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.
Pop-Up Video returns! There is literally nothing that is bad about this. They could be whipping starving Somali orphans to create the pop-up captions and we would still applaud. They could be grinding puppies for caption fuel and we would give it a thumbs-up. They could demand that we all eat Brussels sprouts while watching it and we would watch eagerly while choking down mouthfuls of the worst vegetable on the planet. That is how glad we are to have new Pop-Up Video. (MuchMoreMusic, 8 p.m.)
The Comedy Network has picked up Newsradio reruns, which is the other best thing happening right now, because a network devoted to comedy is showing episodes of truly great comedy rather than, oh, Two and a Half Men reruns. Tonight’s episode, “Goofy Ball,” features Dave and Joe talking with models and Matthew and Beth playing with the aforementioned Goofy Ball. (5 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace,” where Homer decides to try and compete with Thomas Edison at inventing. “I brought you a tuna sandwich. They say it’s brain food. I guess because there’s so much dolphin in it, and you know how smart they are.” (CJMT, 10 p.m.)
“Just a reminder, fans, comin’ up is our ‘Die-hard Night’ here at the stadium. Free admission to anyone who was actually alive the last time the Indians won a pennant.” “Heywood leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair. When this guy sneezes, he looks like a party favor.” “JUUUUST a bit outside.” Major League! It’s better because Bob Uecker is still alive! (CHCH, 8 p.m.)
WARNING: tonight’s episode of CSI, entitled “Freaks and Geeks,” does not in fact have any members of the cast of Freaks and Geeks in it. You have been warned! (CTV, 8 p.m.)
The CBC airs 1 Day, a two-hour documentary about the day in the life of Canada, where Canada is defined as “Canadians selected by the CBC to be in a documentary.” We’re pretty sure the CBC is constitutionally mandated to air something like this every three months or so. (8 p.m.)
Bones returns, a bit late and only for six weeks, mostly because Emily Deschanel is now on maternity leave following the birth of her real-life son (as opposed to the TV kid Brennan had with Booth). Bones is therefore going to be a sort of set of mini-seasons this time around: six, then nine, then possibly four more at some point. It’s almost like a British crime drama! Except a lot more trashy. (Global, 9 p.m.)
Cellblock 6: Female Lock Up returns for its second season despite having one of the worst titles on TV right now. The women’s prison reality drama is quite popular. At least, that is what we assume, since it has returned for a second season. Someone must watch it. Right? (TLC, 10 p.m.)
Hey, did you know there was a second sequel to Legally Blonde? Specifically, a straight-to-DVD sequel called Legally Blondes, which is about Reese Witherspoon’s British twin cousins who go to prep school, thus demanding that we ask that what, precisely, is legal about these blondes? And is it possible to make a worse sequel than Red, White and Blonde? And is it possible to make a DVD sequel to a Hollywood franchise where the most recognizable actor is the guy who played Booger in Revenge of the Nerds? The answer to all of these questions is yes. (YTV, 8 p.m.)
History Television has a giant marathon of M*A*S*H* this weekend, going from 10 a.m. Saturday morning (with the pilot) straight through to 6 a.m. Sunday morning. There’s a large number of truly excellent episodes here: the debuts of B.J. Hunnicutt and Winchester, the one where both Pat Morita and John Ritter are patients, and of course “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” the legendary series finale and landmark event in television history. M*A*S*H* holds up extremely well; one keeps expecting some clever Hollywood executive to release a version without the laugh track, which was so often superfluous and can age the show unnecessarily.
AMC’s newest “quality original offering” (after The Killing, we feel obligated to put that phrase in quotemarks) is Hell On Wheels, its series set on a transcontinental railroad’s construction in 1865, where the hero is a former Confederate soldier tracking down evil Union soldiers who murdered his wife. Mostly we’re just gonna watch this one for Colm Meaney chewing scenery as the rail baron, and for Common as the former slave, and everything else that doesn’t suck is sort of a bonus. (10 p.m. Sunday)