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.
Bachelor Jake Pavelka is an airline pilot! Ladies love airline pilots! Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayThe Bachelor: On The Wings Of Love concludes with a two-hour season finale. This represents the tertiary portion of The Bachelor‘s now-familiar life cycle, which works as follows: the first stage is a standard season of The Bachelor, featuring some rich douchebag. The second stage is a season of The Bachelorette, wherein the classy lady the douchebag turned down in favour of some hottie he’ll date for six months and then drop gets to turn the tables. And the third state is another season of The Bachelor, featuring the fan-favourite “really great guy” the Bachelorette almost picked but didn’t. Then afterwards nobody has anything to say about the really great guy’s season, so they go find themselves another douchebag. It’s the CIIIIRRRRCLE OF LIIIIIIIIIFE! (City, 8 p.m.)
Hiccups debuts, the first of a wave of actual honest-to-God Canadian-produced shows CTV is premiering this week. This one features Corner Gas’ Nancy Robertson as a children’s author prone to fits of rage, and Brent Butt as her incompetent life coach. This should be entertaining, despite the godawful title, because Butt and Robertson are both consistently funny. (8 p.m.)
Dan For Mayor is the other Corner Gas alumni reunion show, this one teaming up Fred Ewanuick with a bunch of the show’s former writers about a…bartender named Dan who…runs for mayor? Given the talent involved it should probably be good, but CTV’s advertising has been irritatingly sparse about what the show actually involves. In fairness, they’ve been better than average about reminding people that it exists, and given that this is CTV advertising a Canadian show we’re more or less grading on a curve. (8:30 p.m.)
TuesdayParenthood makes its long-delayed debut, with Lauren Graham taking over the role Maura Tierney was originally supposed to play before the latter actress was diagnosed with breast cancer. (We have every faith that Tierney has now kicked cancer’s ass because she is awesome.) Apart from Graham, the show also features Peter Krause, Monica Potter, Erika Christiansen, Dax Shephard, and the production team behind Friday Night Lights, and has NBC’s backing. Guess which single item of that list fills one with dread! (City, 10 p.m.)
My mom asked me why I never write about Drop Dead Diva and I said “I don’t watch it” and she said she wanted to see it in my column so I said she could write a blurb for it. So here’s my mom! “Well, I like Drop Dead Diva because I really like the actress, Brooke Elliott. She’s really funny. I like Margaret Cho too. I wish they’d put it on at a different time than The Good Wife, because I like that show too, but because of the Olympics I got to catch up on reruns of The Good Wife so that was all right. But Drop Dead Diva I like better. It’s on 39. Is that Showcase or Bravo? I can never remember.” Way to go, Mom! (Showcase, 10 p.m.)
WednesdayThe Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special is like the most stereotypically feminine TV program they could have aired. No, wait, if it also somehow involved flower arrangements, that would be it. (ABC, 10 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Father, The Son and the Holy Guest Star,” where Bart and Homer consider converting to Catholicism. “Now we have to find another school for you. And if you get kicked out of that one, you’re going straight in the army, where you’ll be sent straight to America’s latest military quagmire. Where will it be? North Korea? Iran? Anything’s possible with Commander Cuckoo-Bananas in charge.” (CJMT, 6:30 p.m.)
ThursdayThe Nature of Things begins a three-part series on the ocean as a biological ecosphere tonight, focusing in this first episode on the ocean’s evolutionary history. Some people have suggested that we talk too much about The Nature of Things in this column and our response is that you can never watch too much David Suzuki. Unless you’re staring at that fig-leaf portrait of him from a few years back for hours at a time. That would be too much. (CBC, 8 p.m.)
The Marriage Ref‘s one-line description is this: “Celebrities try to provide guidance to ordinary couples who have marital issues.” Can you imagine a worse possible idea for a show? “Celebrities decide whether accused criminals on trial should be set free or sent to jail” was the best we could manage. (City, 10 p.m.)
FridayThe Bridge debuts with a two-hour premiere episode. I am going to try and get through discussing this show without making any jokes about how lead actor Aaron Douglas was Chief Tyrol (and a Cylon!) on Battlestar Galactica, and instead focus on how the show’s creators have made the interesting story choice of focusing on the president of a police union—an unapologetically labour-centric choice in a political environment where labour is often not popular. It’s interesting. Perhaps this is because Chief led the workers on the Galactica to strike when…aw, dammit. (CTV, 9 p.m.)
Marketplace tonight features “Canada’s Worst Cellphone Bill,” and they’re so excited about this they’ve actually been emailing everybody all week to say “hey, this is a really great episode.” We here at Torontoist hate cellphone companies as much as everybody else, so maybe it’ll live up to expectations! (CBC, 8:30 p.m.)