Televisualist: All-Star Ball and A-Channel Gall
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Televisualist: All-Star Ball and A-Channel Gall

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.


POSIT: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is actually a movie about Cameron. (This much is obvious: Cameron has the dramatic arc and the character development in the movie. Ferris is just Ferris all the way through.) FURTHER POSIT: Ferris Bueller does not, as such, exist; the movie is actually about Cameron’s day off and his unresolved crush on his best friend Sloane, and the parts where Cameron is not onscreen are merely the products of his imagination as Ferris, the perfect human being, does all the things Cameron could not or never do, until Cameron finally snaps and decides to live his life for himself. Which, if you will note, is exactly the point where Ferris’ luck runs out and he needs his sister’s help to escape Principal Rooney. If you wish to investigate further…(AMC, 8 p.m)
The only part of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game break that anybody really enjoys is the Home Run Derby, because deep down, as much as we all say we love the intricate battle of wits between batter and pitcher, and the heartstopping catches and awesome, desperate slides, what we really want to see is guys smacking the shit out of baseballs. And the Home Run Derby is nothing but guys smacking the shit out of baseballs. This is also why the only part anybody cares about in the NBA All-Star Game spectacle is the dunk competition, and why nobody cares about the NFL Pro Bowl. (Sportsnet, 8 p.m.)


The annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which is almost never any good! Hooray! (Fox, 8 p.m.)
Surprising but welcome news: Better Off Ted, the pretty decent sitcom about a guy just trying to get by in a soulless corporation that freezes people for science and teaches kids to be drudges, got renewed for a second season next year. Given that ABC has been cancelling all the good shows they can find lately, it’s a pleasant change of pace. (E!, 9:30 p.m.)


So You Think You Can Dance heads into its top ten with nine contemporary/jazz dancers and one lone salsa dancer representing every other form of dance other than what you might find in a contemporary studio. (On the bright side, she kicks ass.) The season has been somewhat underwhelming thus far, but there are some really good dancers still contending for the victory, and usually the show picks up steam right about now anyway. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
We still have nothing bad to say about Monk. It’s a good show. Tony Shalhoub is a good actor. It does its own thing, quietly off in the corner. It’s in its final season, so the fact that A-Channel airs last year’s episodes and treats them as new material is just mindboggling. Do Canadian TV executives not know about BitTorrent or something? (10 p.m.)


On the other hand, we can’t blame A-Channel for claiming that J.K. Rowling: A Year In The Life is new, despite it having originally aired in 2007 in the UK. That’s because ABC is treating it as new and A-Channel is just simulcasting. Come to think, considering that Canadian TV executives seemingly believe that picking TV shows other networks paid for and produced is Serious Work (which is kind of like buying TV dinners at the supermarket and then saying you cooked), it’s entirely possible they don’t know about BitTorrent, because you have to be seriously goddamned stupid to think everybody else is that dumb. (8 p.m.)
Justify This Airing On Your Channel hilarity of the week: Space Cowboys on Vision TV. That would be a movie about Clint Eastwood and other old guys flying a space mission on the channel about religion and spirituality. Justifying in 3…2…1… “It’s a metaphor for man’s spiritual ascendance into heaven! The space shuttle represents our earthly vessels.” (9 p.m.)


Televisualist doesn’t generally mention The Agenda With Steve Paikin too often, mostly because it’s way too smart to easily make fun of. (At least George Stroumboulopoulos has a funny name that’s hard to spell.) But it’s worth mentioning that they’ve been airing “best of” reruns all summer, and they’re genuinely good, every one a sober and thoughtful discussion of a serious social issue, because it’s Steve Paikin and it’s intelligent TV for intelligent people. Check them out whenever you can. Even if Steve Paikin does look like an android masquerading as human. (TVO, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Principal and the Pauper,” wherein the real Principal Skinner returns to Springfield and the Seymour we all thought we knew is actually a fraud named Armin Tamzarian. Widely considered to be one of the worst, if not the worst, episode in Simpsons history, and often noted as the point where The Simpsons either jumped the shark or ended its Golden Age. (CFMT, 7:30 p.m.)