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.
Brett said something about this piece “representing the real spirit of Avatar.” Okay then! Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayTwo and a Half Men is a rerun tonight, as CBS hunkers down and holds onto its precious few remaining episodes in the can, hoping against hope that Charlie Sheen will suddenly rediscover the tenuous thread by which he previously held onto his sanity. This hope is most likely futile. (CTV, 9:00 p.m.)
This week is likely your last chance to catch Parker/Spitzer, CNN’s immense flop of a discussion show, before Kathleen Parker is whisked off to Limbo and Eliot Spitzer is given a new show. BOLD PREDICTION: nobody will watch that show either. (8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Mona Leaves-a,” wherein Homer’s mother dies. Surprisingly affecting and sentimental for such a recent episode. “Homer, if you’re watching this, either I’m dead, or you’ve gone through my stuff. If I’m dead, this is my video will; if not, please keep away from my stuff.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)
TuesdayAmerican Idol has finished the ordeal of winnowing down the contestants to twelve girls and twelve boys. Now comes the competition stage, in which the voting public gets to decide who will be the next American Idol and join the hallowed ranks of Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks, and Lee DeWyze. Sadly, Chris “My Wife Got a Brain Injury So That’s Why I’m Pursuing a Singing Career” Medina has already been cut, but that hasn’t stopped him from releasing a single before Idol even airs a competition episode. Good for him! He’s advancing beyond what Dead Wife… sorry, Danny Gokey, was able to do in the pursuit of fame. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
WednesdayFarewell is a lengthy sort-of-documentary about the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin (the first airship to be called the Graf Zeppelin) and its round-the-world voyage in 1929, which it completed in a little over twenty-one days while traveling nearly fifty thousand kilometres. It’s not entirely accurate, since it fudges a few details (including the mention of a water landing for repairs, which did not actually occur during that voyage), but it makes for interesting watching since most of the visuals are newsreel footage. (TVO, 8 p.m.)
The top twelve girls compete on American Idol, but unfortunately there are no girls who have husbands with traumatic brain injuries in the running this season, so really, who cares about them, right? On the bright side, by this point we will know which of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez will be the “new Simon.” (CTV, 8 p.m.)
ThursdayThis week on The Nature of Things, an episode entitled “The Real Avatar,” in which David Suzuki travels to an indigenous Peruvian village and disappoints many, many nerds in the process when it turns out that the natives do not have laser guns of any type. (CBC, 8 p.m.)
The “F” Word: Who Wants to Be a Feminist? is this week’s Doc Zone offering: an hour-long examination of the three-wave understanding of the feminist movement, the birth of “conservative feminism” and other response movements like it, and the future of feminism as we know it. A more than worthy way to spend an hour of your time. (CBC, 9 p.m.)
FridayThe 42nd Annual NAACP Image Awards air tonight, presumably because Fox felt it would pick up their Friday night ratings more than another episode of Fringe. We quite like Fringe, but let’s be honest: the ratings have been notso-hotso. Anyway, this year’s awards are hosted by Wayne Brady, because everybody loves Wayne Brady! (8 p.m.)
The WeekendFUN FACT NUMBER ONE: Appearing on the newest edition of Celebrity Apprentice: Gary Busey, La Toya Jackson, Meat Loaf, first Survivor winner Richard “Naked Guy” Hatch, Star Jones, and David Cassidy. FUN FACT NUMBER TWO: Donald Trump is strongly considering running for President of the United States. (Global, 9 p.m. Sunday)
America’s Next Great Restaurant is sort of what you might get if you crossed Top Chef with Dragon’s Den: a bunch of rich chef-people and food-people (including Bobby Flay!) sitting around a boardroom as people pitch them fast food chain concepts, and then they make the good ones do challenges and stuff. Looking at what’s available to watch of the show so far, it seems much like judge Steve Ells’ Chipotle chain of restaurants: not terrible, but nothing that’s going to surprise you. (A-Channel, 8 p.m. Sunday)