Televisualist: Desperate To Avoid Housewives
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Televisualist: Desperate To Avoid Housewives

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.

Brett informs us that this is a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills being Real, which is to say drinking the blood of children in order to devour their souls. We have never been to Beverly Hills, so we're taking his word for it that this happens. It's probably a Kardashian thing.


The Comedy Network debuts Only In America with Larry the Cable Guy. We assume this is because they want to follow A&E’s example and branch out past things you might assume, from their channel name, are comedy. Probably putting another Larry the Cable Guy show on the network (we still haven’t forgiven them for Blue Collar TV) is only a stepping stone to renaming the channel “ComNet” or something so they can start broadcasting old reality shows 24-7. After all, this is a Canadian cable channel. (10 p.m.)


Slice airs I Love You, Man, Paul Rudd and Jason Segel’s 2009 comedy about two guys who become best friends. It did reasonably well at the box office, but deserved to do much better than it did: it’s extremely smart and manages to be touching without being cloying or romanticizing bro-hood. Plus, Paul Rudd and Jason Segel are both goddamned hilarious. (8 p.m.)

If you’re in the mood for something more classic, you can always watch North by Northwest instead. This gets my vote as the absolute best of Alfred Hitchcock’s films (Psycho has an anticlimactic ending, The Birds loses direction halfway through, and Rear Window and Vertigo come close but don’t quite match up to Hitchcock’s economy of direction in this). Plus it has Cary Grant, and Cary Grant is awesome. (Turner Classic, 9 p.m.)


The Agenda devotes an episode to arguing whether or not Ontario can balance its budget within the next five years. SPOILER: Probably not. (TVO, 8 p.m.)

We never get tired of watching Jurassic Park, mostly because it is about dinosaurs. We are simple about things such as this. We assume you probably are as well. (AMC, 8 p.m.)

If you like golf, the 2011 President’s Cup is for you! Don’t look at us like that. Some people really like watching golf on TV. We don’t know any of these people, but we know they exist, and Televisualist lives to serve the masses. (TSN, 9:30 p.m.)


The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returns for its second season, which actually aired several months ago. Okay, we know that Televisualist complains a lot about how Canadian networks seem determined to pretend that Canadian fans of American TV shows won’t just pirate them if said Canadian networks persist in airing them months or years after their American runs, but in this case we’re going to suggest that maybe Slice could have waited longer to air their latest instalment of the Real Housewives brand, a brand that grows less real with each instalment (since these ladies are rarely anything like “real” homemakers). They could have waited much, much longer, in fact. We would have been fine with it. (8 p.m.)

So, we’re about a third of the way through the post–Steve Carell The Office, and… it’s okay. In the way that later seasons of a sitcom can be okay. It’s not surprising, but it’s got comfort value. The slow burn on the Andy/Erin relationship is pretty old. James Spader is fun, but doesn’t really fit in with the show. That’s about all we can say for The Office: it is now the Kraft Dinner of single-camera sitcoms. (Global, 8 p.m.)


An Idiot Abroad, the Ricky Gervais–produced reality show about Ricky Gervais’ friend who hates travel travelling around the world, returns for its second season, and as before it is entertaining. It’s arguably even more enjoyably mean to the protagonist, Karl Pilkington, than the first season was, because the first season was making this guy go to places the producers wanted him to go and the new season is about fulfilling Karl’s actual travel wishes—and then screwing with that. (Discovery, 10 p.m.)

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Behind the Laughter,” the Behind the Music parody that remains a highlight of The Simpsons’ low period. “Why did I take such punishment? Let’s just say that fame was like a drug. But what was even more like a drug was the drugs.” (Comedy Network, 8 p.m.)

The Weekend

The 2011 American Music Awards this year feature performances by Chris Brown, Katy Perry, LMFAO, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, and Pitbull, which is what you expect from the awards show whose winners are determined essentially by record sales. Actually, come to think, it isn’t what you’d expect if they’re determined by record sales, because old people don’t listen to LMFAO or Pitbull. Unless old people have suddenly decided to all have their midlife crisis at once. Even then, that doesn’t excuse LMFAO. (CTV, 8 p.m.)