Televisualist: Sing For Your Supper, Dance For Our Pleasure
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Televisualist: Sing For Your Supper, Dance For Our Pleasure

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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Sadly, Nigel Lythgoe looks even weirder in real life. Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.

Monday

The Bachelorette returns, this time featuring Ashley Hebert, a woman rejected by the Bachelor (whoever he was) in the most recent season of The Bachelor. Fun fact: every Bachelorette is a loser from a previous season of The Bachelor, while less than one-third of Bachelors are losers from previous seasons of The Bachelorette. This is because, as we all know, women are completely defined by their relationships to men. Would ABC lie to us about that? (City, 9 p.m.)
NINE MONTHS AGO: You sit down to watch the premiere of The Event. RIGHT NOW: You’re reading this column’s discussion of that very same show. SIX WEEKS AGO: Your mother calls to ask you about your taxes. What could it possibly mean in conjunction with everything else? NINE MONTHS AGO BUT A LITTLE WHILE LATER THAN THE FIRST TIME IT WAS NINE MONTHS AGO: You’re calling your friend to ask him if, well, was it just you or did that show suck? EIGHT MONTHS AGO: Now you’re sure it sucked. RIGHT NOW: You’re thinking of anything that would be better to do tonight than watching the season finale of this show. (CFMT, 9 p.m.)
Clash of the Commercials is a sort of viewer-vote thing where people dial numbers to express their support for clever American commercials versus clever foreign commercials, and really, it only exists to demonstrate one thing: just because you’re smart enough to install adblocking software in your copy of Firefox doesn’t mean that advertisers aren’t still five steps ahead of you in the “making you think about their products” race. (CBS, 10 p.m.)
Too Big To Fail is HBO’s dramatization of Andrew Sorkin’s non-fiction book of the same name, documenting the 2008 financial meltdown and the attempts by politicians to prevent/resolve it. It’s pretty good. It’s not as good as some of the documentaries that have already been made, to be sure, but it has Paul Giamatti as Ben Bernanke, William Hurt as Henry Paulson, and Billy Crudup as Tim Geithner, and that’s not bad. Still, we suspect a lot of people will wish HBO had really sharpened the knives this time out; the movie is entirely too gentle with any banker not played by James Woods. (HBO Canada, 9 p.m.)

Tuesday

American Idol concludes this week, and crow must be eaten, as Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have brought in extremely good audience numbers—either they are successes, or we have all dramatically underrated the appeal of Randy Jackson. (Which we have not done.) This year’s final two are the equally talented Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery: he is an old-school country singer who looks kind of like Alfred E. Neuman, and she is a new-school country singer who looks like she will sell a lot of records. Certainly, though, these dueling country singers, along with the fact that every single Idol final two has been all-white for the last four seasons, lets you know that it’s Middle America that’s voting these days. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
Also concluding this week: Dancing With The Stars, where Kirstie Alley, Chelsea Kane, and Hines Ward are the three remaining contestants, and Kirstie Alley is poised to win decisively, despite the fact that she and her partner have never placed first in judges’ scoring throughout the season. We think this is mostly because if you say her name people do not go “who?” as they will with Chelsea Kane and Hines Ward. (CTV, 9 p.m.)

Wednesday

American Idol reveals its big winner! Bold prediction: someone on Youtube will freak the fuck out. (CTV, 8 p.m.)

Thursday

With Idol done, that naturally means it’s time for So You Think You Can Dance to return, and this time around Nigel Lythgoe seems to have responded to the criticism of last year’s “All Star” season by bringing back the top 20 instead of a top 10, and announcing further that All-Stars would be used only once dancers had reached the top 10. This neatly splits the difference between the fact that Lythgoe wants to use previous winners’ popularity to continue selling the show, and the fact that last season mostly sucked. Also a new change: the return of Mary “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” Murphy to judges’ table, which will no doubt fill us all with much chagrin before the end. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Whacking Day,” the one where Springfield reminds us all that the whole town is basically horrible. “Lisa, maybe if I’m part of that mob, I can help steer it in wise directions. Now where’s my giant foam cowboy hat and airhorn?” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)

Friday

Roll Bounce is a charming movie that got overlooked by more people than it deserved to, mostly because it was marketed primarily to black audiences as a Black People MovieTM, which is stupid, but that’s Hollywood for you. Nonetheless, this is your perfectly decent example of a Young Man Comes Of Age movie with a bit of a sports-movie kick thrown in, with Bow Wow in the lead as the Young Man who learns to lead his team of performance-roller-skaters in the ’70s, and Chi McBride (the personification of awesome) as his dad. Well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it. (YTV, 7 p.m.)

The Weekend

Shoot ‘Em Up is another movie that didn’t do as well as it should have, but we can’t blame Hollywood’s marketing for this failure: if people don’t want to see Clive Owen shooting people like WHOA GODDAMN, then we have to face facts and admit that the human race is fundamentally flawed and that it is probably time for the robots to take over. (Space, 10 p.m. Sunday)

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