Televisualist: A Kinder, Gentler Televisualist
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Televisualist: A Kinder, Gentler Televisualist

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.

Jillian Michaels stalks a former Biggest Loser participant. Tonight, there will be murder. Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.


How I Met Your Mother brings out the big guns for Thanksgiving sweeps: a “slap” episode. If you do not understand the importance of a “slap” episode of How I Met Your Mother and why it is indeed life-threateningly important, go watch the entire series and then come back when you’re done. We can wait. (City, 8 p.m.)
Dancing With The Stars concludes tonight, and Televisualist is feeling generous this week so we shall say this about Dancing With The Stars: after the first four or five eliminations of any given season, the ballroom dancing on display is almost always exceptionally entertaining, even if we want to hit hosts Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris with a brick. No, a pile of bricks. They are where charisma goes to die. Anyway, this season has actually been really enjoyable, and finalist celebrities Donny Osmond, Kelly Osbourne, and Mya are people you might actually recognize if you saw them on the street, so the title doesn’t even feel like a cruel joke on the world. Good for you, Dancing With The Stars! (ABC, 8 p.m.)


Tonight’s episode of The Good Wife is titled “Threesome”…nah, too easy. (Global, 10 p.m.)
Tomcats is quite possibly one of the worst movies ever made. Jerry O’Connell’s frantic flailings to avoid eventual imprisonment on Hollywood Squares (you just know he’ll get Shadoe Stevens’s old slot) plus Jake Busey’s horrifically bad overacting plus the mere presence of Horatio Sanz would be bad enough on its own, but the misogynistic idiocy that is Tomcats takes all of these terrible elements even further to the event horizon of suck. (CHCH, 9 p.m.)


We make a lot of fun of The Biggest Loser here at Televisualist, for many reasons. First off, it’s a really terrible name for a show and is thus deserving of mockery on that basis. Secondly, it is seemingly always on: NBC just keeps cranking out season after season of this show with barely a pause, which is understandable given that it is cheap to produce and popular, but come on. And thirdly, Jillian Michaels is sort of a crazypants. No, not “sort of.” “Definitely.” All of that having been said, the show is uplifting in its way, and it does probably help the lives of its fatty contestants. So we should probably be a bit nicer to it. Tonight, Jillian Michaels hosts a “where are they now” special, wherein we are fairly sure it will be revealed that they are all still fit and trim, because this is not the sort of show that celebrates failure. (NBC, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Double Double Boy In Trouble,” wherein Bart meets his doppleganger, who just happens to be a rich kid. Prince and the Pauper–style hijinks ensue. “Hey, Bart. I think I have a crush on your new sister.” “You have a crush on my old sister.” “Yeah, but that wasn’t going to happen.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)


It is American Thanksgiving, so laugh at our backwards southerly neighbours who don’t understand that Thanksgiving was, like, six weeks ago while you enjoy A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, which is still great because anything to do with Peanuts is great. (ABC, 8 p.m.)
To Catch A Thief is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s lighter caper films, a light, saucy thriller with Cary Grant as a retired cat burglar and Grace Kelly as not a retired cat burglar, and since it is Hitchcock you know there’s gonna be some cat burgling and a twist or three. If you haven’t seen it, now is your chance. (Turner Classic, 8 p.m.)


Spike airs a Band of Brothers marathon, for reasons of which we are not entirely sure. Knowing Spike, it is entirely possible they will overdub in a Japanese announcer screaming “HEROIC AMERICAN SOLDIER TIME” and then overdub two annoying subpar comedians on top of that making dick jokes that weren’t funny the first five times you heard them. On the other hand, if Spike airs these properly (IE, uncut and uncensored), then this is a chance to kill a day watching what’s arguably the single best HBO miniseries ever. (“Currahee” kicks things off at 9 a.m. and the marathon goes through to 11 p.m.)
A Colbert Christmas re-airs, because it’s November, and November means Christmas! Fuck off, CTV. (10 p.m.)

The Weekend

You know, ever since CHCH stopped being an E! affiliate and just started airing old movies like, all the time, I have to admit they’re putting on some movies that I haven’t seen in forever. Tonight, it’s The Running Man, where Arnold Schwarzenegger is the good guy and he kills a lot of bad guys (improbably led by Richard Dawson) and while doing so gives boring TV critics a point of reference by which they can mock reality TV forever. But he didn’t mean to do that last part, so Arnold is forgiven. (Sunday 9 p.m.)
650 Pound Virgin: The Weight Is Over is quite possibly the worst title for a reality show ever. The idea is that there is this guy who loses 400 pounds and then starts trying to date. And it’s a TV show because, having previously been mostly immobile, he doesn’t have any experience doing that. Yeah, pretty sure we’re working a new low in television programming here. (TLC, Sunday 10 p.m.)