Televisualist: Borgnine, Kitchen, and Flashpoint Bitchin'
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Televisualist: Borgnine, Kitchen, and Flashpoint Bitchin’

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

Mira Sorvino and Alias’s dad star in The Last Templar, which is to The Da Vinci Code as Asteroid was to Armageddon: the cheap TV version which you don’t have to pay money to see. And, just like Asteroid, you get what you pay for! Although it is sad to see that Mira Sorvino is now reduced to the Annabella Sciorra level of stardom. Remember when she won that Oscar? Better days. (E!, 9 p.m.)
Monday night is Ernest Borg-night! Start off with an hour-long special about the career of the man they call Borgnine, then follow it up with Marty, the 1955 classic about a decent average guy just trying to get a girlfriend. It was remade in the ’90s as Only the Lonely with John Candy, and it was good then too. But the original is better. (Turner Classic, 8 p.m.)

Tuesday

Project Runway Canada moves to the big leagues as it leaves Slice (AKA “the channel which had those ads in the subway that one time”) for Global. See, Global Canwest could tell that they had a hit on their hands when they realized people were actually watching Slice. Iman is major network, baby! (10 p.m.)
Toddlers and Tiaras is officially the creepiest TV documentary series on the air, because it is about kiddie beauty pageants and the kids and the pageant moms and oh god this show is so creepy that it gives us the hives. Until they greenlight Cuddly Nazi Kittens nothing will be creepier than this show. (TLC, 10 p.m.)

Wednesday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Mountain of Madness,” or the one where Homer and Mr. Burns get trapped by an avalanche in a mountain cabin. “Only who can prevent forest fires?…You pressed “You” referring to me. The correct answer was: you.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)
They brought back The Jon Dore Television Show for a second season, thus proving Televisualist right about Canada’s television production culture: stick around for long enough and they’ll give you a show, regardless of how much talent you actually have. Until they air an episode that consists entirely of Jon Dore getting punched in the face for thirty minutes with no commercials, this show will be a waste of time. (Comedy Network, 10 p.m.)

Thursday

Season five of Hell’s Kitchen debuts tonight, and will presumably follow the standard pattern we know and love: two to three competent, capable chefs who could actually win the whole thing, one or two competent amateurs who don’t have the training but once they get it could be for-real chefs, and a bunch of stupid, whiny idiots who should probably just be accountants instead and who only exist to provide Gordon Ramsay someone to swear at. But we like watching him swear at people, so that’s all right. (Fox, 9 p.m.)
MuchMoreMusic repeats Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling. We are pretty sure this does not qualify as “music,” nor for that matter “much” or “more.” (9 p.m.)

Friday

People keep complaining that I never talk about Flashpoint, but here is the thing, people: there are always going to be shows one just doesn’t watch, even when one is a TV critic, and for me that is Flashpoint and other shows where people have guns and uniforms (like The Unit). Look, Flashpoint is perfectly well-made television. It’s well written, has good actors (especially Enrico Colantoni, but Hugh Dillon is great as well) and avoids formula. But none of that makes me care about it. However, I promise from here on out to mention it at least once every eight months! (CTV, 9 p.m.)
W airs Shall We Dance?, the 2004 remake of the absolutely fantastic Japanese film of the same name. Except that in the Japanese film, the fact that it was set in Japan was absolutely crucial to the story, because in Japan at the time ballroom dancing was considered to be kind of weird and maybe even a bit pervy. (Interestingly, the movie was such a massive hit that it pushed ballroom dancing into the mainstream in Japan.) Now, ask yourself: what happens when you take that storyline out of Japan and put it in America, with Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, and Jennifer Lopez as your stars? The answer: it kind of sucks hard. (9 p.m.)

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