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.
We were going to use last week’s zombie picture and just recaption it “Tea Partiers,” but decided against it at the last minute. Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayThe Women of SNL is a two-hour special NBC is airing because they don’t have a lot of successful shows anymore and they need to fill air time rather desperately. Expect a lot of Tina Fey/Amy Poehler/Maya Rudolph, a lot of Gilda Radner/Jane Curtin/Laraine Newman, some Jan Hooks/Victoria Jackson, some Cheri Oteri/Molly Shannon, and probably not of a lot of Denny Dillon, Gail Matthius, or Ann Risley. (Global, 8 p.m.)
TuesdayThe 2010 American midterm elections are today, and it’s likely at this point that, assuming that the Rally to Restore Sanity has not in fact worked a minor miracle and actually restored some sanity, they will result in a whole lot of worse-than-Rob-Ford candidates getting elected. So Toronto can feel lucky in that regard. Although you have your choice of news options as always, we recommend one of three: either watch CNN, least offensively bad of the American news operations, the BBC’s “News Special” intended to cover the midterms, or CBC Newsworld’s later roundup. (CNN and BBC all night; Newsworld begins at 10 p.m.)
We Day 2010 is “a day-long event that ignites a year-long program for change called We Schools In Action.” The general idea seems to be to suggest to schools that they do, you know, good stuff for people. Anyway, this appears to be a televised mishmash of the two events held so far—one last month in Toronto and one earlier in October in Vancouver—featuring the Barenaked Ladies, Al Gore, cast members from Degrassi, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams, among others. Does anybody remember that old SNL sketch about a global warming telethon where somebody says, “Hey! It’s Cheryl Ladd and Isaac Asimov!” This is kind of like that. (MuchMusic, 8 p.m.)
WednesdaySurvivor continues its merry way with the tribal merge happening relatively early (still twelve survivors at this point), indicating that the final tribal council will probably have three contestants rather than two. Anyway, this season has been fairly amusing so far, if only because the “thinks they’re smart but in actuality are dumb as rocks” segment of competitors is so enormously large. NaOnka has an immunity idol which she doesn’t realize half the competitors know about, and is cheerfully antagonizing absolutely anybody she feels with such a lack of personal skills that she makes Russell Hantz look like Bill Clinton. Marty, meanwhile, gave away his immunity idol for goodwill, and I’m sure that goodwill will be very helpful at making him feel better when he loses the million dollars, given that the only reason he is still in the game is that Sash and Brenda were too stupid to vote him out last week and were stupid enough to think their plan of “ask for the immunity idol” would work on anybody with a pulse, so it’s good that they asked Marty. Meanwhile, Holly and Jane are both trying to suck up to the alpha dogs in their tribe, which has never worked in the history of ever. This is a schadenfreude season of Survivor if ever there was one. (Global, 8 p.m.)
Hey! Singin’ In The Rain! That’s appropriate for a segue because on Survivor, it rains a lot! But anyway—if you haven’t seen this classic, what is wrong with you? Donald O’Connor makes all things better. (Turner Classic, 8 p.m.)
The Defenders has been given a full-season order of episodes, because God hates you. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
Thursday“Pet Pharm” is this week’s documentary on Doc Zone, and it is about the newly emergent market for psychoactive drugs for dogs and cats, which instinct tells us should not be an actual thing, but in fact is. This is why Doc Zone is a good thing for CBC to be doing. (9 p.m.)
FridayIt’s the Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards 2010! Televisualist isn’t going to pretend that it knows anything at all about aboriginal music generally, but it cannot help but be impressed by the professionalism of the awards’ website, as well as by the fact that in addition to awards for best male and female entertainer and the usual best genre CDs like hip-hop, country, and rock, there are awards for best album in categories like hand drum, pow wow, and peyote chants. (APTN, 9 p.m.)
Outlaw continues along, acting like it hasn’t been cancelled. You’re not fooiling anybody, Jimmy Smits! (Global, 10 p.m.)
The WeekendThe Simpsons airs “Treehouse of Horror” a week late, as they do every other year seemingly. But along with The Simpsons, Seth McFarlane stands bold proclaiming that Halloween is actually in November, as The Cleveland Show, Family Guy and American Dad all have their Halloween episodes Sunday night as well. Which is just quixotic. (Global, starting at 8)
Kate Plus 8 (or, if you prefer, Kate Plus Ei8ht, which is a horrible title) has been bravely soldiering on since Jon Gosselin decided to cheat on his horrible harpy wife. Now Kate is just a single mother, struggling to make it in a world where she collects a seven-figure annual income for basically just being her own horrible self and giving eight children future psychotherapy bills that will total up to more than the gross national product of Luxembourg. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but Luxembourg is really a very rich little country, you see. Anyway, this week they go to Alaska. Insert Sarah Palin joke here. (TLC, 9 p.m. Sunday)