Televisualist: The Gordon Ramsay Stereo Dream Experience
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Televisualist: The Gordon Ramsay Stereo Dream Experience

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.

This is a usage of "we" Televisualist did not sign off on.

Monday

It is SUPER GORDON RAMSAY NIGHT! Tonight features the season premieres of both Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef. The premiere episode of Hell’s Kitchen is usually the best episode of the season, because it’s when you first meet the culinary incompetents who will make up the latest band of Ramsay abusees, and you get to play the “so, who are the three or four actually competent people here?” game that is the basis of every single season of Hell’s Kitchen. Also, you will get to see what “clever” trick Ramsay and the producers play on the contestants in the first episode! Previous clever tricks include Ramsay disguising himself as a contestant, Ramsay disguising himself as a contestant (again), and Ramsay’s wife disguising herself as a contestant and then Ramsay making out with her. With creativity like that, it’s no wonder every single episode of Hell’s Kitchen features 30 minutes of footage edited via repetition across commercial breaks into 42 minutes. (Fox, 8 p.m.; City, 9 p.m.)

Of course, MasterChef is the better of the two shows, because Ramsay doesn’t have to play cartoonishly nasty and instead can just be more or less himself as “English guy who is really good at cooking, has decent camera presence, and can be sarcastic really well.” Which puts him in the middle ground on MasterChef between Big Fat Happy Judge Who Is Super-Positive and Loves Everybody and Bald Italian Judge Who Gives Everybody the Death Stare and Is Ten Times Meaner Than Ramsay Ever Was. We are pretty sure those are their legal names. Or at least they should be their legal names. (CTV, 9 p.m.)

The Slap is an Aussie drama miniseries (which did very well down there) about what happens when a grown man slaps a little kid at a friends-and-family barbecue and the emotional fallout for everybody there stemming from the slap. It’s based on a novel so you know it must be good! (TVO, 10 p.m.)

The reality show Brooklyn 11223 bears a lot of similarity to Jersey Shore, but its producers will go to lengths to explain how this show isn’t really like Jersey Shore because rather than casting a bunch of strangers to live in a house together, they instead found existing groups of friends with real-life pre-existing drama between them. So their sales pitch boils down to “it is authentically trashy rather than made-up trashy.” All righty then. (MTV Canada, 10 p.m.)

Tuesday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two),” wherein Tito Fuente composes his musical revenge against Mr. Burns rather than shooting him. Also, the baby did it. “Dozens of people are gunned down each day, but until now, none of them was important. I’m Kent Brockman.” (CFMT, 6 p.m.)

How to Grow a Planet is one of those BBC science series. Unfortunately it’s about plants, and let’s be honest: plants are not exactly enthralling television. All they do is sort of sit there and be planty, after all. We’re not saying that the development of life on Earth isn’t worthy of study or doesn’t deserve its own science miniseries, because it’s important. But again: this show is about plants. (TVO, 9 p.m.)

ABC presents Concert for the Queen: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration, hosted by Katie Couric, because America does not have royalty of its own, not even royalty that it rents (like Canada basically does). Therefore, the U.S. has to pay tribute to the royalty of England, which is the only royalty that speaks English as its native tongue (unlike that sucky King of Spain, who only reverts to English when he sings a cappella). Anyway, we hope the Queen enjoys Stevie Wonder, Kylie Minogue, and will.i.am. (Because if there’s one thing 86-year-old British ladies love, it’s the Black Eyed Peas.) But we note that in an attempt to program some Queen-friendly acts the concert also has Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Tom Jones. (If there’s one musician little old British ladies actually do love, it’s Tom Jones.) (9 p.m.)

Storage Wars returns for a third season of profiting from human misery! (A&E, 10 p.m.)

Wednesday

The Glee Project returns for a second season, and in fairness we have to admit that Glee made full use of the show’s two winners last season, turning them into recurring characters beyond their promised seven-episode-stint “prizes.” Of course, we are not going to give this show any more credit than that because, frankly, fuck Glee. Fuck all Glee-related things as well. Except Jane Lynch. She’s cool. (Global, 9 p.m.)

Thursday

Saving Hope is CBS’s latest medical drama, and since CTV is co-producing it that means it is set in Toronto and the show actually admits it. Which is neat. Anyway, the gimmick this time around is that one of the characters is actually in a coma and wanders the hospital as a spooooooky ghooooooost. (CTV, 9 p.m.)

The Choice rhymes with The Voice, and it steals a lot of concepts from that show: each episode has four celebrities in chairs listening to people they can’t see, and if they decide they’re interested, they press a button and their chair spins around. What makes this show different from The Voice? Well, two things. First, instead of Carson Daly hosting, it is Cat Deeley. Oh, and the other thing is that instead of singing, the people the celebrities can’t see are all explaining why they would be great dates for the celebrities, who are all incidentally single. We could not make this up if we tried, people. Oh, Cat Deeley, what were you thinking? You’re better than this! (CTV2, 9 p.m.)

Friday

Mega Python v. Gatoroid is the latest in the trend of “giant animal versus other giant animal” TV movies that began with Mega Shark v. Giant Octopus (warning: emotional trauma in that link, as a man who explains he is getting married in two days DIES). This one stars Debbie Gibson and has a giant snake fighting a giant alligator in the Everglades. We have nothing else to say about this. (Space, 9 p.m.)

The Weekend

It’s the 66th annual Tony Awards! Even if you don’t know the nominees that well (and since these are all Broadway plays, you probably haven’t heard about—much less seen—many of them), the Tony Awards are always fun because, well, they are a live awards show put on by people who specialize in live theatre. Neil Patrick Harris returns to host for the second year, which is great because he killed it last year. So this should be good. (CBS, 8 p.m.)

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