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 lyrics to the theme song are “Doctor Whooooooo, Doctor Whooooooooo. Doctor, Doctor, Doctor Doctor Whoooooooo, ooooooooo.” Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayROYAL WEDDING FEVER! A very special edition of 20/20 is aaaaalllllll about Prince William and Kate Middleton, and how they met and fell in love and will get married thanks to the generosity of the British taxpayer. Baba Wawa will show us exclusive home movies and photographs that you cannot see anywhere else! Until somebody makes a DVD and gets the rights to them. Then you can buy that DVD, we suppose. But until then, if you want to know what Kate’s girlhood chums think about Wills, this is your best option! (ABC, 10 p.m.)
TuesdaySo the second season of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is, if anything, more depressing than the first, because in the first season Oliver was at least able to have some small success in Huntington, West Virginia. This season, however, he is in Los Angeles and is up against bigger bureaucracies and people who have to compete against McDonald’s economy of scale, and basically the whole enterprise seems five times as hopeless as West Virginia. There, he just had to deal with white people who were wearing T-shirts with things on them like STEAKS ARE MY LIFE and GIVE ME FRIED FOOD OR GIVE ME DEATH, and who thought anybody suggesting “maybe you should eat a salad” was probably a Communist. (ABC, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “HOMR,” wherein Homer becomes smarter when doctors remove a crayon wedged in his brain. “Family meeting. Family meeting… okay, people, let’s keep this short. We all want to get home to our families! All right, first item: I lost our life savings in the stock market. Now let’s move on to the real issue: Lisa’s hogging of the maple syrup.” (CFMT, 6:30 p.m.)
WednesdayTonight, on The Agenda With Steve Paikin, Steve explores how the Japanese economy will (or will not) rebound after the earthquakes, tidal waves, nuclear meltdowns, and whatever the hell happens to Japan next. Disaster economics! Only on TVO! (8 p.m.)
You know what? Ocean’s Eleven holds up a decade later, and we don’t see that changing any time soon: it’s a quintessentially great heist caper flick that appears to be largely timeless. My favourite bit: whenever Scott Caan and Casey Affleck argue with one another about stupid crap. Never stops being funny. (CHCH, 8 p.m.)
Thursday30 Rock celebrates its 100th episode with an hour-long two-parter, wherein Liz Lemon must get the show to be “not the worst show on television” for a night. Also, the show plans to parody clip-show flashbacks quite extensively, which is always good fun and the sort of metahumour 30 Rock does best. Also, there will be a dancing bear. Well, maybe there won’t be a dancing bear. But there should be a dancing bear. Who doesn’t like dancing bears? Memo to self: include “dancing bear” idea in next anonymous fan letter spelled out with newspaper cutout letters to Tina Fey. (City, 10 p.m.)
The Paul Reiser Show wants to be a PG version of Curb Your Enthusiasm. We’ll just let that sink in for a moment there while you think about whether or not you want to watch this now. (NBC, 8:30 p.m.)
With the initial eliminations done, America’s Best Dance Crew now features all eight remaining crews competing in a single show. This season’s “superstars” gimmick (where each week is themed after a different performing artist) wasn’t too bad the first two weeks, when the crews danced to remixes of Lil Wayne and Ke$ha, but unfortunately this week is the Black Eyed Peas week, and…well. “Oh dear” doesn’t quite seem to explain the apprehension that the Black Eyed Peas generate. What’s worse is that two of the Black Eyed Peas (the ones that are not Will.I.Am and Fergie) are themselves primarily dancers, so maybe they’ll give advice about dancing as well. Oh dear, indeed. (MuchMusic, 10 p.m.)
Friday20/20 has not one but two special episodes this week, as tonight Walters interviews Elton John and David Furnish, and perhaps Elton John will make up his mind about whether gay marriage is important, considering he was first against it (“gay people can have civil partnerships”), and then for it, calling for the repeal of California’s Prop 8 earlier this year. Make up your damn mind, Crocodile Rock. (ABC, 10 p.m.)
The WeekendSome people might suggest that Televisualist is biased in favour of Doctor Who, but those people are probably all salad-eating Commies who hate everything that is good about Western civilization, so there. Tonight, Space actually has the season premiere—featuring the first Doctor Who episode shot and set in the United States—airing on the same actual day as it debuts in Britain and the U.S.! We have international synchronicity going on here, people! (8 p.m. Saturday)
Beyond the Blackboard is a made-for-TV movie about a teacher who teaches homeless kids in New Mexico. It reunites Emily VanCamp and Treat Williams from Everwood. We’re not sure if anybody reading this is going to say, “Oh, yes, I simply must watch that,” but if there is a large group of old Everwood fans secretly reading this column, then we’ve covered you. (9 p.m. Sunday)
Treme returns for a second season, and although John Goodman won’t be returning this year, Melissa Leo will, and how often do you get to watch a television show starring someone who literally just won an Oscar? Also Treme is really, really good and you should watch it. (HBO Canada, 10 p.m. Sunday)