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.
Their love is so wild that they contracted rabies. Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayPeople who missed Game of Thrones the first time around and have decided they want to watch it before reading the books: HBO Canada is on your side, as they air the entire first season this week. Tonight you can watch the premiere episode, and then while you’re cottaging this weekend you can set your PVR on Friday and Saturday evening to catch the remaining nine. Isn’t that terribly convenient? That way you can watch it this weekend, then finish the first four books in the three weeks before the fifth book goes on sale. Which you will probably do, be forewarned. (10:30 p.m.)
Steve Paikin devotes tonight’s The Agenda to Sudbury and how its views and issues shape the provincial election, because he is your wonky boyfriend. (TVO, 8 p.m.)
TuesdayThe Voice ends its first season with a final-competition episode. The four remaining contestants are Dia Frampton (breathy folky), Beverly McClellan (gravelly rocky), Vicci Martinez (brassy bluesy) and Javier Colon (sweety souly). On the one hand, the show’s had a good run; on the other hand that run has been pretty short, because the show winnows down its contestants really very quickly, so they haven’t had the level of exposure that an Idol winner, for example, gets. Which has its pluses and minuses, because on the one hand nobody is sick of them, but on the other hand all the extra shows mean you really know who’s actually good, and who’s coasting on two or three good performances and then ran out of mojo. Still, NBC has a hit for once, so let’s let them enjoy that. Judging by the YouTube hits, Frampton and Martinez are the leaders, but who knows? (CTV, 8 p.m.)
If you’re stoked about the upcoming season of Canadian football, TSN has a 2011 season preview for you. And if you’re not stoked about the upcoming season of Canadian football, let us point out that the NFL will probably still be locked out well into next season, so CFL football is all the football you’re gonna get. And if you’re one of those people who sighs that football isn’t football and that soccer is football, look down. Are you currently standing in North America? Then suck it up, because here, football is football and soccer is soccer, and that’s just how it is, okay? (8 p.m.)
Combat Hospital! Okay, we didn’t watch it, but we’re just glad that Elias Koteas is getting work. (Global, 10 p.m.)
WednesdayIf you want to celebrate Pride early or the New York state gay marriage bill late, you might consider watching Edie and Thea: A Very Long Engagement, a documentary about a lesbian couple together for more than 40 years who, with one partner’s health failing, decide to go to Toronto together and get married. We recommend having tissues handy. In case, you know, sand gets in your eyes or you have to chop some onions or something. (TVO, 9 p.m.)
Love in the Wild is NBC’s new reality entry wherein 10 men and 10 women are dropped off in a jungle and more or less told to start making out while doing Survivor-style challenges. The host is a vaguely-wacky Australian. This looks to be the worst thing ever, which may just possibly make it the best thing ever. No, really, this is like somebody looked at Temptation Island and said “We can top that. Let’s get some good-looking people out in the wild and put them in a hot-tub, and then we will make them walk through a cave full of bats. People will watch this.” And they were almost certainly right about that. (CTV, 10 p.m.)
ThursdayWomen’s World Cup soccer! Tonight: Canada (yay!) takes on France (boooooo!) in what has to be considered a must-win if Canada wants to advance out of its group and to the knockout rounds. Canada played well against Germany, though, losing only 2-1 against what is widely considered a much better team, so we’re not out yet. Boooo, France! Boooooooooo! (CBC, 11:45 a.m., repeat at 7 p.m.)
FridayCBC airs the annual Canada Day celebration on Parliament Hill, as Sarah McLachlan and K’naan, among others, perform for enthusiastic Ottawans who love Canada Day because it is the only time Ottawa is ever actually exciting. Sorry, Ottawa! You know it’s true. (9 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Bart Vs. Australia,” where the Simpsons go to Australia! And cause international incidents. “Mr. Simpson, shush! Disparaging the boot is a bootable offense. It’s one of their proudest traditions.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)
The WeekendIf you missed the Family Guy parody of Return of the Jedi, you can watch it tonight. It’s not bad, but when a parody begins pointing out halfway through that’s it’s running out of steam… well, you don’t expect the best, you know? But it’s still much better than most episodes of Family Guy. We know, we know… damning with faint praise. (Global, 9 p.m. Sunday)
Oh, god, they brought The Marriage Ref back? This week, Tracy Morgan and Regis Philbin give people marriage advice. No, really! See, this is why fans of Community and Parks and Recreation worry too much: if NBC is desperate enough to bring back this show, which does worse than those actual good shows do, they’ll probably keep bringing back the good stuff with slightly better ratings. (NBC, 10 p.m. Sunday)