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.
Because kids today text a lot, you see! Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayThe NCAA men’s basketball championship is tonight, and most people have assumed that the University of Connecticut—which beat Kentucky in a squeaker and is the top seed remaining—is the likely victor. Probably true. But that’s no reason not to root for eighth-seeded Butler to take it all. (CBS, 9 p.m.)
Steve Paikin interviews Brian Mulroney on The Agenda, on the off-chance you were interested in a full hour of centre-right fluff coming from a former Prime Minister who has since been implicated in scandal. (TVO, 8 p.m.)
CBC airs Spelling Night in Canada, presumably because Super Spellers has done well for the network and someone has decided to milk the spelling ratings juggernaut for all it’s worth before Canadians get bored with it and decide to fall in love with, we dunno, competitive eating or something. Trust Televisualist on this: if Canadians suddenly started watching competitive eating on a large basis, someone at the CBC would find a way to claim it as a Canadian tradition, presumably revealing to us that the fad started with how French colonists would engage in bear-meat gluttony-fests with the Iroquois. (8 p.m.)
We recommend that you watch Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever not because it is good, but because it is one of a tiny, tiny handful of movies to achieve a zero percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Yes, out of 110 archived reviews there, not a single one thought it was any good (and before someone starts talking about how Rotten Tomatoes arbitrarily assigns mixed reviews as “fresh” or “rotten”—we’re talking about wholly negative reviews here). This is truly one of the shockingly terrible movies of all-time. It is The Room, but with more explosions and Lucy Liu kicking people in the face. It was directed by someone willingly calling himself “Kaos.” You really can’t afford to pass this up. True crap only comes along once in a while. (CHCH, 9 p.m.)
Tuesday“Serpentine! Serpentine!” If you recognize that, then you have seen The In-Laws already. And if not, then you should. And you should avoid the 2003 remake even if it has Michael Douglas in it. Stick with the original, airing tonight, with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin. Serpentine! (CHCH, 8 p.m.)
WednesdayBreaking In is a new half-hour single-camera comedy starring Christian Slater as the owner of a security company. Basically it is Sneakers: the Series. Which would be great if the show was as fun as Sneakers is, but the pilot is definitely uneven. That having been said, seeing Michael Rosenbaum back on television (as a douchebag boyfriend of the lead actor’s romantic interest) makes the pilot worth watching even if one forgets about everything else. (Fox, 9:30 p.m.)
ThursdayIf you missed the pilot of The Killing, AMC has you covered, as tonight you can watch the first two episodes back-to-back. Perhaps this will ease the sting of having to wait almost a year for the next season of Mad Men. Perhaps it will not. (9 p.m.)
NBC is burning through new episodes of Perfect Couples and Outsourced as quickly as possible. The result is a sitcom night that consists of four reruns (for Community, 30 Rock, The Office and Parks and Recreation, a.k.a. the We’re Not Cancelled Club) and new episodes of the two sitcoms that could best be described as “laughless” (and in Outsourced’s case, “kinda racist”). So if you want to see these shows, this is basically your last chance! Hooray! (Couples NBC 8:30 p.m., City 9 p.m.; Outsourced Global, 10:30 p.m.)
FridayIf you want to see what Smallville was like before it became some weird mutant televised version of alternate-universe DC fan fiction, the pilot episode is on tonight. Hey, remember whem Sam Jones III played Pete Ross on this show? Now he’s been convicted for trafficking oxycodone! And, like the entire rest of the original cast other than Tom Welling and Allison Mack (sort of), he’s no longer active on the show. Smallville: it does weird things to everybody, characters and actors alike. (CHCH, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Three Men and a Comic Book,” wherein Bart, Milhouse, and Martin pool their money to buy a rare issue of Radioactive Man. “I am through with working. Working is for chumps.” “Son, I’m proud of you. I was twice your age when I figured that out.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)
The WeekendIf you wanted to see the late Elizabeth Taylor in all her glory, Turner Classic has you covered with an all-day marathon: Father of the Bride followed by Father’s Little Dividend followed by Raintree County followed by Cat on a Hot Tin Roof followed by Butterfield 8 followed by Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? followed by Giant. If you’re not up for fourteen hours of Elizabeth Taylor, we recommend signing on with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and ending with Woolf, which gives you her three greatest roles and both of her Academy Award wins in six hours and change. Although we do have a fondness for the original Father of the Bride, because as nice a person as Kimberly Williams might be, she is no Elizabeth Taylor. (starting at 11:30 A.M., Sunday)
So now that we’ve gotten the chance to see Wipeout Canada…well, it has Jonathan Torrens as a host! Remember Jonovision? No? That’s fair, it was a decade ago. Other than that, it’s everything you’d expect a Canadian game show produced in Argentina to be: a little tamer than the American version, but with slightly more clever gags. In all honesty, Televisualist would totally try out for it, except that if you need glasses to see you’re not allowed to try out for it. Booo, Wipeout Canada!. Booo. (TVTropolis, 8 p.m. Sunday)