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.
Soccer: it has lots of kicking. Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayLie To Me is back for what is widely predicted to be its final season barring some amazing comeback numbers or a fit of whimsy on the part of Fox executives. Tim Roth is still pretty awesome; the show is still pretty silly. (Global, 8 p.m.)
World Cup today: Denmark and Netherlands engage in a battle of Group E’s small European countries at 7:15 a.m. Cameroon and Japan have a match to see who will get the advantage against Denmark to go through to the round of sixteen along with the Netherlands (who are going, make no mistake) at 9:45 a.m. And for everybody who loves seeing people take dives and clutch their knees in intense temporary agony, Italy plays their first match of the Cup against Paraguay at 2:15 p.m. (all games CBC)
TuesdaySo on Hell’s Kitchen last week one guy quit because Gordon Ramsay yelled at him, and we were all like, “what?” Seriously, who the fuck goes on Hell’s Kitchen and isn’t ready for Gordon Ramsay to yell at them? It’s not a dignity thing, because you sacrificed all your dignity the moment you decided to go on a cheesy reality show (and not even one of the good ones like Amazing Race). It’s not a pride thing, because you’ve admitted to the world that you think the only shot you have at becoming a top-tier chef is through a game show. It’s a stupid thing. At least the other people who can’t cook well under pressure aren’t whiny quitters, but dude, you don’t even have that. (Fox, 8 p.m.)
World Cup today: New Zealand has their best possible chance for a game win in the Cup against Slovakia at 7:15 a.m. (They will probably not win.) Côte d’Ivoire plays dreamy Ronaldo and the rest of Portugal at 9:45 a.m. And Brazil plays North Korea at 2:15 p.m., and they will lose because even though Brazil is obviously much much more talented than North Korea and has all the better players and is a soccer power and is the number-one team in the world and so forth, the North Korean players do not want to win the World Cup because of competitive drive or national pride. They want to win the World Cup so Kim Jong-Il will not feed them to sharks. Never underestimate people who do not want to be fed to sharks. (all games CBC)
WednesdayTV’s Greatest Surprises: A Paley Center for Media Special sounds absolutely horrible. It’s hosted by Jeff Probst (eegh!), and it counts down the “30 biggest surprises in prime-time TV history,” which means you just know there’s gonna be JR Ewing getting shot on Dallas and Bob Newhart waking up next to Suzanne Pleshette on the final episode of Newhart and probably something from Lost and all the other things TV executives think are surprising. Given a choice between this and red-hot needles being shoved in one’s eyes, we would think hard about the needles. (CBS, 8 p.m.)
World Cup today: Chile and Honduras in a “battle of the two teams you forgot were in the World Cup” at 7:15 a.m. The number two in the world, Spain, plays those Nazi-gold-hoarding sonsabitches from Switzerland at 9:45 a.m. And the first of the second series of matches in the round of thirty-two kicks off at 2:15 p.m. with South Africa, having done well to tie Mexico, playing Uruguay, who did well to tie France; a win for either country here would give them a good shot to make it to the round of sixteen. (all games CBC)
ThursdayThe Simpsons rerun of the week: “Oh Brother, Where Are Thou?” wherein Herb Powell, Homer’s long-lost half-brother, first appears. An early classic (and when are they going to bring Herb back, anyway?). “People don’t want cars named after hungry old Greek broads.” (CJMT, 7:30 p.m.)
World Cup today: Argentina v. South Korea in a battle of “we already won our first games!” at 7:15 a.m. Nigeria will probably beat the stuffing out of Greece at 9:45 a.m. And a pretty important match as Mexico and France face off at 2:15 p.m. (all games CBC)
Friday“Miley Cyrus in London”? Sounds like somebody is counterprogramming! “Ahh, teenie girls, they don’t watch no footsball. They wanna watch the girlie singing so they can pretends they don’t lives in Dubuque.” Actually I’m not sure what sort of accent that fake TV executive I just made up in my head is supposed to have. I think I was going for “generic sleazeball.” (ABC, 8 p.m.)
World Cup today: Germany will most likely annihilate Serbia at 7:15 a.m., getting revenge for that whole “starting World War One which didn’t end well for us” thing. Slovenia takes on the United States at 9:45 a.m., which probably won’t be much more even a match than Germany versus Serbia. And at 2:15 p.m., England takes on Algeria, which also probably will be something of a slaughter. Today is “one-sided destruction” day in the World Cup. (all games CBC)
The WeekendScoundrels stars Virginia Madsen as the mother of a family of small-time criminals who wants them to go straight once their criminal father gets sent up. Madsen is a pretty great actress, and the premise has some potential; the pilot we saw, however, is a bit uneven. Of course, pilots are frequently uneven by their very nature, so that’s not a recommendation to avoid by any means. (CTV, Sunday 9 p.m.)
World Cup over the weekend: Japan/Netherlands, Australia/Ghana, and Cameroon/Denmark on Saturday (7:15 a.m., 9:45 a.m., and 2:15 p.m., respectively), and Paraguay/Slovakia, Italy/New Zealand, and Brazil/Côte d’Ivoire on Sunday (same times). Enough international soccer to sate anybody’s wishes! Unless you really wish to see New Zealand beat Italy. Not that we don’t sympathize with that desire, mind you, but it’s not gonna happen unless some lunatic with a hacksaw begins attacking Italian players in the middle of the night to show them what actual pain feels like. Not that we would condone such a thing, of course. (all games CBC)