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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.

We originally considered The Sikhs Of St. John, but then decided on this, mostly because atheists are, let us face it, much dorkier.


Little Mosque on the Prairie concludes after a successful six-year run, and not coincidentally ends right as the CBC is facing brutal cuts in the most recent federal budget. Which leads us to John Doyle’s recent, very silly column, where he engaged in a lengthy round of victim-blaming. To Doyle, the CBC cuts are in some way the CBC’s fault for not, we suppose, creating the next Sopranos or Mad Men, but this is stupid. Had the CBC engaged in making top-tier-quality shows that got lower ratings (and doing so, we might add, in a Canadian television industry run by major media companies that are almost entirely opposed to creating original content except when they absolutely must), then the government would complain that the CBC wasn’t trying to make money. So, instead, the CBC made shows that were reasonably good and got decent if not spectacular audiences, and of course the Conservatives still complained because that is what Conservatives do. The CBC could do nothing that would make the government happy; now, Doyle is complaining because the network did not make the sort of shows he likes, and concluding that this is why it is under attack. (8:30 p.m.)

Cajun Pawn Stars is like regular Pawn Stars, but it’s spicy-like! Whoo-whee! And…okay, we’ve run out of things that the Cajun guy said in those old Kia Sportage commercials. Jambalaya, or something! (History Television, 10 p.m.)


The Rick Mercer Report and This Hour Has 22 Minutes have their season finales, because there is no news in between April and September, we guess. (CBC, 8 p.m.)

I, Martin Short, Goes Home is sort of a throwback in that it is an honest-to-god comedy special, just like in old times when Wayne and Shuster did sketches. Of course, all of the sketches have a Martin-Short-fake-biography theme chaining them together, but this is a minor detail when you get so many SCTV alumni showing up for the party (Andrea Martin, Eugene Levy, et cetera). (CBC, 9 p.m.)

Top Shot comes back for its second season. “But wait,” you say, “isn’t the fourth season already airing in the United States?” And the answer, of course, is “you live in Canada, and this is how it works here.” Granted, it’s not like Top Shot is a show that ages poorly—you see people stunt-shooting things, and every episode is a new stunt—but even so. (Outdoor Life, 9 p.m.)


Best Friends Forever is the newest entrant in NBC’s “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” programming strategy. This time around, it’s about two women who are BFFs and former roommates, but now one gets divorced and comes back to move in with her BFF—except her BFF now has a live-in boyfriend! Sad trombone noise! Also there is a sassy black nine-year-old who is, apparently, some writer’s idea of what Mo’Nique was like as a child, and they get into arguments with her! Crazy slidewhistle noise! But it all works out in the end, with the audience going “awwwww!” (CTV2, 8:30 p.m.)

Oh god, there’s a Real Housewives of Vancouver now? What did we do to deserve that? This is probably because the Tories won last year. (Slice, 9 p.m.)

Full Metal Jousting is a reality competition show wherein people, well, joust. With armour and horses and everything. Gets repetitive really fast, but it’s worth at least 15 or 20 minutes of your time. (History Television, 9 p.m.)


Scandal is interesting. On one hand, it features a strong black female protagonist played by Kerry Washington (who is fantastic) and a very solid cast that features Henry Ian Cusick, Guillermo Diaz, and Joshua Malina. On the other, this is a series about a protagonist who manages a “crisis management” firm, which is a nice way of saying that the hero of this series covers up the dirty secrets of the rich and powerful elite. It seems like a very odd time to put out this show, but who knows—maybe people are ready to cheer for the 1% again. (CTV, 8 p.m.)

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Springfield Files,” wherein Mulder and Scully come to Springfield and also Leonard Nimoy narrates for part of it. “Hello. I’m Leonard Nimoy. The following tale of alien encounters is true. And by true, I mean false. It’s all lies. But they’re entertaining lies. And in the end, isn’t that the real truth? The answer? Is no.” (Comedy Network, 1 a.m. Friday)


Four years later, Forgetting Sarah Marshall holds up well. Jason Segel is of course now a comedy star as opposed to just being the second banana on How I Met Your Mother, but it is worth remembering that before this movie, there were many people who still thought Mila Kunis was annoying rather than incredibly hot. On the downside, Russell Brand’s schtick is a little worn at this point, but he’s not so major a part of the film that it really matters. (Slice, 9 p.m.)

The Weekend

CSI: Miami comes to the conclusion of its 10th season, and this may well be the last that we see of Horatio Caine, as CBS is considering cancelling the show. How will the Internet continue without the “make bad pun, put on sunglasses, YEEEEAAAAAAAAHHH” meme? I mean, you could PhotoShop sunglasses onto anything and it would work: kittens, octopuses, Real Housewives, you name it. It’s a dark, dark day for Reddit if this happens because then…(puts on sunglasses) it would meme nothing. YEEEEEEEEAAAAHHHH! (CTV2, 10 p.m. Sunday)

The Borgias returns for its second season after being surprisingly much better than The Tudors ever was. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this season will have Ezio Auditore showing up to stab people in the face. This is the problem with the Assassin’s Creed games: they are so much better than real life, or for that matter Hollywood’s depiction of real life. Still, this is a pretty violent show and we should see at least a few stabbings this season, so we’ll take what we can get. (Bravo, 10 p.m. Sunday)