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.
“An American Werewolf And Vampire and Ghost In America.” Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayBeing Human is a show about three roommates—who are, respectively, a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost—debuting tonight on Space. “But wait,” you say, “that show has been around for a couple of years. Don’t you mean the third season debut?” And I say, “No, that’s later. I’m talking about the new American version produced by SyFy. The one that is basically exactly the same.” And you say, “That sounds kind of pointless. If it’s exactly the same, why make it at all?” And I say, “Well, yeah.” And you say, “Wait, Space is airing both versions?” And I say, “Welcome to Canadian television.” (10 p.m.)
Speaking of British shows suddenly being Americanized, how about Skins? Now, Skins is a show that’s more suitable for a remake—take teenagers, be crude and realistic, repeat as needed—but the American version is weak sauce. The actors simply aren’t on par with their British counterparts, and the lavish imitation of the pilot makes the show feel like a weak cover version rather than its own thing. This doesn’t mean it can’t recover (look at The Office for proof that a terribly redundant pilot can lead to a good series), but…sigh. (TMN, 10 p.m.)
Hey, did you watch Hot in Cleveland? Yes? Well then, you’ll want to watch Behind the Hotness, a one-hour special about…a television show. The next time CTV complains about the obligation to air a certain amount of Canadian programming, someone should just hit them over the head with this. (8 p.m.)
TuesdayAMC replays The Walking Dead this week: the first three episodes are tonight. Just in case you’d gone too long without zombies, we guess. (starting at 8 p.m.)
A fun game to play with the original Rocky is to watch the matches and try to spot the points where the stands in the background are empty: John Avildsen couldn’t afford to fill the entire arena with extras all the time, so he shot a lot of the closeups in an empty arena to save money. Actually, CHCH is playing Rocky movies all this week, but this is the only good one other than Rocky Balboa, which is kind of all right. (CHCH, 8 p.m.)
WednesdayThe new American Idol—sans Simon, sans Ellen, but with Steven Tyler and J-Lo joining Randy Jackson—is a real question mark. Some people say this new judging staff will fail miserably. Others say it will fail stupendously. We here at Televisualist fall on the side of “miserably,” but we can see where it might fail stupendously. Oh, proud reality show, how you have fallen. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
Off The Map manages to be somehow worse than the “Grey’s Anatomy in the jungle” show it promised to be, and given that Grey’s Anatomy is a pretty awful show to begin with, that says a lot. This show redefines utterly pointless television and wastes some pretty good actors (Zach Gilford, you can do so much better!). Pretty to look at, but you can watch Hawaii Five-O if you just want nice scenery now, so that’s not really an excuse any more. Also, Five-O has people kicking other people in the face. Off The Map just has people on it you want to be kicked in the face. (Global, 10 p.m.)
ThursdayPerfect Couples is NBC’s newest sitcom to fill out its block of three hours of sitcoms—an interesting programming gambit, we must admit. However, despite being one of the few people left on the planet who finds Olivia Munn amusing, we also have to admit that this sitcom is dreary and not funny. It’s not as bad as Outsourced, because so very little is. But it’s not good. (City, 8:30 p.m.)
But also as a result of NBC’s three-hour sitcom block strategy, Parks and Recreation returns! Hooray! (City, 9:30 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Husbands and Knives,” where a new comic book store spells doom for Comic Book Guy. Featuring Alan Moore cameo! “You liked how I made your favorite superhero a heroin-addicted jazz critic who’s not radioactive?” (Fox, 11:30 p.m.)