Televisualist: Let's Use Time Travel and Escape the Olympics
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Televisualist: Let’s Use Time Travel and Escape the Olympics

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.

Time travel means that the baddies in Continuum may or may not be baddies. Stupid causality, mucking about with plot dynamics!


A History of Scotland, TVO’s latest import from the Beeb, commences tonight. It is an ambitious and expensive two-season documentary miniseries that, well, you get what it is from the title. This first episode concentrates on the Kingdom of Alba, the first true Scottish kingdom circa 900–1286 AD, from whence we get the place name “Albany” and which is far more interesting than the later Kingdom of Melba, which only invented a type of toast. (10 p.m.)

Hey, it’s The Godfather! AMC is just putting up all sorts of killer flicks over the next couple of weeks, incidentally. Presumably to snag all of those people who don’t want to watch the Olympics. (8 p.m.)

Speaking of the Olympics, today you can watch more rowing! Men’s cycling! Women’s weightlifting! Men’s and women’s judo! Spain versus Pakistan in men’s field hockey! The men’s synchronized diving final! (Did you even know synchronized diving was a thing? We did not know that.) And Team Canada takes on France (le boooooo!) in women’s basketball. (CTV, NBC, TSN, Sportsnet, Vision, RDS, Omni 1 and 2, Asian Television Network, and Outdoor Life Network)


Tosh.0 concludes its latest season of Daniel Tosh pretending that YouTube owes him a living. Man, who would have thought at the start of this season that a good chunk of the world would have come to realize that Daniel Tosh is not only not funny but also actively offensive? Nobody try to tell us that sometimes the world does not work out properly, because it does. (Comedy Network, 10 p.m.)

Oh hey it’s the Olympics. Today: Hungary versus Montenegro in preliminary-rounds water polo, which sounds like the least interesting thing ever; the team and individual jumping finals in the equestrian events; the United States versus South Korea in women’s soccer; Canada (yayyyyy!) versus Sweden (booooo!) in women’s soccer; and the women’s gymnastics final—which for many people is the entire point of the Olympics. (Channels as above.)


The Simpsons rerun of the week: “The Front,” wherein Grandpa colludes with Bart and Lisa to write episodes of Itchy and Scratchy. “That’s me! I did the icky!” (Comedy Network, 8 p.m.)

Today in Olympics: Japan versus Honduras, Britain versus Uruguay, and Spain versus Morocco in men’s soccer; the USA versus China in women’s volleyball (which should be a very dramatic match); the time-trial final in men’s and women’s road cycling; canoe and kayak slaloms; and the individual all-around final for men’s gymnastics—which does not, like women’s gymnastics, require the men to be tiny little teenagers. (Channels as above.)


What a surprise, it’s Olympics. Today, there is Montenegro versus Serbia in water polo, because the Montenegrin Canadian community demanded as much water-polo coverage for its team as possible, we guess. Hey, speaking of coverage, isn’t CTV’s coverage awfully terrible? It’s not as bad as NBC’s “and here is the inspirational story of this American athlete who will finish seventh” coverage, but it’s getting up there (although CTV does at least acknowledge the existence of other countries). If we hear that inspirational song one more time, we will have to solve that problem with murder. No, not really, we’re joking, you couldn’t murder enough people to keep that song off the air. CTV would find a way. Our point is: god, we miss the CBC’s Olympic coverage. So much. (Channels as above.)


Hey, it’s Adventures in Babysitting. Remember when Elizabeth Shue was still a thing? You know, before she entered her 40s and therefore became Hollywood InvisibleTM? Luckily, Elizabeth Banks came along to take her place. And then Banks will also age into invisibility, at about the same time that Jeri Ryan does, and at that point Rachel McAdams will be the only one of the four who is still in the public eye and we can stop confusing them when we see them on the TV. Don’t try to pretend like you haven’t done that at least once. (YTV, 8 p.m.)

More and more Olympics! The qualifying heats for track-and-field events begin today, but there’s also track cycling; men’s trampoline (BOING, BOING, BOING); a men’s weightlifting final; and the beginning of the quarterfinals in women’s soccer. (Channels as above.)

The Weekend

So, we bet you didn’t know that this weekend there is Olympics. Because there is! On Saturday, you can watch the women’s triathlon, the men’s soccer quarterfinals, the women’s tennis singles final and the men’s doubles final, and lots of track and field. On Sunday, you can watch Canada take on Australia in women’s basketball, as well as China versus the USA (dramatic music cue!), plus women’s boxing, weightlifting, diving, beach volleyball, and lots of track and field again (which is not all women—that’s just how that sentence worked out). (Channels as above.)

Continuum concludes its first season having successfully attracted a large and healthy audience, and between this show and Lost Girl, Canadian genre TV is doing quite well at the moment. However, unlike Lost Girl, Televisualist actually likes this show, which is nice because we don’t have to celebrate this show’s success with a big fake grin like we do for Lost Girl. Succubus, whatever. Oh well, it’s for some people and not us, right? (See how we just did that? We have to do that all the time with that show. This is why we’re happy that Continuum is good.) (Showcase, 9 p.m. Sunday)