Televisualist: Lamb and Swap and Ghost Ain't Hot
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Televisualist: Lamb and Swap and Ghost Ain’t Hot

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 season finale of Chuck tonight features Ellie and Awesome’s wedding, and weddings always make for good backdrops for chaos of a non-wedding nature combined with normal wedding chaos. Chuck is one of those shows on the bubble of cancellation, mostly because NBC decided that what people really wanted to see was Jay Leno hosting an hour-long variety/talk show in prime time five nights a week. Which just makes us all go “who the what now?” because that makes no sense. (Global, 8 p.m.)
Also the season finale of Heroes, which will probably suck just like every episode of this series has mostly sucked ever since the first season, when it was only mediocre. Televisualist is not exactly sure what will happen in this episode, so we will make an educated guess: Sylar has his brains swapped with those of a monkey, while Peter and Matt travel back in time to 1947 to have a big fight with a gang of space ninja mobsters. Hiro tries to rescue them, but is stopped by Monkey Sylar, and only Claire can save the day by being shot multiple times without dying, because she’s like Wolverine if Wolverine was a perky blonde cheerleader, guys! (Global, 9 p.m.)
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. If you can’t quote this entire movie by heart you probably haven’t watched it enough. If you think Trek is only for nerds, you need to watch this movie. Okay, probably you need to watch it with a nerd, though. (Space, 8 p.m.)

Tuesday

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock is often unfairly maligned as being one of the “bad” Star Trek films because it’s one of the odd-numbered ones, but that theory should have been thrown away long ago when everybody realized that Star Trek: Nemesis (technically the tenth flick) sucked donkey balls. No, wait, it should have been ignored long before that, because Search For Spock, while definitely the weakest link of the thematic trilogy bookended by Khan and Voyage Home, is still one of the better Trek films overall, certainly better than all of the Next Generation films. Sure, the Klingons seem a little tacked-on to the main story at times, but it’s still a reasonably entertaining movie, and you get to see Kirstie Alley when she was extremely young and hot as Saavik, so that’s nice. (Space, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Lisa’s Wedding,” the first and best possible-future episode of The Simpsons, where Lisa nearly marries the uptight Englishman. “Mom, remember when I was little, we’d always planned my dream wedding and you always promised to… you know, well, keep Dad from ruining it?” (CFMT, 7:30 p.m.)

Wednesday

Torontoist has had its run-ins with Brad J. Lamb in the past, so he is presumably used to it by now and won’t mind us saying that Big City Broker, the documentary series about what it’s like to be Brad J. Lamb working in real estate, is really just kind of boring. Lamb is not nearly sleazy or eccentric enough to make his work life good television. Sorry, Brad! If you want your show to be more fun, we recommend that you do one of the following things: be incredibly abusive to your staff who will nonetheless worship the ground you walk on, introduce an imaginary friend called “Biff,” or get a sex change operation. (HGTV, 8 p.m.)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is great fun; even though it’s really just an extended time-travel episode, so what? Spock nerve-pinches an annoying boombox kid, which really dates it, because how long has it been since you saw an annoying boombox kid? 1988? (Space, 8 p.m.)

Thursday

Speaking of “dated,” Turner Classic Movies airs Glory. Come on, that’s only… twenty years old now? Holy shit. Still, one of the best war movies ever made; definitely the best Civil War movie ever made, too. Made Denzel Washington’s career, had a lot to do with Morgan Freeman becoming MORGAN FREEMAN rather than just being another black character actor most people can’t remember, and Matthew Broderick… well, he should really wear a goatee more often, that’s all we’re saying. (8 p.m.)
Hah, I bet you thought I was gonna talk about Star Trek V: The Final Frontier because it’s Star Trek Movie Week on Space, but, no, because that one sucked and anybody telling you different is full of crap. (If you don’t believe me, watch the bit where sixtysomething Nichelle Nichols does a “sexy” feather striptease dance. Or, rather, don’t.) Instead, watch Tank Girl, which has a kicking soundtrack and Lori Petty being ten kinds of awesome and Ice-T as a giant mutant kangaroo, and pretend that Star Trek V never happened. (Teletoon, 9:30 p.m.)

Friday

Ghost Whisperer has been renewed for a fifth season. We cannot explain this. Presumably people just like ghosts. Or possibly whispering. One or the other. Meanwhile, Life dangles on the edge of cancellation because of Jay fucking Leno. There is no justice in TV Land, folks. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
You know what Televisualist has noticed? Every episode of Wife Swap boils down to “wacky wife/mom trades places with strict wife/mom.” They find different ways to express the “wacky versus sane” dynamic, but it’s always wacky versus sane. This week, it’s “mom with Halloween-obsessed family” (wacky!) changing places with “mom with family devoted to competitive swimming” (strict!). Do you wonder if the showrunners for Wife Swap just come up with episode concepts via Mad Libs? “Okay, we need to cast a… short, poker-playing, polka-dot-wearing wacky mom, and a… health-obsessed, redheaded, accountant mom. Who do we got in the application files, Jerry?” (A-Channel, 8 p.m.)

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