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.
David Tennant bids farewell to the TARDIS. Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayCirque du Soleil presents Kooza, which is a two-hour story about a guy who meets other guys and they do acrobatic things and some slapstick. If you like modern, arty sorts of clowns, then this is right up your alley. (CBC, 8 p.m.)
NBC really hopes people will watch Community, so they’re rerunning four episodes back-to-back tonight. (They’re actually doing this for all of their Thursday night shows, but why would we bother to mention the umpteenth Office mini-marathon?) Community is actually a really funny show, though, so support NBC’s cynical ploy if you are so inclined. (8 p.m.)
TuesdayRudolph’s Shiny New Year is actually very appropriately paired with Rudolph The Red-Nosed Raindeer. Just as Christmas is a time to celebrate the better impulses in human life, New Year’s Eve is a time to get shitfaced and forget about everything you did for a few hours. Which should include watching this special, because why would you want to remember anything about it? (ABC, 8 p.m.)
The 32nd Annual Kennedy Center honourees this year (being awarded for their contributions to American culture) are Mel Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Grace Bumbry, and Dave Brubeck. Basically this event is always the same: five little mini-tribute films, followed by a thankful speech. No performances or anything. You might want to tune in for Mel Brooks’ speech; this might be his last opportunity to really cut loose and be inappropriate before he croaks, and we can’t imagine Mel Brooks passing that up. But other than that you can probably miss this, unless you really, really need to feel validated about loving Meet the Fockers. (CBS, 9 p.m.)
WednesdayEastwick limps to an undignified end, cancelled and with one or two episodes in the bin that may never make it to your TV (unless you purchase the inevitable “Complete Series” box set that you know is coming). Ah, Eastwick. When exactly did we know you were doomed? Was it the presence of famed showkiller Lindsay Price? The dull progression of storylines? The announcement that Jerry O’Connell was going to join the show? The guest appearance by Rosanna Arquette? No, it was probably the Jerry O’Connell thing. (ABC, 10 p.m.)
Family Channel airs Camp Rock, because you needed a reason to keep on living. (7:30 p.m.)
ThursdayAir Farce New Year’s Eve 2009? No! NO! NO! The Air Farce was supposed to be gone forever! That was the deal! Oh, man, Satan, I checked that contract like five times and there was no provision for this! I explicitly demanded that nothing like this ever happen! That’s a VOID CONTRACT, Satan! (CBC, 8 p.m.)
Other New Year’s television entertainments: ABC has what is theoretically Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve (But Really It’s with Ryan Seacrest), with the Black Eyed Peas, starting at 10; NBC has Carson Daly’s annual thing likewise starting at 10; and City’s annual Nathan Philips Square New Year’s likewise starts at 10, assuming you want a Cancon countdown in the privacy of your own home rather than going out. You sad shut-in, you.
FridayBowl games. See, back in the day, college football was kind of awesome because all the bowl games aired on New Year’s Day so there were about fifty games airing on every channel, and it was pleasant chaos. However, the need for order and money now means that there are a mere three bowl games airing today, which makes me sad. The best one is probably twelfth-seeded LSU versus thirteenth-seeded Penn State in the Citrus Bowl… no, excuse me, the Capital One Bowl. Yes, the best Bowl game on New Year’s Day no longer even has a top ten–seeded team. We have failed future generations. (ABC, 1 p.m.)
In a bout of cheekiness, Turner Classics airs 2010, the not-half-bad kind-of-a-sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Cute. (8 p.m.)
Space runs the entirety of Torchwood: Children of Earth in a single day, because they couldn’t get Doctor Who for today and needed to give the diehards something. In fairness, Children of Earth is probably the best that Torchwood has ever been. But on the other hand, it’s still Torchwood, a show that was created because somebody said, “Hey, what if we took the letters in “Doctor Who” and turned them around a bit?” (5 p.m. through till 11:15 p.m.)
The WeekendOkay, most of the Doctor Who diehards probably torrented the first half of The End of Time, the two-part event that serves as the swan song for both David Tennant as the Doctor and showrunner Russell T. Davies, as well as introducing Matt Smith as the newest Doctor, and most of them will probably have already seen the second half in the same manner because it airs in England on Friday and Who fans are not known for their patience. But for those of you without access to the internet or who really, really want to watch it with commercials a day after the fact, Space has got you covered! (8 p.m. Saturday)
W gives you a double shot of Hugh Grant being British and charmingly rogueish and rogueishly charming with About A Boy followed by Love Actually. Forget all about that hooker in the car all over again! (7 p.m. and 9 p.m., Sunday)