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.
Insert Teen Choice Awards Pokemon-themed joke here. Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayThe 2010 Teen Choice Awards. An acquaintance tells us: “I have a friend who used to work at Much, and hated any time a large group of teens came around because the whole place wound up smelling like zit cream and body odour. The Teen Choice Awards must be a zit-smell nightmare.” All we know is that we hope the long-awaited brutal civil war between Team Edward and Team Jacob begins here, long rows of tweens wielding their seats as crude bludgeons, with Demi Lovato hiding beneath the stage, cursing Disney under her breath. (Global, 8 p.m.)
ABC continues to beat the dead horse with the stick as Bachelor Pad debuts. This is the show where losing suitors from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette all compete to… date, sort of, for money. This is the last time Televisualist will ever mention this show, ever, without also adding the phrase “…stinks worse than a burger made of ground Maury Chaykin.” (City, 8 p.m.)
ABC also has Dating In The Dark back for a second season, presumably because they think somebody will watch it this time around. This belief is not based on any hard evidence, of course, since it flopped terribly last time. Of course, the premise is reliable enough (have people date in the dark, then be shocked when they find out they are dating a TOTAL UGGO!), but only if you are a terrible, soulless person. And The Bachelor fans aside, there really aren’t that many people willing to watch this sort of thing, which basically feels like Office-style cringe-comedy, except for real. (City, 10 p.m.)
Bravo re-airs Monty Python: Almost The Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut) all this week, and as Python documentaries go, this series is probably as comprehensive and entertaining as one can manage: still maintaining that vital Python tone without sacrificing the overall story. Highly recommended for a week’s worth of dead parrot. (Bravo, 9 p.m., all week)
TuesdayHell’s Kitchen concludes, as talented total jackhole Jay and not-that-great-but-not-bad Holli face off in the grand finale. For the big show, Gordon Ramsay brings back all the shitty cooks who got eliminated to be their kitchen staff and fuck up everything all over again by being horrible people. You know why MasterChef is getting better ratings than Hell’s Kitchen? The distinct lack of asshole-ism on the show. (City, 8 p.m.)
WednesdayThe final three contestants perform on So You Think You Can Dance, which nears the end of its seventh season. This season can really only be called disastrous: two of the top contestants eliminated by injuries, a third contestant also nearly eliminated, the show’s continuing progression in its weird mix of condescension towards non-contemporary dancers, judging that was biased to the point of incredulity, and the All-Star concept (which really only resulted in a series of dances where the contestants were mostly outmatched by their more experienced counterparts) producing the lowest ratings in the show’s history. If the show returns next year, it may well have to unfix what wasn’t broke. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt),” where the family moves to an old farm and invents tomacco, a hybrid between tomatoes and tobacco. “Oh, Daddy! It tastes like Grandma!” “Holy Moses! It does taste like Grandma!” “I want more!” “Yeah, me too!” (CJMT, 6:30 p.m.)
ThursdayAmerican Chopper: Senior vs. Junior is kind of weird and interesting. What happened is this: as fans of the show know, Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Teutul Jr. fight all the time, and eventually, probably in part because of the stresses created by the show, Junior quit working for his father and started up his own custom motorcycle business. Now, the show has become a sort of competitive reality show, where father and son will build bikes each week, and the best bike… wins bragging rights, we guess. (TLC, 9 p.m.)
So You Think You Can Dance has its grand finale for the season, where
FridayOnce upon a time, my best friend dragged me to see Spice World in theatres when it came out, on the promise that, as I did not want to see the Spice Girls “act,” she would compromise by going with me to see Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. However, she did not live up to this promise, possibly because MK:A was absolutely godawful. Unfortunately for her, so was Spice World. I let this promise linger for a number of years, and then finally got my own back earlier this year when we went to see MacGruber, which was so bad I believe it caused her physical pain. The moral of the story? Do not make people watch Spice World. (YTV, 7 p.m.)
The WeekendOh, right, So You Think You Can Dance Canada starts this weekend! Tre Armstrong, Jean Marc Genereux, and (unfortunately) Leah Miller return as auditions begin in Toronto, which always produces the most finalists and, as in Canadian Idol, has yet to produce a winner. Perhaps this season will break our city’s curse? Well, no, probably not, because the rest of the country will rally around some perky young thing from Nunavut or something like that. (CTV, 9 p.m. Sunday)
Classic Star Trek fans rejoice: this weekend you can watch the unedited, full-length restored version of “The Cage,” the original series pilot, where Captain Pike is in a box and can only talk through beeping. Man, New-Universe-Trek Captain Pike has it all over Original-Universe-Trek Pike. The new-universe one gets to be an admiral and capable of speech and just in a wheelchair. No beeping box for Bruce Greenwood, I tell you that. Where was I? Oh, right, television history. This is worth watching if you haven’t seen it. (Space, 8 p.m. Sunday)