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.
Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle as Captain Mal Reynolds. Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayAttention Firefly fanatics: tonight the fine folks on Castle have a little fun with you, as Castle (played by Nathan Fillion, of course) dresses up for the Halloween episode as Captain Mal Reynolds of browncoating fame. Of course, you could also just watch Castle because it’s good fun. Do Firefly fanatics do that when there are no space cowboys? (A-Channel, 10 p.m.)
Bravo reruns Monty Python: Almost The Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut) for a second time, but it’s well worth the rerun because although this isn’t the legendary seven-and-a-half-hour cut, you will never get to see that anyway; that one is locked away in a vault guarded by an armoured knight skilled in deadly fish-related martial arts. Or maybe it’s just too long to show easily. Probably the second one, come to think. Anyway, this is a really good doc about the Pythons, even though it doesn’t include any spam spam spam spam baked beans or spam. (9 p.m.)
TuesdayNow that So You Think You Can Dance Canada has finished, the original So You Think You Can Dance kicks off its official competition, this year featuring three tap dancers, a krumper, a married ballroom couple, and the usual buttload of young female contemporary dancers, some of whom will laughably be called “jazz dancers” in order to convince you that there is really a big difference when you’re under twenty-one and formally trained in studio dance. But the krumper looks particularly promising, so here’s hoping for a stronger season than season five, AKA “the one of which we do not speak.” (A-Channel, 8 p.m.)
Mike Epps hosts the 2009 BET Hip-Hop Awards! It’s good to see Mike Epps get work. He is like the Johnny Drama to Omar Epps’s Vincent Chase. Or possibly the other way around, given that Mike Epps mostly does comedy film roles and Omar is safely landed in a TV show. I wonder if they argue at home about which one is Johnny Drama? I totally would. (8 p.m.)
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! I got a rock. (ABC, 8 p.m.)
WednesdayGame one of the World Series kicks off between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees. Okay, so as this is being written Televisualist doesn’t actually have proof that it’ll be the Yankees in the World Series, as they still have to finish beating the Anaheim Angels. But it’s gonna be the Yankees. Fuckin’ Yankees. (Sportsnet, 8 p.m.)
The Botany of Desire earns the Televisualist Award For Most Misleading Title Of The Week, since it’s about how the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato evolved in ways that would ensure that humans would want to cultivate them. But even though the title is misleading, this is a pretty interesting documentary, worthy of the two hours (!) one can put into watching it. (PBS, 9 p.m.)
ThursdayEnd of Days is a legendarily shitty movie, the sort of movie that makes you think Arnold Schwarzenegger went into politics because he could see the pitiful end of his career in the not-too-distant future and decided that the lateral move was his best bit. Anyway, this one is Arnold vs. Satan, with Gabriel Byrne as Satan. The most interesting bit of the movie is where Satan rewards one of his worshippers by having a three-way with his wife and daughter, and frankly even that isn’t that interesting. (AMC, 8 p.m.)
Teen Wolf Really? Wow. That’s all we have to say about that. Wow. (E!, 7 p.m.)
FridayThe Goonies! Some people claim this has aged poorly. They are all Bolsheviks and should not be trusted. Watch those people. They have moustaches that they groom secretly when you turn away! And of course you will only turn away because you want to watch Chunk befriend Sloth again. Oh, those treacherous Bolsheviks! (Family Channel, 9:15 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Treehouse of Horror III,” which is the one with the Krusty doll trying to kill Homer and where Bart and Lisa accidentally cause the dead to rise. “You killed the zombie, Flanders!” “He was a zombie?” (CFMT, 10 p.m.)
The WeekendTelevisualist doesn’t even remember A Fat Albert Halloween, but we are going to recommend it regardless. Because it has Fat Albert and, presumably, also ghosts. How can that not be great? (Teletoon, Saturday 8:30 p.m.)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a classic horror movie, one that helped redefine the modern…wait, Space isn’t showing the original? They’re showing the Michael Bay–produced remake instead? But that’s the one that sucks bag. Surely there’s been a mistake somewhere?…No, apparently the mistake was entirely the fault of Space. (Saturday, 9 p.m.)
If you want to see a really great horror movie instead on Halloween, AMC airs the extremely underrated 1979 remake of Dracula, with Frank Langella as Dracula and Donald Pleasance as Van Helsing. It’s enigmatic, plays around a bit with the Dracula story (in ways that would, one thinks, later influence Francis Ford Coppola), and it has great actiony bits and scary bits. And seriously: Frank Langella pulls off the role of Dracula like you would not believe. (Saturday, 8 p.m.)