Televisualist: Somebody's Getting Married
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Televisualist: Somebody’s Getting Married

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.

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Somewhere, Joe Strummer is sitting back with a beer and laughing. Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.

Monday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Bart the Lover,” wherein Bart makes up letters from a secret admirer to screw with Mrs. Krabappel after she confiscates his yo-yo. “Step aside, everyone. Sensitive love letters are my speciality. ‘Dear Baby. Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You.'” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)

Tuesday

Hey, are you sick to death of talent shows ignoring actual talent in favour of marketability? Well, The Voice is here for you! In this show, the judges will listen to singers… but not see them. My word! This is revolutionary! So presumably one of three things will happen. Option one: this show will discover the next 40 Susan Boyles and they will all come on stage looking frumpy and then sing gorgeous show tunes until we reach some sort of audio-heaven. Option two: The judges will judge blind at first and then do their best to transform all the frumpy singers into handsome models, also known as “The Clay Aiken Method.” Option three: it doesn’t matter because this is an NBC reality show and therefore likely to reek of desperation. (CTV, 9 p.m.)
Wait, didn’t Glee already do a Lady Gaga–themed episode in its first season where everybody got dressed in spangly makeup and stuff? Well, apparently now every season of Glee has a Lady Gaga–themed episode, because that is just how important Lady Gaga is. In fact, she is so important that this episode is 90 minutes long! Why? Because you need just that much time to devote to Lady Gaga’s message of tolerance. (Global, 8 p.m.)

Wednesday

If you like soccer, and you like Canada, you’ll love watching the 2011 Nutralite Canadian Soccer Championships! Well, admittedly there are only four teams able to compete at present (Toronto FC, the new Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and then Impact Montreal and Edmonton FC, both playing in the North American division II league), and this week features Toronto FC versus Edmonton, so basically if Toronto FC loses we’re going to look absolutely pathetic and if we win it’s just sort of expected. But it’s soccer! You love soccer! (Sportsnet, 7:30 p.m.)
Your first burst of Royal Wedding–mania is NBC’s Inside the Royal Wedding special, which—and we are just going out on a limb here—will be the usual mix of breathless reporting of tidbits (“the Royal Wedding will have bridesmaids wearing dresses that are actually live tigers!“), trivia (“this is the first Royal Wedding to feature live animals as clothing since 1847”), and pseudo-insider gossip (“and now, an exclusive interview with the man who captured the tigers that the bridesmaids will be wearing”). (NBC, 8 p.m.)

Thursday

20/20 does its second Royal Wedding–themed special in two weeks, which just makes one think that they were so happy to discuss this rather than, say, the debt ceiling or unemployment or global warming or all that other downer crap. (CHCH, 8 p.m.)
Hey, you know what you need in your Royal Wedding leadup? You need William and Kate, the quickie made-for-TV movie that…well, let’s just quote the Evening Standard’s Richard Godwin: “Critics in America have panned this movie as a cheesy chick-flick, but there are positives. It is recognisably a film, in that it takes place on a screen. Events run in a forward direction.” Hey, we’re sold! If you need more, the trailer—complete with wacky scene of Prince William trying to cook! Just like a commoner!—is here. (Slice, 8 p.m.)

Friday

Well, if you want to watch the actual Royal Wedding, the bad news is that to watch it live, you must get up really, really early. CBC’s coverage begins at 2 a.m., presumably because it is the most super-comprehensive and will have post-wedding recaps or something. CTV and CP24’s coverage begins at 3 a.m. and then ends at 6 a.m. Global and CNN begin coverage at 4 a.m., the actual time of the wedding, and continues through until 10 a.m. “But wait,” you say, “I have to sleep.” Well, in that case you can catch the replays! CTV and CP24 will air the Royal Wedding again at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and TLC (we don’t know what one can learn from the Royal Wedding, other than “marrying an aristocrat is a pretty sweet deal”) then repeats it at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. and then we can go back to realizing that none of us actually give a shit about this, right?
On top of that, there will be recap specials! CBS has The Royal Wedding: Modern Majesty, which will be just like watching the regular old Royal Wedding except a news anchor will in fact explain the Royal Wedding in brief edited clips. Then, right after that, 20/20 has their third fucking Royal Wedding special episode, and this one is even double-length. Meanwhile, Dateline also covers the Royal Wedding, because every network must opine about the wonder that is the aristocracy. Finally, Global exhorts us to Relive the Magic of the Royal Wedding, which at this point will have been less than 12 hours ago. And then it’s all over and we can just sit back and enjoy Will and Kate trying to lead a life entirely in public. SPOILER ALERT: they will most likely fail, just like everybody else who has had to try. (Modern Majesty 8 p.m.; 20/20 and Dateline 9 p.m.; Relive the Magic 8 p.m.)
If you want to be annoyed by something other than the Royal Wedding, Steve Paikin makes the mistake every journalist eventually makes by inviting Peter Bogdanovich to come on The Agenda and blather about Citizen Kane for a quarter of an hour. Also commenting on the movie will be Patricia Rozema, Maclean’s critic Brian D. Johnson, Saturday Night at the Movies’ Thom Ernst, and a former head of UofT’s film studies program, Cam Tolton. (TVO, 8 p.m.)

The Weekend

America’s Next Great Restaurant concludes, and despite it being sort of repetitive (wannabe–chain restaurateurs make food, people select which food they like best, contestant eliminated almost entirely because of judges’/producers’ whims, repeat), it’s been pretty entertaining because of the 10 finalists, only three ever seemed to realistically have a shot at winning, and two of them (Spice Coast, the Indian fast-casual; and Soul Daddy’s, the soul-food one) are in the final three, along with the Italian dude who wanted to call his meatball restaurant “Saucy Balls” and pose in photos with a Tommy gun until everybody on the planet told him that was really, really stupid. The third guy who could have won (Eric of Meltworks, the gourmet grilled-cheese idea) got eliminated weeks ago when it became clear that the judges were mostly talking out of their ass and that Bobby Flay was absolutely obsessed with dipping sauces. Anyway, tonight the show concludes with one of the three finalists winning their very own starter chain of restaurants. Televisualist is rooting for Sudhir and Spice Coast, if only because a nationwide Indian chain is something that America needs desperately. (NBC, 8 p.m. Sunday)
Hey, it’s the figure skating world championships! Well, more properly, tonight is the closing gala, which is all you want to watch anyway when it comes to figure skating, because it’s when the skaters will actually try out new ideas which judges might not like but the crowd will love. (CBC, 8 p.m. Sunday)

CORRECTION: April 26, 2011, 2:35 PM This post originally indicated that Peter Bogdanovich would be on TVO’s The Agenda for a full hour this Friday. In fact, he will be discussing Citizen Kane for about 15 minutes. We regret the error.

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