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.
We were totally going to be classy and not rag on Vancouver for being a stinking den of hippies, but then we thought, “hey, why don’t we do it anyway?” Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayMasterChef returns for its second season, starring Gordon Ramsay and The Other Two Guys (okay, Graham Eliot and Joe Bastianich, or if you prefer, Big Fat Friendly Chef and Mean Bald Restaurant Owner), as ordinary regular hardworking joes battle a la cuisine to become professional chefs and win a lot of money. We just like this because this is the show where Gordon Ramsay has to be as not a dick as much as humanly possible, and it’s fun watching him trying not to call people a donkey. (A-Channel, 8 p.m.)
The Stanley cup finals continue and even though a Canadian team is up 2-0, we still simply can’t be bothered to care. Sorry, Vancouver, you can call us Toronto elitists all you like, but… eh. Congratulations if you win, we guess? (CBC, 8 p.m.)
TuesdayThe Voice moves into its quarterfinal rounds, and now airs live. This show has been sort of a pleasant surprise; Televisualist was expecting a trainwreck and instead this is a perfectly decent singing competition show with talented contestants and respectful, helpful judges, and everybody is very nice and respectful and such. Dammit, where is Paula Abdul when you need her? Paula would have sex with one of the contestants and then get drunk on air. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
Like the Cup, the NBA Finals are likewise still going strong, with Miami leading 2-1 after three games that have been incredibly close (games two and three having been decided by a single basket apiece). Tonight Dallas tries to even it up and Miami tries to put more nails in the coffin. (TSN, 8 p.m. pregame, 8:30 p.m. game proper.)
19 Kids and Counting returns for its seventh season, and it’s worth remembering that when this series debuted , it was called 17 Kids and Counting—those Duggars just keep multiplying. In tonight’s episode, learn how a family with too many goddamned kids goes skiing! Seriously, every episode of this show is like “The Simpsons go to [X],” except that there are a lot more Simpsons and they all vote Republican. (TLC, 9 p.m.)
WednesdaySo You Think You Can Dance is always tremendously entertaining during the Las Vegas callbacks, where they winnow down the 200-plus finalists to a top 20, and this year should be no exception: thanks to the show’s new “minimum of crappy auditions” policy, they’ve been able to feature more excellent dancers than ever before and the results have been exceptional, so the Vegas rounds should prove more exciting and tense than ever. Or, you know, maybe not. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
ThursdayThe Simpsons rerun of the week: “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy,” wherein Lisa gets angry when her talking Malibu Stacy spouts sexist rhetoric and goes to war against the company. “I’m a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me no matter how dumb my suggestions are! Ah, nuts and gum, together at last.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)
FridayWho, exactly, is the target audience for My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding? A one-off documentary about Traveler weddings, sure, that makes sense; Traveler weddings are a sort of interesting facet of their culture, and learning about them makes sense for a single documentary. But an entire series about them? Who is the television executive who looked at this and said “yeah, that’s got legs”? Because judging by this show’s ratings, that exec is smarter than us. (TLC, 10 p.m.)
The WeekendDoctor Who airs its mid-season finale before taking a bit of a break for two months until it airs the final six episodes. Of course, the BBC aired this week’s episode, “A Good Man Goes To War,” last week, because for some reason the American and British carriers of Who fell a week behind. But for that small segment of the Who fanbase that doesn’t know about the internet, it’s new to you! (Space, 8 p.m. Saturday)
run run revolution is another entrant in the long line of “help fatties improve their lives” shows that have become so popular of late: this is a two-hour documentary about a bunch of trainer-type people spending ten months training obese kids to run in the youth competition section of the Boston Marathon. As these sorts of shows go this isn’t bad: it doesn’t talk down to the audience and is well-edited and compelling. However, the occasional burst of running-themed triumphalism is more than a little irritating to those of us who get shin splints. (CBC, 8 p.m. Sunday)
You know what I would like to do? I would like to watch Neil Patrick Harris be his charming self for a few hours, in a hosting capacity. What’s that, you say? NPH is hosting the 65th Annual Tony Awards? Well, what a bit of luck that happens to be! (NBC, 8 p.m. Sunday)