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.
Hatfields and McCoys is a three-part miniseries beginning tonight about the legendary West Virginia family feud, starring Kevin Costner as William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield and Bill Paxton as Randolph “Ole Ran’l” McCoy; it also features Tom Berenger, Powers Boothe, Mare Winningham, and Jena Malone. We’re pretty much sold on the cast alone, but also because we’re nostalgic for the old days of massive network miniseries. Does anybody else remember War and Remembrance? Eh? Eh? Just us? Okay then. (History Television, 8 p.m.)
It’s the NBA Eastern Conference finals tonight, and this one is quite huge because it’s the Miami “we have to win or we will be jokes forever” Heat versus the Boston “this is basically our last chance to win another title before we spend five or six years sucking hard” Celtics in what promises to be a great series. Especially if you’re one of those people who still hates LeBron James. (TSN, 8:30 p.m.)
Cake Boss returns, because there is nothing quite so fascinating as watching a man put fondant on top of cakes. Seriously, who the fuck likes fondant anyway? It’s almost inedible. Yes, it makes the cake look very pretty, but it also makes the cake harder to eat, and we here at Televisualist have always taken the position that cakes are meant to be eaten first and looked at second. Well, obviously you can’t look at the cake after you eat it, so that sentence doesn’t exactly work, but you get the general gist of what we mean here, which is that fondant is stupid and bad. (TLC, 9 p.m.)
Gene Simmons Family Jewels. No. You know what? Just no. (A&E, 9 p.m.)
Stacy and Clinton return to eat the souls of people in a special live premiere of What Not To Wear. When we say “live,” what we mean is “in front of a live audience,” because Stacy and Clinton can insult their contestants even more viciously that way! Oh, Stacy and Clinton, we hate you so much because you are poison in televised form. (TLC, 9 p.m.)
We are trying not to hate Big Brooklyn Style for all that it is produced by Stacy London of What Not to Wear fame. Anyway, it’s about a plus-size boutique in Brooklyn and how they help customers, so maybe it will be like What Not To Wear except it will not make us hate the world. (TLC, 10 p.m.)
Unfortunately, Dogs In The City is not really a show just about dogs in the city, because we would be all over that, because dogs are totally awesome and we need more television shows about dogs. No, this is a show about a “dog therapist” who repeatedly explains that he “speaks dog.” On the one hand, you get to see lots of awesome dogs. On the other hand, you may want to punch this dog-therapist guy in the face. What we’re saying here is that this is a 50/50 sort of a situation. (Global, 8 p.m.)
The Stanley Cup final kicks off tonight, with the L.A. Kings playing the New Jersey Devils in a series that we can’t even pretend to be interested in. I mean, if there’s a Canadian team playing I can at least be patriotic and stuff, but the mid-’90s New Jersey Devils were the reason I lost interest in hockey forever in the first place, and just being reminded that they exist makes me want to go watch basketball instead. (CBC, 8 p.m.)
Slice debuts My Teenage Wedding, because apparently we have not hit bottom on the “worst possible wedding-themed reality show” sweepstakes as of yet. Next year: Slice debuts Drunkest Awkward Wedding Toasts, Natural Disaster Wedding, and My Bloody Wedding Massacre. (9 p.m.)
The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Call of the Simpsons,” the first-season episode where Bart and Homer are stranded in the woods. “When you’re an experienced woodsman like me, you get a feel for these things. It becomes natural, like a third sense.” (Comedy Network, 8 p.m.)
It’s the return of Secret Millionaire, the show where a millionaire spends time undercover judging people to determine which of them is most worthy of a cash windfall, or, as I like to call it, “Hey, Let’s Design a Show That Manages To Be More Morally Repugnant Than Every Other Reality Show I Was Making Fun of This Week.” Remember: rich people are entitled to judge you, because they are rich and you are just some stinking poor. (City, 8 p.m. Sunday)
It’s the 2011 Miss USA Pageant! There’re only two ways this ends, folks: either a right-wing lunatic who’s aiming for a Fox News career wins it, or someone who isn’t that wins it and the story coming out of the pageant is “look, even regular people can still win pageants.” We think “right-wing lunatic” is leading as a 60/40 favourite at this point. (NBC, 9 p.m. Sunday)
Oddly enough, the latest Twilight movie only has a mere two nominations at this year’s MTV Movie Awards (for Movie of the Year and Best Kiss). The nomination leaders are The Hunger Games (eight), Bridesmaids (also eight), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (six). So maybe Twilight isn’t cool any more? Or maybe they’re just saving up for the last movie so they can give all the awards to the movie where a werewolf falls in love with a baby. (MTV Canada, 9 p.m. Sunday)
Longmire is an actual scripted drama series on A&E, which makes one wonder if somebody at A&E ran out of reality-show ideas. But anyway, it’s based on Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire mystery novels set in Wyoming, and it has Katee Sackhoff and Lou Diamond Phillips in it, so it’s definitely worth checking out. The show’s general vibe is “sort of like Walker: Texas Ranger if it weren’t shitty and awful.” You’d watch that, right? (10 p.m. Sunday)
The MTV Movie Awards are airing on MTV Canada, not on MuchMusic, as we previously stated.