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.
The “new and original” songs on Glee this week really are just that compelling. Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayThe Bachelor concludes, and at this point Televisualist has made about as many Bachelor jokes as one can possibly make, so it’s really not worth it to keep doing it at this point. What, then, can we say about this, the least substantial and most grating of reality shows? After all, the prize is essentially insubstantial: out of fourteen Bachelors, exactly one has married a contestant on the show, and that wasn’t even the “winning” contestant. I mean, at least on Survivor when you win you actually for-sure get a million dollars. The best most of the female contestants can seemingly manage by being on The Bachelor is eventually getting to star on The Bachelorette, which is definitely not what Betty Friedan had in mind all those years ago, one suspects. It’s a nasty, unpleasant show. Period. (City, 8 p.m.)
Just in case all that trouble in Japan was making you feel unappreciated, SunTV airs Disaster Zone: Volcano In New York, so you can imagine what it would be like if a disaster happened in a major city on your continent. (8 p.m.)
TuesdayThis week’s episode of Glee features original songs, which… well, it’s nice that they tried, one supposes, but it all sounds, and we’re sure you’re shocked by this, like High School Musical-level Disney pop. Which should surprise nobody, because if Glee can’t write a single character consistently on a week-to-week basis, it’s probably foolish to expect them to be able to write an original song that’s clever or insightful. (Global, 8 p.m.)
The Public Enemy is Jimmy Cagney being Jimmy Cagney in a way that forever made him Jimmy Cagney, and if your only exposure to Cagney is third-iteration Simpsons then you should watch this. Also you should watch White Heat if you ever get the chance. But start here. (Turner Classic, 8 p.m.)
WednesdayDish: Women, Waitressing and the Art of Service is a one-hour documentary about the restaurant business and what it’s like to be a waiter/waitress/waitron. It’s kind of a shame that “waitron” never caught on as a gender-neutral replacement for “waiter.” “Server” just lacks something. “Waitron” sounds like an awesome robot. (TVO, 9 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “I’m With Cupid,” wherein Apu and Manjula’s Valentine’s Day makes the other men of Springfield worry about their relationships and causes them to try and sabotage Apu’s. “Thanks for delivering these copies of Juggs. They’ll keep my men from resorting to homosexuality… for about ten minutes!” (Fox, 11 p.m.)
ThursdayThe NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships kick off. (Well, technically they played a few tiebreaker games earlier in the week to determine a few lower seed placements, but barring a miracle none of those teams will make it out of the first round anyway. Does it really matter if Ohio State trounces Texas-San Antonio or Alabama State? Answer: no.) Viewing schedules are still up in the air, but the big-tier games should all see broadcast tonight somewhere. (CBS, TSN)
Or, if you think sports don’t have enough crotch-shots, you can always watch Spring Wipeout, as ABC tries to run a profitable little cash cow into the ground through overexposure just like they did Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Although, in this case, there is at least a lot less Regis. (ABC, 8 p.m.)
FridayIntolerable Cruelty is one of the Coen Brothers’ movies that doesn’t get that much respect, which is a shame because, like most Coen Brothers movies, it’s really very good. (The Ladykillers is kind of mediocre, but that’s about their only misstep.) George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones are both superb in this (she, in particular, has never been better). Underwatched, and worthy of your eyeballing. (Bravo! 8 p.m.)
The WeekendKeeping up with CNN’s new philosophy of “covering today’s news is boring,” they present Stalker: The Shooting of Ronald Reagan. Presumably since it happened a week from today twenty-one years ago, which is a very special anniversary of some kind. One suspects Jodie Foster will not make an appearance. (8 p.m. Sunday)
The Man Who Knew Too Little is one of those Bill Murray films that came in the period after Groundhog Day and before Rushmore, when he was still making movies but mostly wasn’t getting attention for them, and it’s a shame because this one in particular is kind of clever, if you can get around the film’s central conceit (Bill Murray thinks he’s in a live-action role-playing spy adventure game, but really he’s dealing with real spies). It’s definitely absurd, but Murray sells it. (SunTV, 7 p.m. Sunday)