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.
Pamela Anderson is ready for her “Star” turn. (We blame Brett for the bad pun.) Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayDancing With The Stars returns for season ten, and this time the big news is that Kate Gosselin, of Jon and Kate Secretly Hate Their Eight fame, is one of the contestants. This officially marks a new low for Dancing With The Stars. (We know you thought it was bad when Tucker Carlson was a contestant, but compared to Kate Gosselin, Tucker Carlson is George Clooney.) Also competing: Shannen Doherty, Pamela Anderson, and Jake “The Bachelor” Pavelka, the last of whom is nearly as disappointing a “star” as Gosselin is. But not quite. (A-Channel, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Homer Badman,” wherein a babysitter thinks Homer has sexually harassed her. “Somebody had to take the babysitter home, then I noticed she was sitting on…her…SWEET CAN. so I grab…her…SWEET CAN. Oh, just thinking about…her…CAN. I just wish I had…her…SWEET-SWEET-S-S-S-S-SWEET CAN.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)
TuesdayTurner Classics deals up a double helping of Akira Kurosawa: Rashomon, his classic “everybody remembers it differently” murder mystery, followed up by The Seven Samurai. If you’ve ever looked at those Criterion Collection edition DVDs and wondered what the big deal was, now is the time to find out what you’ve been missing. (8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. respectively)
Hey, remember that V TV series? The one that aired four episodes a few months ago and then disappeared off the airwaves? Would you like to watch a new episode of it? Well, you can’t just yet. You have to wait until next week. But you can watch a one-hour summary of what happened in those four episodes! We still think ABC is trying to kill this show pre-emptively. It’s the only way this makes sense. (10 p.m.)
WednesdayPBS airs My Music: My Generation: The 60s, both because we don’t have enough colons in our lives and because this amazingly obscure musical period hasn’t received as much critical analysis as it merits. Did you know there was a man named Herman who ran a band of hermits? And that they also sang? Truly, it was a wondrous time the likes of which we shall never see again, et cetera et cetera and so forth. (8 p.m.)
Special Wednesday night edition of Survivor because of NCAA basketball. Call me a philistine, but Survivor is usually more entertaining than most pro sports where you don’t have a personal stake in the outcome, because those athletes are competing for a trophy and pride, and Survivor contestants will punch each other in the face for a lousy ham sandwich. That’s grit, baby! (Global, 8 p.m.)
ThursdayGrey’s Anatomy something something Katherine Heigl’s leaving the show blah blah blah don’t care and don’t care if you’re offended by the not caring. Go watch a proper show where nobody is called “McDreamy” or whatever. Look, Patrick Dempsey slipping into obscurity was a good thing and this show ruined that, okay? (CTV, 9 p.m.)
A couple of weeks ago, we mistakenly identified Love, Hate, and Propaganda as a single-night documentary. But it is not that thing! It is a six-episode documentary series! All the George Stroumboulopoulos you can handle, every week for six weeks! We regret the error, because Strombo has ninja attack teams who will kill you in your sleep if you offend his honour. (CBC, 9 p.m.)
FridayJamie Oliver’s Food Revolution follows the famous chef’s crusade to more or less kickstart a “good food movement” in America the way he tried to do so (with some success) in Britain, by going to Huntington, West Virginia (which, it turns out, is the least healthy city in the USA), and trying to get them not to eat total crap. Apparently he was so successful that a second season is already being planned in the next unhealthiest town in America, which lets us start gambling on the over/under number of seasons before Oliver is lynched by some resentful hicks offended that a foreigner would imply that they’re doing something less than wise. (ABC, 8 p.m.)
Film 101 this week discusses the works of Terry Gilliam, and Terry Gilliam is awesome. Really, Film 101 is a pretty great show in the way that public television used to be, that good old “here’s some smart people in a studio, sitting in chair and talking about shit” vibe. Except it’s on at 10:30 on a Friday, so you never watch it. It’s a pity, but we understand. (TVO, 10:30 p.m.)
The WeekendThe season finale of The Ultimate Fighter‘s current heavyweight-oriented season is tonight! So, if you dig ultimate fighting and all that sort of thing, this is definitely something you might want to watch. If you don’t like ultimate fighting…we dunno. Go do macrame or something. (Spike, 8 p.m. Sunday)
Mythbusters does one of their “fan request” episodes that they periodically do, covering six myths in an entire episode. Sometimes when they cram in a whole ton of stuff into one show like this it feels abrupt and a little like 3-2-1 Contact! but with dorky adults instead of dorky teens, but who can’t appreciate Jamie and Adam giving back to their fanbase. (Discovery Channel, 10 p.m. Sunday)