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.
SUPERCHIKLIS FEARS NO GIANT PENCILS! Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayHawaii Five-O looks like it isn’t going anywhere after last week’s ratings, and we are amusingly neutral on this. On the one hand, we like seeing Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, and Scott Caan all get work, the show looks spectacular, and the theme song is excellent. On the other hand, Alex O’Loughlin is still not a very good actor and when you get down to it this is just another procedural, albeit one with a groovy setting. So, yeah. Mixed bag. (Global, 10 p.m.)
Fat joke fat joke fat joke? Fat joke. Fat joke fat joke, fat joke fat fat joke joke. Fat joke; fat joke; fat joke. Fat joke fat joke fat joke fat joke. Fat joke! Fat joke fat joke fat joke Mike and Molly fat joke fat joke. Fat joke: fat joke! (CBS, 9:30 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part Two.” The only Simpsons cliffhanger ever! “Kids, kids, kids. As far as Daddy’s concerned, you’re both potential murderers.” (Fox, 11 p.m.)
TuesdayNo Ordinary Family has a cute premise (family gets superpowers) and we’ll watch Michael Chiklis in pretty much anything because he is terrific. Unlike some of the other pilots this season, this one hints at the broader implications of the story idea just enough to be intriguing, and although you have to get past the painful voiceover from Chiklis (we’ll watch him in anything, sure, but listen to him in anything?) it’s a good hour of teevee. Worth a look. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
The Good Wife returns. My mom really loves this show so I’m mentioning it for her. It’s a good show in the most unremarkable of ways: consistent, solid storytelling in the sort of way that, if you don’t watch the show, it will never really drag you in. But if you watch it regularly, you like it. Like my mom. Hi, Mom! (CBS, 10 p.m.)
Raising Hope is dark. It is really, really dark. When you get a character proclaiming in the first two minutes of the show, as the punchline, that there is nothing more to life than “cleaning the same pool over and over again,” you’ve got a dark, dark show. When they do a Gilligan cut (Google it) about an execution, you’ve got a dark, dark show. But it’s really funny too, with crackerjack timing, and Martha Plimpton is the best person ever, and Cloris Leachman is totally willing to do anything for a laugh, and you can’t have a really hopeful show, it seems, that isn’t dark. It’s still early, but this looks very much like the next truly great sitcom. Assuming Fox doesn’t cancel it. (Fox, 9 p.m.)
WednesdayLaw and Order: Los Angeles is NBC’s big gambit, trying to get people interested in the basic Law and Order setup by moving cities and tossing out some recognizable names. Now, this has worked before with Law and Order UK, which featured a bunch of great British actors, but the British criminal justice system is different enough that it actually seems like a stylistic shift, whereas Los Angeles is, well, still the same old basic American court system. Granted, they’ve got the big names: Skeet Ulrich, Terrence Howard, and Alfred Molina are some acting firepower. But they haven’t made the screener available to critics, which is usually a warning sign. Only one way to find out, one supposes. (NBC, 10 p.m.)
ThursdayOkay, was I the only one annoyed with Bones last week? I mean, they go to all the trouble of a “this changes everything!” dissolution/cliffhanger last season with Brennan going to the jungle and Booth going to Afghanistan, and then without so much as a flicker everybody just comes back to their old jobs. What was the point? It’s not like anybody has high expectations of Bones other than that before the final episode Brennan and Booth will totally do it, so why bother with such a pointless tease? All we want is unrealistic murders and unrealistic solvings of those murders on a weekly basis! Is that too much to ask? (Global, 8 p.m.)
A week late, perhaps, but CHCH has this season’s premiere of Supernatural. Previous showrunner Eric Kripke left after season five as that season concluded the entire arc he’d been planning to tell, but the network said “no, one more season please” so now we’ve got season six, which feels like Scrubs Med School if it were a horror series with monsters and demons and such. But better than that. (10 p.m.)
FridayHuman Target returns. We are not entirely sure why. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
The WeekendIt’s time for the annual “omigod asteroids ending the world” freakout, is it? That explains this week’s episode of Bad Universe, the Discovery Channel’s answer to those news segments on seven kinds of baby food that can give you herpes and what you can do about it, as they talk about, well, asteroids smashing into the planet and ending all life. Fun! (10 p.m. Sunday)
Looks like we have yet another mayoral debate, this time on City. We’re out of fun catchlines for teasing these debates, because there are so many of them and there really are only so many Rob Ford jokes in the universe. Sorry. (9 p.m. Sunday)