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.
It’s funny because their attire indicates that they are of a lower class than is normally portrayed positively on television! Illustration by Brett Lamb/Torontoist.
MondayMasterChef winds up its second season this week, first by having the final four contestants—Suzy the Indian-cooking engineer, Adrien the Mexican-cooking server, Jennifer the realtor-turned-chef, and Christian the stay-at-home dad—compete tonight. Will Gordon Ramsay, Happy Fat Chef, and Nasty Bald Guy like their food, or do that thing where they spit it out like it is poison? Find out as one of the final four is eliminated…tonight! (A-Channel, 9 p.m.)
Teen Wolf concludes its first season! And…yeah! It’s totally finishing its first season, you guys! (Much, 10 p.m.)
TuesdayWhat Not To Wear returns for yet another season, and Televisualist will say straight-up there is literally nobody on television we loathe more than Stacy and Clinton. Stacy and Clinton are the worst people on television: worse than Bill O’Reilly, worse than Melissa Rivers, worse even than Donald Trump. Stacy and Clinton take the original British What Not To Wear, a relatively humble affair, all things considered, and turn it into a nonstop parade of mockery of people who usually aren’t even committing fashion crimes of any real magnitude, always taking the time to celebrate themselves in the process. Go away, Stacy and Clinton! People! Stop watching this show! (TLC, 9 p.m.)
In all honesty, we don’t actually want to rag on MasterChef (whose finale airs tonight) that much; after all, it’s a genuinely decent cooking show, managing to corral most of the abrasive charm Gordon Ramsay displays on the English versions of his shows without the cartoonish stupidity of the American editions of Hell’s Kitchen or Kitchen Nightmares. Unfortunately, though, it’s edited in the exact same way as his other shows, which means that watching it gets painfully repetitive because it means reading this blurb is like watching the show if we do the following: it’s a genuinely decent cooking show, but it’s edited the same way as his other shows, which means that watching it gets painfully repetitive because it means reading this blurb is like watching the show. See what we did there? Now imagine that for an hour. (A-Channel, 8 p.m.)
Proof we’re in the summer programming doldrums: TSN has to resort to airing a movie on a Tuesday. But it’s Field of Dreams, so we’re cool with it, because it means we get to see James Earl Jones make his speech about baseball again, and who can ever get enough of that? (8 p.m.)
WednesdayLove In The Wild concludes its first season. And…we’re doubtful it will return, as it gets barely double the viewers of Teen Wolf, and Teen Wolf airs on basic cable while >Love is network. Also, it is godawful, but since when has that ever mattered? (CTV, 8 p.m.)
Outrageous Kid Parties gets another go-round on TLC, where the “T” stands for “hubris.” (Yes, we know “hubris” doesn’t begin with a T. TLC is redefining things, okay?) Tonight, you can “learn” about how a mother celebrates her child’s preschool graduation by buying him a five-foot-high cake and an actual ton of candy. It’s like someone watched My Super Sweet Sixteen and said, “How can we make a show that is even worse and more depressing than that?” And then they did. (TLC, 9 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Brother from Another Series,” wherein Sideshow Bob is released into the care of his brother Cecil, played by David Hyde Pierce. One of the best Sideshow Bob episodes ever, which says something. “Lisa, you don’t spend ten years as a homicidal maniac without learning a few things about dynamite.” (Comedy Network, 9 p.m.)
ThursdaySome people say that Guy Maddin’s The Saddest Music in the World is his most brilliant film. We will freely admit that while we are never anything less than impressed with Maddin’s technical skill, his artistic vision has always left us cold. But if you haven’t seen it, you should do so, if only so you can form an opinion about Canada’s most important filmmaker. (Bravo, 9 p.m.)
FridayWe’re of the opinion that Dan For Mayor has really had a strong second season: the transition from “lovable loser runs for mayor” to “lovable loser actually somehow becomes mayor” has been pretty smooth, and honestly, having Dan as the mayor is a lot funnier than having him just be your average schmoe, even if the latter is more realistic. But who wants realism? We want comedies to be funny, not realistic. If we wanted realism we’d watch horrible shows about mothers who spend tens of thousands of dollars on little kids’ parties. Of our own choice, rather than because we have to. (Comedy Network, 8:30 p.m.)
Hey, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind! That’s a nice way to kick off the weekend: one of the best movies of the 2000s. (Bravo, 9 p.m.)
The WeekendAre you a fan of gymnastics? We assume the answer is “I don’t mind it, but I don’t really follow it,” which would make sense given that gymnastics are always among the ratings-grabbers at the Summer Olympics and then everybody forgets about them for four years. Well, the Summer Olympics are only a year away, so maybe you’ll be interested in watching the 2011 Visa Championships, which are the American national gymnastics championships, as any evaluation of the Olympic gymnastics competition will depend greatly on the strength of the American team. And now we will not use the word “gymnastics” until next summer. (NBC, 8 p.m. Saturday)
The History Channel concludes its re-running of John Adams with the final episode, “Peacefield,” which is really quite remarkable given that the entire episode takes place during John Adams’ retirement, when he wasn’t really doing anything particularly historical other than corresponding with Thomas Jefferson and getting older and crankier (and John Adams was not really a man of sweet disposition even in his youth), and yet the episode is engaging and interesting throughout. It shouldn’t work, but it does. (9 p.m. Sunday)