Televisualist: Mad About Summer
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Televisualist: Mad About Summer

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.

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“They smoke a lot on this show, you know!” Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.

Monday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Midnight Rx,” wherein Homer, Grandpa, and Mr. Burns buy cheap prescription drugs in Canada. “Fear not, Smithers! I’ll move heaven and earth to save you! It’s still easier than teaching a new assistant my filing system.” (CJMT, 7:30 p.m.)

Tuesday

It’s a televised mayoral debate! Yes, Torontonians can have their very first second umpteenth opportunity to hear George Smitherman, Rob Ford, Rocco Rossi, Giorgio Mammoliti, Sarah Thomson, and Joe Pantalone explain their views on municipal policy. Except really we’re just watching to see if somebody says “fuck” by accident or if Rob Ford completely loses it and tries to strangle somebody. It doesn’t really matter who he tries to strangle, although if it’s a gay single parent he would definitely earn bonus points with the media for making their lives easier. (CP24, 8 p.m.)
Big Voice is W’s new reality show about a vocal coach giving “everyday women” (direct quote) the vocal training equivalent of boot camp. This is a genuinely good idea for a show, which of course explains why W has decided to air four episodes every week because when you’ve got a good show now, the idea is to get all the episodes on TV as quickly as possible so you can immediately start reairing them for the audience you haven’t bothered to develop. Wait, what? (8–10 p.m.)
Bravo’s episode of At The Concert Hall this week features Matthew Good, who has apparently released five albums since the Matthew Good Band broke up. Huh. Things you learn. (10 p.m.)

Wednesday

Soccer fans can witness what’s likely to be an entertaining friendly, as Bolton Wanderers FC come to town to play Toronto FC. Bolton Wanderers, for those not in the know, play in the Premier League in England and have qualified for the UEFA Cup twice in the last decade. All props to Toronto FC, of course, who are having a reasonably good season, but this is kind of like Godzilla v. Bambi in terms of likely outcome. But hey, we’re playing against the big boys now! (Rogers 10, 7:30 p.m.)
This week’s episode of Pros v. Joes would be better entitled “Pros v. Pros,” as it pits the NFL stars against the NBA stars in their respective sporting challenges. Meanwhile, in other news, Michael “Dogs? What dogs, officer?” Vick is now on this show, making it even less worthwhile than it previously was. (Spike, 10 p.m.)

Thursday

So Rookie Blue, it turns out, is a big hit stateside, which just makes Televisualist look silly for saying it’s a bad show. The masses have spoken and “Grey’s Anatomy with cops” is what they have demanded. This is depressing, but at least the Canadian television production industry is making a profit off it, so there’s that. (Global, 9 p.m.)
This week’s episode of Police Women of Memphis is entitled “Please Don’t Be Dead,” which is possibly the most ominous episode title for a reality show ever and we cannot fail to recommend it on that basis. (TLC, 9 p.m.)

Friday

Spike runs a mini-marathon tonight of all new episodes of Knockout Sportsworld, the show for people who don’t have enough attention span to watch actual sports. If you don’t know what this show is, imagine the highlight reels that they show during SportsCenter or your sporting recap show of choice. Now imagine that instead of recapping sporting events, they just show the bits where people hit other people really hard. Don Cherry should probably sue these guys. (Beginning at 7 p.m.)
Road to Perdition probably isn’t the first movie people think of when they think of comic-book movies, but it’s an adaptation of the similarly named crime comics by Max Allan Collins. It’s also one of Paul Newman’s last film roles (other than Cars, and he only voice-acted in that) and as per usual for Newman it’s great work. Tom Hanks’ lead acting is rugged, excellent stuff. This was the last film Conrad L. Hall—known as the “prince of darkness” for his techniques using shadows—worked on as a cinematographer. In short, this is one of the truly great noirs of the last decade. Highly recommended. (History Channel, 9 p.m.)

The Weekend

Doctor Who concludes its season with “The Big Bang,” which is a great finale with lots of big moments, excitement, explosions, temporal parodoxes, and a fez. Because fezzes are cool. (Space, 9 p.m. Saturday)
When last we left Mad Men, Don had finally confessed his past to Betty, causing Don and Betty to end their marriage. President Kennedy had very recently been shot. Sterling Cooper had been sold, causing the principals at Sterling Cooper to abandon ship and create their new, long-windedly-named agency, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, nabbing Peggy, Joan, Harry, and Pete in the process. As the new season begins, it’s November of 1964, one year later: the Civil Rights Act has passed, the Beatles have appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, and the Gulf of Tonkin Incident has led the United States to expand operations in Vietnam. It’s a brand new world for a show where things can always find a new bottom. Can’t wait. (AMC, 10 p.m. Sunday)

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