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.
Look out, Rupert! It is a shark! A shark in human form named Russell! Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayTonight’s episode of How I Met Your Mother is titled “Robots vs. Wrestlers,” which just seems like a ripoff of the famous “robots vs. werewolves” bit from Corner Gas. Be careful, you American comedy writers who like to make fun of Canadians! We’re tolerant, but only so much will we let slide! (City, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Burns, Baby Burns,” wherein Rodney Dangerfield plays Mr. Burns’ illegitimate son and makes as many bad ethnic jokes as possible. “This place is emptier than a Scottish pay toilet!” (Fox, 11 p.m.)
TuesdayA Hard Day’s Night is never not fun to watch, so watch it. Early Beatles plus wonderfully cheesy fun comic set pieces. What’s not to like, really? (Bravo, 8 p.m.)
The buzz is that this week’s episode of Lost will finally reveal new-Locke’s agenda (or, if you prefer another name for him, Fake Locke, “Flocke,” The Enemy, or Smokey the Smoke Monster). Given that the last time they promised to reveal a whole ton of secrets we got that episode with Richard’s entire backstory where not a whole lot was revealed, do not expect many secrets to get revealed; this season Lost has mostly been revealing secrets at unexpected times and places. But given how this season has been progressing, do expect a really good show. (CTV, 9 p.m.)
WednesdayAmerica’s Next Top Model concludes its most current
Blood, Sweat and Beers is a documentary about the 2009 Bentley Generals and their pursuit of the 2009 Allan Cup, which they eventually won. If you like hockey, this mini-doc is a must-watch; if you’re not a hockey fan, it’s still a really well-made documentary and worth your time. (TVO, 10 p.m.)
ThursdaySupernatural concludes season five, which, due to a mid-seasonal shift (as a sixth season, previously unexpected, was greenlit), found itself in the odd position of both having to continue ramping up to the Biblical apocalypse (and face it: once this show actually goes through on having the apocalypse, what more can they do to top themselves?) while delaying the obvious apocalyptic payoff. The good news is that the show—one of the few currently airing which has only improved with every season, and the first season wasn’t bad to begin with—has mostly pulled this off with amazing style, letting Sam and Dean ramp up their carnage level from fighting mere demons to battling the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and even sitting down to have a pizza dinner with Death himself. This is top-quality genre TV; this is how it’s done. (SunTV, 8 p.m.)
Survivor: Heroes v. Villains enters into its final stretch tonight with six players remaining. Much like last season, Russell Hantz has dominated the story of this one by being a sneaky, clever, and ruthless player, but the notable thing about this season is putting into sharp focus that Russell, when paired against other “star” players, is still strong, but by no means as dominant as he thinks. Parvati and Sandra in particular have demonstrated they both have an amazing capacity for conspiracy, deduction, and bluffing—the three most important elements of playing the game—and if either makes it to the end, they’ll probably beat Russell because Russell, unlike Parvati and Sandra, isn’t really that likable. Of course, they do still have to make it to the end. (Global, 8 p.m.)
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a goddamn great movie and there is nothing more to say about that except that did we mention its goddamn-greatness? Because there is literally nothing wrong with this movie: if you were going to make a perfect film about early 19th-century naval life, this is basically it. (AMC, 8 p.m.)
FridaySmallville ends its ninth season with Zod fighting Clark and the fate of the world hanging in the balance and we can’t help but think that this should be a lot more exciting than it, in fact, will be. (SunTV, 8 p.m.)
Before Shia LaBeefs (or whatever his name is) hit it big with Transformers and his ability to sort of pretend that CGI robots are totally for reals, he was in Holes, a clever film adaptation of Louis Sachar’s novel of the same name, which also has strong performances from Sigourney Weaver, Patricia Arquette and Tim Blake Nelson. It’s a great family film and entertaining for all ages. (Family Channel, 9:15 p.m.)
The WeekendSurvivor airs its season finale with the usual Sunday extravaganza of two-hour finale plus hour-long reunion show following immediately after, and did we mention the oddity that is Rupert, of all people, playing the game in a reasonably cunning manner? Not that Rupert is a bad player, but he’s always relied on being likable and sorta-good at challenges; this season he’s been sharp, observant, even crafty. Now, if he’d only shut up about “honour” and saying “heroes” and “villains,” and you know he’s capitalizing them in his head. (Global, 8 p.m. Sunday)
The Simpsons this week is a Sideshow Bob episode, and personally we can never get enough of Sideshow Bob. (Fox, 8 p.m. Sunday)