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.
True Beauty has been airing for a few weeks now, and it is already the most horrifically moralizing, posturing reality show we have ever seen. At least when Stan Lee set up contestants with tests of moral fibre on Who Wants to Be a Superhero? they weren’t so annoyingly self-righteous (to say nothing of constantly present). The only potential joy in watching this show is seeing how subjective the choice of “most inwardly beautiful” person turns out to be. (City, 10 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Beyond Blunderdome,” where Homer teams up with Mel Gibson to film a remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. “It was fine for the 1930s. The country was doing great back then. Everyone was into talking. But now, in whatever year this is, the audience wants action. And seats with beverage holders. But mainly action.” (Fox, 11 p.m.)
If you’re not at work (or feel like skipping), it is Inauguration Day for some guy who got elected President of the United States (starting at 10 a.m. on pretty much all the major networks). If you don’t feel like skipping, ABC has inauguration ball coverage (8 p.m.) and BET has their very own “Yes We Will” inauguration ball (8 p.m.). CityTV has a recap of all the balls so you can see every single fabulous dress and celebrity appearance in condensed form (10 p.m.). Meanwhile, Fox News will probably have some special explaining how BET’s refusual to do an inauguration ball for George W. Bush eight years ago makes them totally racist.
If you don’t like watching fancy balls (hee, “fancy balls”) but want to stick to the theme of the day, as an alternative watch Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, the great 1967 film with Sidney Poitier marrying Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy’s daughter and a famous comment about the potential for a black president in their lifetimes. (Turner Classic, 8 p.m.)
Lost fans rejoice: in addition to the now-traditional one-hour previous-season recap show, you get the now-traditional two-hour season premiere. On tap for this initial two-hour episode: the disappearance of Claire from the show, the disappearance of Daniel Dae-Kim and Harold Perrineau from the credits, and the disappearance of Jack’s beard from his face. All other details are stuck in the morass of secrecy that surrounds Lost like the scarf around the neck of the fourth Doctor Who. (ABC, 8 p.m.)
Lie to Me debuts. This show stars Tim Roth (that’s good!) as a kooky, eccentric scientist-type (that’s done!) who solves crimes (that’s typical!) by being able to tell if people are lying by their facial expressions (that’s sort of novel!). The show has a lot of extreme facial closeups, so we recommend you don’t watch it in HD. But we do recommend you give it a try, because Tim Roth is pretty awesome. (Global, 9 p.m.)
Two hours of Bones! Because nothing says “show that merits two-hour special episodes” like Bones. Televisualist actually enjoys Bones quite a bit, but let us be honest: it is a slight cut above the glut of standard forensic-examination shows, sure, but is there such a thing as an episode of Bones that can’t be told in forty minutes and change? We think not. If we allow this to go unchecked it is only a matter of time before we start getting things like “A Criminal Minds Super-Spectacular!” And that will not do. (Fox, 8 p.m.)
At some point the people who think up episode titles for Supernatural just said “hell with it.” So far this season we’ve had “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Dean Winchester” and “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester,” but even those titles pale in comparison to this week’s offering, “Criss Angel Is a Douchebag.” Ah, television writers—the vengeful nerds of Hollywood. (SunTV, 9 p.m.)
The CBC airs a special about the Montreal Canadiens, 100 Years, 100 Stars, presumably because they are famous and successful and Canadian. People wondering where the Toronto Maple Leafs special is should probably note that the Leafs, historically, are two out of three, and a Maple Leafs special would probably have to be called 100 Years, 100 Front Office Fuckups. (9 p.m.)
Hey, when did CTV start airing Raising The Bar, the show starring Mark-Paul “Zack From Saved By The Bell” Gosselaar as a passionate young defense attorney and Gunn from Angel as a passionate young prosecutor? How did we miss this? Oh, right, it’s because the show is ass. (10 p.m.)