Televisualist: We Hate You So Much, The Olympics
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Televisualist: We Hate You So Much, The Olympics

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.

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Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.

Monday

The stupid boring Olympics are still going on and they go on all week. Today, you can watch women’s curling (Canada versus Sweden), men’s curling (Canada versus the US), team sprint cross-country skiing (now there’s a sport that doesn’t have enough adjectives in it!), ski jumping (still the stupidest sport ever invented), and the medal round of ice dancing. (TSN, SportsNet, CTV, NBC, APTN, Outdoor Life)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Homer’s Barbershop Quartet,” which is probably the best single Simpsons episode ever. “I would like a single plum floating in perfume and served in a man’s hat.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)

Tuesday

Today in Olympic fever: more curling (women: Canada vs. Great Britain; men: Canada vs. China)! More skiing (men’s giant slalom)! Speed skating (men’s 10,000 m gold medal final)! Excitement! (Theoretically on TSN, SportsNet, CTV, NBC, APTN, and Outdoor Life)
The top twelve female semifinalists perform on American Idol and normally Televisualist wouldn’t mention it but there’s barely anything else on except fucking Olympics. This year the female semifinalists include someone named “Siobhan Magnus,” in strong contention for “best American Idol name ever.” Go Siobhan Magnus! If you do not become the American Idol, perhaps you can find some country in need of a strong-armed dictator’s wife. (Fox, 8 p.m.)

Wednesday

Today in Olympic whatever: you know you’re into the home stretch when the women’s individual figure skating gets into gear, as it does tonight with the short program. Also: cross-country skiing relay (you know what makes cross-country skiing even more exciting? Having lots of people do it) and bobsled, which was last interesting when John Candy coached the Jamaicans to a noble loss. (TSN, SportsNet, CTV, NBC, APTN, Outdoor Life)
The top twelve male semifinalists perform on American Idol tonight. Interesting note one: because last year the boys had the temerity to be more popular and talented than the girls, this year Fox is going back to the elimination model that gets rid of them at an even pace. Interesting note two: there is one boy named Alex Lambert, about whom the most interesting fact is that he is not related to Adam Lambert. Interesting note three: there is also one guy who totally looks like Sawyer on Lost. (Fox, 8 p.m.)

Thursday

Today in Olympics, on what is traditionally NBC’s powerhouse television night, we have the women’s figure skating medal finals, the men’s freestyle aerials medal finals, and the women’s gold medal hockey game. Also, for some reason, 10 km cross-country, which is a sport and all, we know, but putting it with figure skating and gold medal hockey is kinda like watching an episode of Perfect Strangers right before you watch Raiders of the Lost Ark: you just look at it and say “why am I watching this?” (TSN, SportsNet, CTV, NBC, APTN, Outdoor Life)
Eight-Legged Freaks is actually a pretty good little monster movie, even with the presence of David Arquette, mostly because giant spiders are actually really scary if you think about it and everybody runs away from the giant spiders and then they try to fight the giant spiders and most of them get killed. Really, on the short list of giant spider movies, this one is at the top. (CHCH, 9 p.m.)

Friday

Today in Olympics: women’s gold medal curling, men’s hockey semifinals, men’s speed skating relays, women’s biathlon relay (yes, there is a relay for fucking biathlon), slalom skiing, and four-man bobsled. Woohoo. (TSN, SportsNet, CTV, NBC, APTN, Outdoor Life)
Dear the person who thought it was oh so clever to air Blades of Glory, the Will Ferrell/Jon Heder figure skating “comedy,” as counterprogramming against the Olympics: one day, when you least expect it, I am going to hunt you down and punch you in your genitals. No, I’m not kidding. Right in your genitals. (ABC, 8 p.m.)

The Weekend

On Saturday, the Olympics brings us the men’s curling finals, the bronze medal men’s hockey game, bobsled, slalom skiing, pursuit speed skating, snowboarding, and 30 km cross-country skiing. And then on Sunday, there’s 50 km cross-country skiing, and the gold medal men’s hockey game. And then, after that, the stupid boring Olympics are finally over and we can go back to not pretending to give a shit about dinky Winter Olympic sports for another four years, until it matters again in 2014 in Sochi, Russia, and we all start worrying about whether or not Canada’s penis medal count is respectable enough and whether or not the IOC will ever really like us in the Summer Games way ever again. And you know what? Six months from now, we’ll learn that some athlete or another was totally on super drugs and their medal will be stripped away, and we’ll get another round of moralizing from people who should just shut up forever about “what this means for Olympic competition,” who won’t say things like how black guys were stripped of their medals for having the temerity to raise their fists when they got those medals, or how everybody bent over backwards to suck Hitler’s dick when the Games went to Berlin, or how we cheerfully ignored scads of human rights abuses so that Beijing could host an Olympic Games because the Olympics are ultimately about the politicization of amateur sport in all the worst possible ways, and everybody’s willing to look the other way until they aren’t, and “until they aren’t” only applies to individual athletes and not the people making money off them. Certainly it doesn’t apply to the president of the International Olympic Committee, who promised everybody that the Beijing Olympics wouldn’t be censored right up until, hey whoops, it turned out they’d get censored, but he was too busy complaining about Usain Bolt being happy. The bottom line is this: at least when you watch the World Cup, you get to watch soccer. When you watch the Olympics, you have to pretend to like watching cross-country skiing. (TSN, SportsNet, CTV, NBC, APTN, Outdoor Life)

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