Televisualist: Throne Soup
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Televisualist: Throne Soup

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.

"Roughly, Tyrion yanked away the trousers, and understood at last why Petyr was called Littlefinger."

Monday

Bering Sea Gold is Discovery’s new reality show about deep-sea gold miners. Every time a new “people doing an unusual job” reality show comes along, we have to make a tough decision: whether or not to make fun of it. The fact that this show is on Discovery gives it points automatically, because Discovery’s unusual-job shows tend to be smarter and less interested in trashy conflict for conflict’s sake. Also, come on, it is mining gold at the bottom of the sea. That’s awesome. (10 p.m.)

Tuesday

There has been some critical re-evaluation of Whitney lately. The show has improved after a rocky start, and is no longer dreadful in the way that, for example, 2 Broke Girls is dreadful. Particularly well-praised is Chris d’Elia, who plays Whitney’s boyfriend. He has been giving good performances all season and will presumably do so in tonight’s finale. Televisualist just wants to say: we said it first, other critics! (CTV, 9 p.m.)

19 Kids and Counting kicks off its season with a miscarriage, and while we do not want to minimize the physical and emotional pain that this must have caused the Duggars, the truth is that at a certain point—for example, when you have had 19 children already, the most recent of which was three months premature and required an emergency C-section—one is courting risk, and this show is starting to exploit the drama surrounding that risk, and that’s only one of the many reasons we don’t like it. We also don’t like it because you would think they would run out of fucking J-names already. (TLC, 9 p.m.)

And apparently it’s “trashy-pregnancy-show theme night” tonight, because 16 and Pregnant returns. Oh, good. (MTV Canada, 10 p.m.)

Wednesday

The Challenge: Battle of the Exes concludes, ending many weeks of us pointedly not writing about it. (MTV Canada, 10 p.m.)

Thursday

Wait, Punk’d is still a thing? Really? And this time around Ashton Kutcher isn’t the host, but Justin Bieber is? Are we sure this is a thing? Is there a hidden camera somewhere that I can’t see recording me as I type this? That would be so amazingly meta. (MTV Canada, 10 p.m.)

Friday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Sunday Cruddy Sunday,” where Bart and Homer and most of Springfield try to break into the Super Bowl after buying counterfeit tickets. “Oh, how could I fall for fake tickets? Gee, the fellas are gonna be crestfallen.” “Yes, if by ‘crestfallen’ you mean ‘kill us’! Listen, let me talk to them, maybe I can smooth this over. My friends—” “THEY DON’T HAVE THE TICKETS!” “KILL ‘EM!” (CJMT, 10:30 p.m.)

The Weekend

The NCAA Final Four is this weekend, with Ohio State taking on Kansas in one semifinal and Kentucky—who has been almost romping through the tournament much like the 1992 Dream Team went through the Olympics—taking on Louisville. Granted, March Madness is a tournament where anything can happen, and often does. But we don’t like the idea of betting against Kentucky at this point. (TSN, Kentucky/Louisville 6 p.m. Saturday, Ohio State/Kansas 8:30 p.m. Saturday)

It’s the 2012 Juno Awards! The eclecticism of the Juno categories never fails to entertain: this is a show where Deadmau5 competes with Michael Bublé for Artist of the Year, Nickelback goes up against City and Colour for Single of the Year, and Fucked Up gets nominated for…well, anything, really. Luckily, the International Album of the Year (Sponsored By HMV) Canada category still exists to remind us all who is really important: Adele, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and LMFAO. Thanks, HMV! (CTV, 8 p.m. Sunday)

Also, there is the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, because country music fans get depressed if there isn’t a country music awards show every couple of months to remind us all that Carrie Underwood is tremendously important. (CBS, 8 p.m. Sunday)

The Killing returns for a second season, having alienated most of its first-season fans after a tremendously silly plot twist in the finale essentially invalidated the entire storyline so far and created a web of implausible conspiracy bullshit in the process. AMC has brought back the show because, well, if they didn’t they would be admitting that they fucked up. Will fans forgive them? We doubt it, but then again fans are basically creatures of habit, so anything is possible. (8 p.m. Sunday)

Game of Thrones also comes back for its second season after a wildly successful first season, and having already seen some of the second season Televisualist can confirm the following things: the show continues to avoid slavishness in its adaptation of the books, the new additions to the cast (such as Stephen Dillane as Stannis Baratheon and Patrick Malahide as Balon Greyjoy) are uniformly superb, and Peter Dinklage is approximately 20 times more badass than he was in the first season—and he was plenty badass then. In all honesty it was hard to write this part of the column without fist-pumps. (HBO Canada, 9 p.m. Sunday)

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