Televisualist: Awaiting America's Next Top Robocop
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Televisualist: Awaiting America’s Next Top Robocop

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.


The last two hours of Guns, CBC’s miniseries about, well, guns, airs tonight. Will Elisha Cuthbert’s character be shot to death, finally fulfilling the dreams of many a fan of 24? One can only hope. (CBC, 8 p.m.)
The History Channel presents Manson, a two-hour documentary about the lead singer of Garbage. No, no, it’s about Charlie Manson and how the Manson Family murdered Sharon Tate and also some other people. This particular Manson documentary features the participation of Linda Kasabian, the Family member who did not participate in the murders and who became the star prosecution witness at the trial. Unfortunately, Kasabian’s participation doesn’t actually make the show (or the dramatic re-enactments) any good; the only interesting thing about Manson at this point is asking why he did it, and this doc fails to even come close to answering that question. (9 p.m.)


Robocop is great. The sequels are all terrible. The series was worse. Pretty much everything Robocop-related after the original movie is a descending spiral of suck. But the original Robocop is great, because he is a cop who is also a robot, and that can never be all bad. Especially when it’s in a smart, funny, and exciting sci-fi movie. See it now, before the inevitable remake! (E!, 9 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Lisa’s Pony,” wherein Homer borrows money from Mr. Burns to buy Lisa a pony and suffers the consequences. “I’m not in this for personal gain, heavens no. By the way, are you acquainted with our state’s stringent usury laws?” (CFMT, 10:30 p.m.)


Barack Obama addresses the nation! It will either be about health care or an asteroid. Yes, that Deep Impact joke will never, ever get old. Unlike the debate on healthcare. (American networks, 8 p.m.)
America’s Next Top Model returns for its thirteenth season, because people love models! Or possibly they love women acting bitchy. Or Tyra Banks. Who doesn’t love Tyra Banks? She once blew up a helicopter with chewing gum. No, wait, that was the A-Team. Wouldn’t it be great if they brought the A-Team back? The A-Team would be great judges on a reality show. Well, not Hannibal, obviously. He’s dead. And the guy who played Faceman is kind of crazy. But Mr. T and Dwight Schultz would be great reality show judges. They should be on America’s Next Top Model. “I pity the fool that isn’t in the runnin’ to becomin’ America’s Next Top Model!” That would be great. (CTV, 8 p.m.)


The Vampire Diaries premieres. For those of you not familiar with the popular series of books, it is kind of like Twilight (complete with the heroine being the most popular girl in school) except there are no werewolves and decidedly fewer Mormon undertones in the story. Kevin Williamson, who used to be a big deal because of Scream and Dawson’s Creek before he made a whole lot of crap, is the head writer. Does it suck (no pun intended)? The best we can say is “as of the pilot episode, not yet.” But somehow, we figure it eventually will. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
Supernatural returns, and for what may well be the final season of the show, the show’s producers have gone all out, literally bringing Hell on earth as this season has Dean and Sam Winchester fighting the Devil himself. Probably with chainsaws. They like chainsaws on Supernatural. (SunTV, 9 p.m.)
The NFL season kicks off with a kickoff special and then Tennessee plays Pittsburgh! Televisualist will not mention boring American football again until the Super Bowl. Or maybe if the guy from Friday Night Lights starts coaching a team for real. (NBC, 8 p.m.)


Jay-Z performs live from New York. I want to make some sort of joke, but I can’t figure out how to make fun of Jay-Z. Maybe I should ask The Game. He does that a lot. (MuchMusic, 9 p.m.)
Goodfellas airs and if you haven’t seen it then what the fuck is wrong with you? (AMC, 8 p.m.)

The Weekend

The 2009 Canada’s Walk of Fame Special this year features Kim Cattrall, Blue Rodeo, Tom Cochrane, and Robert Munsch. Oh, all right, we admit it, Howie Mandell too. Much as that bothers us. We really, really hate Deal or No Deal. (Global, 8 p.m.)
The Discovery Channel airs Are We Alone?, which is a long special about explorers visiting the most forbidding and inhospitable places on Earth to give the viewer a better idea of how difficult it would be to survive on other planets in our solar system. Of course, since there are almost certainly no little green men anywhere in our solar system, the answer is “no, unless you count this mould we found. It might be alive.” (8 p.m.)