Televisualist: July Is Bike Month
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Televisualist: July Is Bike Month

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

All this week, you can catch the Tour de France on Outdoor Life; the race started on Saturday, but it’s a really, really long bike race (it goes until the 26th), so missing the first couple of stages won’t kill you if you want to get into watching competitive cycling on the teevee. For those of you who just want to know how well Canada is represented this year: Ryder Hesjedal, of Victoria, is riding for the Garmin-Slipstream team. Of course, you could probably just keep up with him by watching SportsCentre on TSN every night. (8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Italian Bob.” An otherwise merely okay “the Simpsons go to wherever” episode enlivened by the appearance of Sideshow Bob and his murderous new Italian familia. “Kentucky! It means “whore” in Italian!” (Fox, 11 p.m.)

Tuesday

NBC debuts Great American Road Trip, which looks to be something along the lines of The Amazing Race, except instead of teams of two it’s families, and instead of flying around the world they’ll drive around the United States. Hey, Televisualist is pretty sure we already saw this when it was called The Amazing Race: Family Edition, also known as The Worst Amazing Race Ever. (NBC, 8 p.m.)
Good news: more than a decade later, Scream still holds up as a clever, funny, and thrilling slasher flick. Isn’t that good news? I thought it was good news. (Peachtree, 9 p.m.)

Wednesday

Televisualist is fairly sure that, were we twelve, we would think StormWorld is the best new show ever. We would overlook the often cheesy special effects and the weird incongruity of how the alternate-earth humans vary from “totally different culture” to “basically just Australians” at the drop of a hat. We would downright adore the dorky jokes. All of this demands the obvious question: why is a show obviously targeted at younger sci-fi viewers on at 10 p.m.? (Space, 10 p.m.)
Tosh.0 sucks bag. We were going to go into more detail about how it sucks bag, but given the micro-attention span of the show’s “jokes,” we felt that more than two sentences would not be proper. (Comedy Network, 10:30 p.m.)

Thursday

Big Brother kicks off its eleventh season in the United States. After the success of the tenth, gimmickless-casting season, CBS has opted to mostly repeat itself by having eleven contestants with no special relationships worth mentioning, which appears to be the future of the franchise. They have, however, added in one very small “twist,” which is a surprise twelfth house guest, identity to be revealed on tonight’s debut episode. Maybe it is someone famous! Or maybe it is Stephen Baldwin! He hasn’t been on this reality show yet, right? (8 p.m.)
Harper’s Island comes to a close tonight with the final two episodes, “Gasp” and “Sigh,” airing back-to-back. “Gasp” and “Sigh,” interestingly enough, also describe this show’s steadily dropping performance among viewers. Not even bringing Callum Keith Rennie onto the show as a crazy person got people interested in this show. Pity, because he’s kind of awesome. (Global, 9 p.m.)
One of the things that’s really great about That Thing You Do! is that they play the title song exactly the right number of times: not so often that it gets outright annoying to hear it, but just enough that you know if you heard it only a little more, you’d get sick of it real fast. And it’s also a great little movie for the most part. (Vision, 9 p.m.)

Friday

“Transnational Amusements Presents: Peggy’s Magic Sex Feet” is one of the all-time great King of the Hill episodes: it’s poignant and touching while being absurd and really lowbrow funny at the same time. It’s hard to see how Mike Judge is misfiring so powerfully with The Goode Family when he was able to make TV this good. (CFMT, 10:30 p.m.)
Hm. Mental has been moved to Fridays? Looks like Fox isn’t renewing it. Oh darn. (9 p.m.)

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