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.
This is 28 times funnier if, while looking at the image, you sing the theme from Mighty Mouse in your head but replace the words “Mighty Mouse” with “Jake Pavelka.” Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayBachelor Pad has its second-season debut with a three-hour premiere episode (wait, what?) as people ask themselves “wait, why does this show even exist?” But people love them some Bachelor and Bachelorette, and if you aren’t gonna see those people fall in love, you might as well see them play a half-assed version of Survivor, which is basically what Bachelor Pad is, except without the surviving or the “being an entertaining show” parts. This time around, the season’s big draw is that Jake “Airplane Pilot Bachelor” Pavelka is returning to compete, along with Vienna Girardi, the girl who won his season of The Bachelor and who dated Pavelka for almost two whole months before they broke up. Are you pumped for this? WE’RE SO GODDAMNED PUMPED! (City, 8 p.m.)
Tonight on Kate Plus 8: first Kate and the kids travel to D.C. to visit the stars of TLC’s show about cupcakes, cleverly named D.C. Cupcakes, and eat cupcakes! Then, in the next episode, the kids make their very own movie and take to the red carpet—Hollywood style!—for the premiere of the movie they’ve made! Does this show feel to anybody else like it’s just counting down to the inevitable shooting spree? (TLC, 9 p.m.)
TuesdayTonight on POV, you can catch Food, Inc., the Michael Pollan–narrated documentary about corporate farming in America that has gotten heaps of praise for being brutally honest about the environmental unsustainability of factory farming, but ultimately it feels like half a film because it never bothers to address alternatives beyond halfhearted “maybe we should do something else, huh?”–type statements. Honestly, this is the sort of thing that begs for Michael Moore, who may be annoying but knows how to craft a documentary: Moore would throw in one or two stupid publicity stunts involving himself, yes, but he’d also take the time to discuss alternative farming methods that can address the needs that have led to factory farming (e.g. producing massive quantities of food), and that would have been welcome. (PBS, 9 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Hurricane Neddy,” wherein Flanders finally snaps and loses it with all the idiots of Springfield. A true classic. “Well, my family and I can’t live in good intentions, Marge! Oh, your family’s out of control, but we can’t blame you, because you have gooooood intentions!” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)
WednesdayAmerica’s version of So You Think You Can Dance concludes tonight and tomorrow as the final four dance-off in a season that has managed to somehow have both exceptionally talented dancers and still be underwhelming, which shouldn’t be possible but there you go. Partially this is because the judges have almost entirely stopped giving good criticism in favour of playing to the crowds, making them equivalent, judging-wise, to a table full of less-drunken (and therefore less entertaining) Paula Abduls. Partially it’s because the producers’ attempts to manipulate the results by favouring certain dancers have been extremely transparent this season, to the point where Melanie—one of the favourites—has only danced outside of her comfort zone two or three times all season, thus making her a possible winner who has never really had to excel in the way that past winners have. Partially it’s because the guest-judge gimmick has kind of sucked this year. Partially it’s because the choreographers this year have been often strikingly lazy, rehashing whole routines over and over again from previous seasons in the most obvious ways possible. Partially it’s because they kept the All-Star concept, even only halfway, and all it does is serve to remind viewers that this show has become so contemporary-focused that they need to keep bringing back Pasha from season 3 in order to have a competent ballroom dancer. On the bright side, Cat Deeley is still awesome. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
ThursdayResults show for So You Think You Can Dance. Go, Sasha! Or Marko, or even Tadd. Just not Melanie, please. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
Unfortunately for the Discovery Channel, Discovery’s episode of Curiosity, “Did God Create the Universe?”, which is actually a nifty hour-long documentary about the Big Bang and religious philosophy, was promoted on Twitter with the hashtag #goduniverse, and boring Twitter people turned it into their daily affirmation of faith about how awesome God is, thus ruining Discovery’s guerrilla marketing attempt. All of this just goes to show you: this is what happens when Shark Week is only four days long. Karma, Discovery Channel! (8 p.m.)
FridayKaraoke Battle USA is a competitive reality show hosted by Joey Fatone of ‘N Sync fame and some other people who are not Joey Fatone, and it’s… well, it’s a singing show. It makes some pretense about not taking itself as seriously as other singing shows, but it’s a competitive singing show just like all the rest, and the only difference is that it admits it’s a karaoke show, as opposed to all the others where singing famous songs other people wrote and originally performed is some amazing creative endeavour. But—Joey Fatone! (ABC, 8 p.m.)
Thom Ernst of Saturday Night at the Movies and Peter O’Brian host A Tribute to Norman Jewison, which is mostly a compilation of archival interviews the great Canadian director did with TVO over the decades (most of them with the late Elwy Yost, naturally). This is the sort of thing you can only see on TVO. Don’t miss it if you care about film. (10 p.m.)
The WeekendNBC’s continuing desperation to find anything at all to fill up hours of programming time hits a new low with WrestleMania: The World Premiere, which is just a bunch of clips and highlights from this year’s WrestleMania, which happened back in March, so calling it a “world premiere” is just begging for a false advertising lawsuit. Hey, does anybody remember when NBC would actually pay the WWE to put on original shows like Saturday Night’s Main Event and they actually acted like it was a big deal? This is the opposite of that. (8 p.m. Saturday)
If you like country music, then the CMA Music Festival special is what you’ve been waiting for, as tonight’s show will have performances by (deep breath) Lauren Alaina, Jason Aldean, Sara Evans, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Scotty McCreery, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, and Blake Shelton. That’s not one but two contestants from American Idol and you get Hootie in the bargain! Fun additional fact: Reba McEntire these days has taken to calling herself simply “Reba,” which we’re not sure you can do if you are not Cher or possibly Prince. (ABC, 8 p.m. Sunday)