Televisualist: Good Shows End, Probably-Bad Shows Begin
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Televisualist: Good Shows End, Probably-Bad Shows Begin

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.


Space airs the entirety of Tin Man, the 2007 Sci-Fi (sorry, “Syfy”) six-hour miniseries that was a radical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, starring Zooey Deschanel, Alan Cumming, and Neal McDonough. At the time, a lot of critics complained that it was too bleak and mean-spirited to fit into the general idea of the Oz storyline, which only makes one wonder if any of those critics ever read the Oz books. Because the Oz books? Are freaky. (5 p.m., repeats at 11 p.m.)
Based on the mystery novel by Ellen Byerrum, Killer Hair stars Maggie Lawson from Psych as fashion journalist Lacey Smithsonian (half the trick of writing a good mystery novel is coming up with a snappy name for your detective) and a bunch of people you never heard of plus Mary McDonnell as Lacey’s mother in a movie about murder at a hair salon. Get it? “Killer hair”? Ah, whatever. (W, 8 p.m.)


Back when it won Best Picture, critics lambasted Dances With Wolves for not being as good a picture as Martin Scorcese’s Goodfellas, also nominated. And this is true: Goodfellas should have won. However, the best movie almost never wins Best Picture anyway; the best we can usually hope for is that the winner is a good movie and not something like Crash, which actively sucks eggs. Dances With Wolves might not be as near-perfect a movie as Goodfellas, but it’s a damn good one; not for nothing did it essentially bring back the Western from the cinematic coma into which that genre had collapsed. (AMC, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Dumbbell Indemnity,” where Moe finds himself in a relationship with a lady who sounds like Helen Hunt. Hey, whatever happened to Helen Hunt anyway? She was awesome. “Come on, Homer, I’m one of your dearest friends. Hey, when everybody said you were too drunk to drive that time, who gave you your keys?” (CFMT, 7:30 p.m.)


So You Think You Can Dance has its final two-hour performance episode tonight, capping off a season that has been… well, somewhat underwhelming, to say the least. A season stuffed to the gills with classically trained dancers produced a vast number of subpar ballroom and hip-hop performances, offset with Nigel Lythgoe claiming that his show does everything short of cure cancer. (He may, once or twice, have suggested that the show could cure cancer.) Luckily, at least two of the four finalists (Jeanine and Brandon) really deserve to win the whole thing, and a third (Kayla) would be a perfectly acceptable winner. Of course, if Evan wins, it would be like that red-haired “crooner” kid from American Idol a few seasons back winning the whole thing: ie., wrong in so very many ways and primarily the fault of senior citizens watching the show with their grandkids. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
I Survived A Japanese Game Show also concludes this week, and it is guaranteed to have three times more silly outfits than any other show on television this week. Also, three times more Judge Bob. (ABC, 9 p.m.)
Wipeout this week is Wipeout All-Stars! Whatever an “all-star” is on a show where people bounce around on giant spongy things, these people are the best at it. (ABC, 8 p.m.)


And tonight, you can find out who won on So You Think You Can Dance! Ah, television. You gratify so quickly. Incidentally, Talia Fowler, who won the most recent season of So You Think You Can Dance Australia, is slated to perform tonight, and she is fantastic. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
The CBC re-airs the first two parts of a really excellent four-hour documentary tonight: India Reborn, about India’s economic boom and societal shifts. Given how important India is to the economic and environmental future of the world (and heck, the future of the world generally considering we really don’t want them entering into nuclear war with Pakistan), and given the odds that you, the reader, know probably a lot less about India than you should? You should probably consider watching this if you missed it the first time around. (8 p.m.)


MuchMusic, in a strong bid to declare itself The Most Worthless Channel Ever, airs Crossroads, the terrible Britney Spears movie. Remember: you were warned. (9 p.m.)
Space reairs the pilot of Defying Gravity, their “Grey’s Anatomy in space” series, which is on TV as I write this and it’s too early for me to say if it’s any good yet. It has Ron Livingston, though, and Ron Livingston is a kind of low-key awesome. So there’s that. (9 p.m.)

The Weekend

Shark Tank is kind of like Dragon’s Den, except because it’s American television expect stupider than average contestants. The trailers show contestants sometimes asking for as much as ten million dollars; Televisualist is pretty sure nobody on Dragon’s Den has ever walked away with more than a million. Plus, one of the Sharks is the guy who founded FUBU! That’s pretty awesome if it were ten years ago. (ABC, 9 p.m. Sunday)
There Goes the Neighborhood was the name of a proposed ABC reality series a few years ago, wherein “strange” families (gay married couple! Pagans! Koreans!) would move into some redneck shitville suburb full of McMansions and be judged and gradually eliminated by the families already living there. The winning family would get to keep the house in the redneck shitville suburb. Luckily, ABC figured out that this was a disaster in the making even by reality TV standards and canned it. Now, CBS has grabbed the title for a show that’s sort of like Big Brother for an entire neighborhood: eight families competing for $250,000. Televisualist is sure this is the family-oriented competitive reality show that will break the long streak of similar shows that have all sucked! Or not. (CBS, 9 p.m. Sunday)