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.
And then he went and listened to some Crystal Castles. Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondaySo how do we feel about Teen Wolf? Well, this is definitely a show about teen werewolves. Beyond that, though, is it good? Televisualist says “sorta.” It’s definitely got some cleverness to it and the acting is middling-to-decent, but at the end of the day this is just another show that pales next to a Buffy The Vampire Slayer or a Supernatural, a solid B+ level bit of kit that will last three seasons or so and then disappear into the ether. (MuchMusic, 10 p.m.)
For your ostensible entertainment, Bravo has a two-pack of Britain’s Got Talent specials: firstly I Dreamed a Dream: The Susan Boyle Story, wherein we learn all about Susan Boyle and her plucky can-do spirit and plucky can-do saga, and then Paul Potts: By Royal Command, wherein Paul Potts sings for the Queen because he is an Englishman and therefore obligated to do what the Queen wants him to do. Of course, I shouldn’t act smug, because technically if the Queen asks me to do something then I also have to do it, what with Canada being under her dominion and all. And that is why I am a small-r republican. (9 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively)
TuesdayOddly, we have two dueling mini-marathons tonight of two shows which are basically about the same thing: the auction and resale of the contents of abandoned storage units. Both Storage Wars and Auction Hunters feature various storage-unit-purchase-and-resale experts doing their thing, but where Wars has dueling experts, Hunters follows one team of partners. Of the two, we prefer Hunters, because the easy camaderie of Allen and Ton makes for good viewing: watching them show off the vintage slot cars they find in a unit to the only guy in Texas who can make a living selling vintage slot cars is thoroughly entertaining. Wars doesn’t have that (and none of the dealers in it are as charming as Allen and Ton), but ultimately this is pick-your-poison. (Storage Wars marathon on A&E beginning at 8 p.m.; Auction Hunters marathon on Spike beginning at 8:15 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Boy Who Knew Too Much,” wherein Bart sees Freddy Quimby not commit a crime and then must decide whether or not to testify and bear the consequences of having played hooky. “Bart, your uncle Arthur used to have a saying: ‘Shoot ’em all and let God sort ’em out.’ Unfortunately, one day he put his theory into practice. It took 75 federal marshals to bring him down. Now let’s never speak of him again.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)
WednesdaySo You Think You Can Dance has revealed its top 20 and now the competition begins, and the dominance of contemporary dancers never ends; this year features only one ballroom dancer, four hip-hopper/breakers, and a tapper, and then it’s all contemporary and jazz dancers. We’ve come to expect that, sadly. Another season of embarrassing ballroom beckons! (CTV, 8 p.m.)
ThursdaySingle White Spenny follows Good Dog in the “Canadian TV personality tries his take on Curb Your Enthusiasm.” It’s rougher than Good Dog was and a bit more appealing—possibly because Spencer “Spenny” Rice doesn’t like to play misanthropic as much as Ken Finkleman does, possibly because the end result doesn’t seem as finely calibrated and therefore the slight tinge of amateurishness makes it seem like more of an underdog. But in the end, it still feels like another cover version of Curb. Particularly when it airs right before reruns of Curb. (Showcase, 9:30 p.m.)
FridayTSN has recently taken to re-airing episodes of 30 for 30, the sports documentary series produced by ESPN, and although the show was generally decent, it didn’t have many peaks. Tonight’s episode, “June 17, 1994,” is one of them, as director Brett Morgan uses sports coverage to analyze how O.J. Simpson’s infamous–white Bronco chase was dissected and swallowed whole by television news. It’s a really great hour of television. (8 p.m.)
AMC airs Caddyshack and Caddyshack II back to back, seemingly trying to explain to people the difference between a good movie and a terrible sequel through immediate comparison. (first one 8 p.m., sequel 10 p.m.)
The WeekendBack when I was a kid, the MuchMusic Video Awards did not seem as important as the Junos, which were older and more established and more, you know, generally awardy. But flash forward to the present, and I don’t think anybody at this point would contest the argument that the MMVAs are vastly more important to music culture than the Junos are; the MMVAs have youth culture on their side (which is big), and since for the last two years the MMVAs have opened up the Best Video award to non-Canadians it’s definitely made the awards more important to Perez Hilton, which is an awful awful thing but indicates how prominent they’ve become. In any case, we’re only curious to see how Marianas Trench arrives at the show this year; they have a standard to uphold now, having previously arrived bearing sub sandwiches (2007), with a parade in tow (2009), and while fighting off ninjas (2010). (Muchmusic, red carpet 8 p.m., actual show 9 p.m. Sunday)
If, rather than teen-interesting music you care more about soap operas, the 38th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards are here for you. Those awful children should just get off your lawn and into a subplot with the hunky gardener with a secret past where they belong! (CBS, 8 p.m. Sunday)
And if instead of awards based on merit you instead are interested in awards based on beauty and attractiveness, there is always the 2011 Miss USA Pageant. Will the winner be as controversial as last year’s winner, Rima Fakih, who controversially admitted she was both an Arab and a Muslim? (This is controversial for Miss USA. Go look at the gallery of winners sometime. Key phrase here would be “whiter than mayonnaise.”) Answer: probably not. (NBC, 9 p.m. Sunday)