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.
Smoke monster in form of John Locke ahoy! Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayThere is, as of yet, no word as to whether Charlie Sheen will return next season to Two and a Half Men. We’re sure you’re all on the edges of your seats. Actually, what’s the opposite of the edge of your seat? Probably that. After all, have you ever asked yourself, “but who can possibly replace Charlie Sheen?” in any context, ever? (CTV, 9 p.m.)
Romantically Challenged, Alyssa Milano’s new sitcom, returns after a brief hiatus, having already been cancelled over this past weekend. Watching the show, it’s easy to see why it didn’t catch on: it could have easily been titled Standard Romantic Comedy Sitcom and we’re pretty sure nobody would have noticed. It’s a shame, because Alyssa Milano is pretty and has decent comic timing. Hopefully she will get a good show. We hear Charlie Sheen is looking around for work. (ABC, 9:30 p.m.)
TuesdayLost final week, part one: “What They Died For”
Deadliest Warrior this week jumps into History Channel territory as they match up the Nazi SS against the Vietcong, presumably choosing the Vietcong because they are somebody else who fought American soldiers, because there really isn’t any other way the Waffen SS and the ‘Cong are deeply comparable. The cynic might also suggest that, this way, it becomes allowable for one of these two archetypes to win a Deadliest Warrior match on American teevee. (Spike, 10 p.m.)
WednesdayThe Good Guys debuts, with Fox again trying to use American Idol to launch a series. It worked for Glee, but then again, that’s a show with singing and dancing, and this is not a show with singing or dancing; it’s an old-school buddy cop dramedy show, which is not traditionally what Idol fangirls enjoy. However, it looks to be a really entertaining show, casting Bradley Whitford as the slob renegade cop and Colin Hanks as the uptight by-the-book cop. Basically, it’s a TV version of the Tom Hanks/Dan Aykroyd film Dragnet, with Colin Hanks in his father’s role. So, this is a riff on a movie which was itself a cover version of a TV show. Cyclical! (Global, 8 p.m.)
Sneakers is just a really great movie; the technology of code-breaking has aged it to an extent, perhaps. Even so, you can’t beat the interplay between Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Sidney Poitier, Mary McDonnell, David Strathairn, and River Phoenix; the drama is always entirely gripping, and the gags are all still hilarious. A modern classic. (CHCH, 7 p.m.)
ThursdayThe Office fans have been happy to discover that Sabre is, in its own way, just as dysfunctional as Dunder Mifflin was back in the day, with tonight’s season finale, “Whistleblower,” extending the “Sabre’s printers explode” storyline even further. The overwhelming moral of The Office seems to be the futility of office life, not only in the personal sense, but even in the larger sense of accomplishment, and having the Dunder Mifflin crowd be in a company that actually worked well without hurting people seemed wrong, somehow. The stars are now correctly aligned. (Global, 9 p.m.)
Grey’s Anatomy also concludes, unfortunately not for good. (CTV, 9 p.m.)
FridayHey, did you hear they’re talking about doing another sequel to XXX, the Vin Diesel extreme-sports-action-spy movie from 2002? Doesn’t that seem totally random? And also another Riddick movie? When did this Vin Diesel comeback thing get started, anyway? Nothing against Vin Diesel, but it just seems weird that all of a sudden Hollywood seems to have decided that Vin Diesel is a hot superstar again, like there’s a giant roulette wheel somewhere and it landed on Vin Diesel (juuuust missing Ian Ziering). Anyhow, XXX is on tonight if you want to be ready for the sequel! (MuchMusic, 9 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “A Milhouse Divided,” wherein Milhouse’s parents split and Homer gets worried about his marriage to Marge. “You know what you two need? A little comic strip called ‘Love Is…’ It’s about two naked eight-year-olds who are married.” (Fox, 11 p.m.)
The WeekendCelebrity Apprentice concludes, and the last two standing are Bret Michaels (which is unsurprising, because if Bret Michaels can convince three seasons’ worth of women on Rock of Love that he’s still a catch, no way he can’t convince people he can run a business) and Holly Robinson Peete, who peaked with Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper. The show actually pushes the idea of Joan Rivers being capable to serve as a business adviser on the basis that she won a previous season. There needs to be a stronger word than “schadenfreude” to describe the sensation one gets from watching this show. (Global, 9 p.m. Sunday)
And finally, Lost ends with a super-long episode simply called “The End,” wherein…hell, we’re long past guessing at this point. All we can say is that all bets are off and that this will probably divide fans more than the Battlestar Galactica finale did. That having been said, we secretly hope the Smoke Monster tries to sell us all Laramie cigarettes. Ah, Laramie, that rich caramel smoke. (CTV, 9 p.m. Sunday)