’ve already made it clear that Sara isn’t dead, seeing as how Sarah Wayne Callies just took a season off the show to have a baby and now she’s back. So Scofield’s gonna look pretty dumb. (Global, 8 p.m.)
Oh my god, it is Double Team! If you are looking for the absolute epitome-slash-nadir of trash cinema, you can’t do better than this 1997 classic starring (wait for it) Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman! Together at last for the first time! Dennis Rodman’s hair is acid green! Mickey Rourke is the villain! The plot rips off The Prisoner! Dennis Rodman makes numerous basketball references! Best. Movie. Ever. (Peachtree, 8 p.m.)

Tuesday

Since you surf the internet and are a child of pop culture, no doubt you already know that tonight is the two-hour premiere of 90210, which is like Degrassi: The Next Generation except sluttier. Televisualist will now pretend that Shannen Doherty’s return to the show is somehow noteworthy for the obligatory sentence that is demanded of all television critics: OH MY GOD YOU GUYS, THEY TOTALLY BROUGHT SHANNEN BACK! See, and you thought you could do this job. Ha. (Global, 8 p.m.)
Republican National Convention, night two! By which we mean, “watch the Daily Show,” because watching Republicans make bad speeches for a lengthy period of time is like Chinese water torture minus the Chinese and the water plus a bunch of old white guys. (Comedy Network, 11:00 p.m.)

Wednesday

Two-hour season premiere of Bones, and what’s with all the two-hour season premieres? I mean, don’t get me wrong, two-hour season premieres are exciting and seem special, and when it’s a “big” show it feels like a big deal. And Bones is a fun little forensics procedural show, sure. But does it really need two hours to kick it off? Plus, they go to England. Isn’t there a rule about only a certain class of show going to England? Bones is not a “goes to England” show, is my point. (Global, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Bart on the Road,” where Bart gets a fake driver’s license and rents a car along with Milhouse, Martin, and Nelson. “All right, I have thought this through. I will send Bart the money to fly home. Then I will murder him.” (Fox, 11 p.m.)

Thursday

“Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Diff’rent Strokes.” Stay classy, E! network! (9 p.m.)
New Kitchen Nightmares! With Gordon Ramsay revisiting a bunch of the old restaurants he tried to help! Oh, the schadenfreude will be delicious, considering that on the British series, when they tried this gimmick, three out of four restaurants failed miserably after ignoring everything he told them to do. Plus you can totally play a drinking game according to when they beep out swears. (Fox, 8 p.m.)

Friday

About half a zillion networks are airing something called “Stand Up To Cancer,” which has a bunch of celebrities (some of whom, like Christina Applegate and Fran Drescher, have actually had cancer for reals) standing up to cancer, I guess. Hey, if you hate cancer (and who doesn’t), maybe you want to spend an hour watching Neil Patrick Harris and America Ferrara extol the funding of cancer research. (8 p.m.)
Televisualist maintains that Josie and the Pussycats is a tremendously underrated movie. Stupic critics at the time panned it for the constant product placement, not realizing that the product placement is all one big joke (boxes of Tide stuck along the walls? McDonald’s logos in the shower?). Constant meta-humour is not to everybody’s taste, sure, but Alan Cumming acting insane plus a really rocking soundtrack plus Rachel Leigh Cook, whom Televisualist will one day marry and ignore that last bit, will you? (MuchMusic, 9 p.m.)

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