Televisualist: Strangelove, Fry, and A Goodbye
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Televisualist: Strangelove, Fry, and A Goodbye

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

Survivorman goes to Temagami in northern Ontario! (We are contractually required to mention this because it is in this province.) Presumably he will survive it. Also, we are offering attractive odds on whether or not somebody says “Nipissing” during the episode. (Outdoor Life, 8 p.m.)
New Dirty Jobs focuses on working at a mannequin factory, which—well, that’s the best part of this show. When it focuses on jobs you wouldn’t actually expect to be dirty, it is times like this the Discovery Channel earns its name. Also, “Mannequin Factory” would make a great band name, wouldn’t it? (9 p.m.)

Tuesday

TVO has one of our favourite recent BBC docu-series on offer: Stephen Fry In America. Really, the title is self-explanatory: Stephen Fry, who is awesome, goes to America and kind of, you know, goes about and is charmingly amusing. This week: the Deep South, which all by itself should prove entertaining, because it’s the South, which is the funniest part of the United States, even if sometimes only grimly so. (10 p.m.)
The Hollywood Rounds of American Idol are traditionally the high point of the season: none of the terrible “I want to be on television” singing of the auditions, but instead the joyful hubris of seeing relatively skilled people fail. That’s what they get for daring to live out their hopes and dreams! (CTV, 8 p.m.)
This week’s episode of Homeland Security USA is entitled “These Are Human Skulls So They Had To Belong To Somebody.” How do you make a joke about that, anyway? (ABC, 8 p.m.)

Wednesday

A posthumous ceremony for George Carlin, celebrating his reception of the 2008 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, taking place at the Kennedy Center, where everybody will be dressed to the nines and solemnly celebrating his superb artistic achievements. There is so much that is wrong with this that it almost makes you think that Carlin will rise up from his grave and say, “What the fuck?” (PBS, 9 p.m.)
“Mul-tee-pass.” There are so many reasons The Fifth Element should not work: a plot that makes the villains almost besides the point, action sequences that sometimes disappoint, the presence of Chris Tucker. And yet, it’s great. Sometimes things make no sense. (Peachtree, 8 p.m.)

Thursday

So, where are things on The Office? The season started out with Jim and Pam having Issues because Pam wanted to pursue her career as an artist in New York, and Jim was stuck back in Scranton, while Michael pursued a relationship with Amy Ryan from The Wire. Then they resolved all of that six or seven episodes into the season by getting Amy Ryan transferred and having Jim buy a house. So now we’ve had an entire season of mostly standalone, slightly pointless episodes with no larger plots being resolved other than the Angela/Dwight thing, and when Angela/Dwight is your A plotline, you’ve got a show that’s seriously starting to spin its wheels. (Global, 9 p.m.)
Jon “Canada’s Dane Cook” Dore shows up on The Hour. So does Gary Bettman. Apparently it is Evil Night on The Hour. (Newsworld, 9 p.m.)

Friday

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is actually one of those movies that hasn’t aged as well as some people think: Peter Sellers’ shtick of playing multiple characters in the same movie almost seems overly precious thanks to Eddie Murphy doing the same thing and ruining it for everybody, and the more subpar political commentators say the War Room scenes are relevant, the less they are. But it’s still worth a view if you haven’t seen it. (Turner Classic, 9:30 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Kamp Krusty,” one of the all-time great episodes. “Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve been to Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and I can say without hyperbole that this is a million times worse than all of them put together.” (CFMT, 7:30 p.m.)

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