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.
Jorge Garcia as Hurley, who is not good at the football. Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayFather of the Bride is widely considered to mark Steve Martin’s transition point from “wacky inspired comic” to “elder Hollywood statesman.” It is often near-painfully earnest and sentimental, occasionally even cloying. However, it is often also extremely clever and funny (especially Martin Short’s fussy, vaguely foreign bridal planner). Why CMT is airing it we are not sure, but it’s worth another watch if you’re not in the mood for anything too demanding. That having been said, CMT is also airing Father of the Bride II right afterwards, and we would recommend pouring lye into your eyes rather than watching that dreck. (8 p.m.)
The Scotties Tournament of Hearts is all this week. Some of you reading this will actually want to watch curling on teevee due solely to your Canadian heritage. It is inevitable. (TSN, 7:30 p.m.)
TuesdayLost kicks off its final season by explaining what exactly happened once the nuclear bomb was set off on the island. Well, other than the explosion, which we all figured would happen. We’re talking about divergent timelines and causality and who the hell Jakob is and all that other stuff. Hey, you know how sometimes you try to talk about Lost and then other people just start staring at you? Don’t you hate that? They should just watch Lost. (CTV, 9 p.m.)
Ali, Michael Mann’s 2001 biopic with Will Smith in the title role, is really very good, and has been unjustly overlooked in cinematic history—not least for coming out about a week or two after the first installment of The Lord of the Rings and we all know how people liked that. But if you haven’t seen it, you should: Smith is very good and the movie entirely engrossing. (A-Channel, 8 p.m.)
WednesdaySomehow this defies parody: CBS airs The Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials 2010. This one-hour show promises to showcase popular Super Bowl commercials of the past twenty-five years, as well as “preview” the ads airing during the Super Bowl this year. Yes, we have finally reached the point where trailers for commercials have become a Thing. As a sort-of-official TV critic, all I can say is what the fucking fuck. (8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Lisa’s Pony,” wherein Homer tries to win Lisa’s love with, well, a pony. “Marge, with today’s gasoline prices, we can’t afford not to buy a pony.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)
ThursdaySpeaking of CBS and meaningless previews, here’s a one-hour show called Surviving Survivor, which features Jeff Probst talking about great strategies for winning Survivor. First off, Probst is actively terrible at actually knowing how to play the game, due in part to his inevitable homoerotic man-crush on whoever the most athletic male player is every season leading him to consider “proper” play to involve dominating at challenges, and in part because he’s a self-important tool. And second, what strategies will they mention? “Be on a season where everybody else is an idiot” worked well for Todd in Survivor: China, and Chris from Survivor: Vanuatu can teach us “do nothing until somebody else explains to you how to win, and then beat them in the final.” But for some reason, we doubt they will mention those valuable lessons. (8 p.m.)
Supernatural this week features a time-travel episode, which is fun! Except we doubt they will have any polar bears on tropical islands. Memo to Supernatural: more tropical polar bears. They could be demons! Demon polar bears! (SunTV, 9 p.m.)
This week’s The Nature of Things, “Bat & Man,” has nothing to do with Batman. In case you were wondering. (CBC, 8 p.m.)
FridaySmallville‘s two-hour movie-esque event, “Absolute Justice,” marks the official point where this show just became about masturbating to old DC Comics storylines (as opposed to masturbating to Clark/Lex slash fiction, which probably wasn’t much healthier). A two-hour movie devoted to Clark meeting the Justice Society? How is the “no capes” rule that was originally the idea behind this series supposed to be relevant when everybody else wears a cape and they talk about each other’s capes, like, “hey, nice cape,” “thanks, I love your cape too,” and Clark still has no cape despite the fact that he’s fucking Superman? ARRRRRRRRRGH. (SunTV, 8 p.m.)
BET has their own Haiti telethon a week after everybody else had their Haiti telethon, produced by Puff Daddy and Pharrell Williams, and once again Wyclef Jean’s ripoff charity Yele Haiti is one of the beneficiaries. Which is bad. But on the other hand, they’ve barred Kanye West from attending, which is good. (8 p.m.)
The WeekendThere’s some football game or something, featuring the well-regarded team with one of the best quarterbacks of all time versus a scrappy bunch of underdogs representing America’s never-give-up spirit. Unsurprisingly, the well-regarded team with one of the best quarterbacks of all time is favoured to win for some reason. Don’t those oddsmakers know how these things work? Did they not see Major League? Yes, we know that was about baseball. So what? Scrappy underdogs! (CTV, 6:30 p.m. Sunday)
America’s Best Dance Crew is having a bit of a change-up this season, starting out with mini-elimination rounds in “the South,” “the East,” and “the West” before proceeding to their usual nine-team elimination series. Moral of the story: America’s Best Dance Crew hates the North. (MuchMusic, 10 p.m. Sunday)