Televisualist: Cupid, Scott, and Gas Gets Got
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Televisualist: Cupid, Scott, and Gas Gets Got

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.


Corner Gas comes to its end, airing its final episode tonight. Not much to say, really; although the series had its detractors, Televisualist has always felt it to be a pleasantly low-key slice of Canadian comic writing that never failed to entertain in a quiet, non-pretentious sort of way. And its impact on the Canadian television industry has been… well, much lower than it should be, frankly, considering the show’s massive success. You’d think people might want to imitate that success, but this is Canada, AKA “the country where Jon Dore gets renewed for some reason.” (CTV, 9:30 p.m.)
On a totally unrelated note, how fantastic was it to see Scott Bakula show up on Chuck as Chuck’s dad? Answer: it was pretty goddamned great. Just like it was great to see Chevy Chase show up as a bad guy. And it was great to see Tricia Helfer show up as a cold-hearted CIA agent. And it was great to see Alan Hale show up as… well, a more evil version of Buster from Arrested Development, if we’re being honest. The point is that this is a show that really, really casts its roles well. You should be watching it, especially since it is hovering on the brink. (City, 8 p.m.)


The good news: Cupid is honestly a pretty good re-imagining of the shortlived cult classic from the mid-’90s (which starred Jeremy Piven before he became a massive tool and Paula Marshall before she was known as a proven show-killer). Bobby Cannavale and Sarah Paulson have good chemistry, and the show is generally entertaining and well-made. The bad news: this show has much, much worse ratings than the original version, which was cancelled after about twelve episodes, and it is probably not long for this world. (ABC, 10 p.m.)
Wait, has its own TV show now? What do they do, just rip off content from other television shows, slap a CollegeHumor logo on it and pretend they came up with it? I mean, if it’s good enough for the internet… (MuchMusic, 8:30 p.m.)
Spike has something called “Deadliest Warrior: Viking vs. Samurai,” and without even bothering to do any research whatsoever we’re just going to assume that this is the best hour of television you will have the chance to watch this week, and if you miss it your life will be just that much emptier as a result. (10 p.m.)


HBO Canada is good enough to constantly rerun their successful shows, which is good because occasionally one gets behind in one’s TV viewing and completely misses out on the first run of a quality program like The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, which is based on the book series of the same name and is so teeth-achingly great it just makes you want to cry because why can’t all the shows be as good as this one? Jill Scott’s portrayal of Precious Ramotswe is one of the best performances of the year, and Anika Noni Rose’s work as Mma Makutsi is only a step behind. Seriously, why can’t all the television shows be this good? (8 p.m.)
The season finale of Life was last week, but thanks to Global’s erratic airing schedule you can see it like it was new this week! Well, at least Life is a pretty damn good show. Not that it wouldn’t be better with some Jill Scott, but come on, Damian Lewis is nearly as good in his non-black, non-female, only-slightly-sassy sort of way. (9 p.m.)


Southland debuted last week and made us feel old because the veteran detectives on this show are played by the likes of Tom Everett “the drummer in That Thing You Do!” Scott and Shawn “a bunch of bad ’90s teenage thrillers” Hatosy. This is what happens to failed teen heartthrobs: they go onto midseason replacement police procedural shows. (Successful former teen heartthrobs get to have a few seasons on NYPD Blue and a subsequent actual acting career that isn’t a big joke.) Remember that we told you this when in ten years’ time the Jonas Brothers star as a family of police detectives in The Jonas Way on CBABNBC. (NBC, 10 p.m.)
Undisputed is one of those instant trash classics that flopped in theatres but deserves a second life. The storyline is simple: champion boxer goes to prison, and prison boxer wants to box him to see who the better boxer is. It’s a gloriously unashamed B-movie, with Ving Rhames and Wesley Snipes both doing their level best to out-badass each other (Rhames wins that contest pretty easily) and Peter Falk hamming it up as the old con who knows all the tricks on the prison. Plus, you get to see guys beat the crap out of each other. Director Walter Hill knows how to get the most out of a paper-thin plot, and he does it superbly well. (BET, 8 p.m.)


We’re not exactly sure why W is airing Ocean’s Eleven. We mean, yeah, Julia Roberts is great in it and all, but she’s a small part of a movie that is basically about a bunch of guys teaming up to scam another guy in guy ways doing guy things and being guys. It just doesn’t seem like a “W sort of movie,” you know? But it’s still a modern classic, so why not watch it? (9 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Fear of Flying,” where Marge has, well, you know. Plus, Homer has to find himself a new bar when Moe bans him. “Wait a minute…there’s something bothering me about this place… I know! This lesbian bar doesn’t have a fire exit! Enjoy your death trap, ladies!” (CFMT, 7:30 p.m.)