Televisualist: Not Caring About Big Brother Since 2000
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Televisualist: Not Caring About Big Brother Since 2000

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 asked Brett for a cartoon for Political Animals, and his response was that a lion is inherently political since it is the king of the animals, and also something about Lawrence Gowan for some reason, and that "Mr. Roboto" is "an extremely political song." He proclaims this the best cartoon he has ever drawn. We leave you, readers, to be the judge.


Monday

If you like watching people smack dingers into the stands, you are in luck because tonight you can watch the 2012 Home Run Derby! This annual tradition of baseball-hitting stars hitting baseballs as best they can enters its 27th year, which makes up for the fact that, unlike the NBA’s annual dunk competition or three-point-shoot-off—which take elements of the game people like and make them much more exciting—the Home Run Derby is about 10 times more boring to watch than the most boring baseball game you have ever seen. (SportsNet, 8 p.m.)

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Homer At The Bat,” one of the greatest Simpsons episodes ever. “Pitt the Elder!” “Lord Palmerston!” “Pitt the Elder!” “Lord Palmerston!” “Pitt. The. Elder!” “LORD PALMERSTON!” (Comedy Network, 8 p.m.)

Opening Act continues Nigel Lythgoe’s quest to consume all that once was of Simon Cowell and take those powers for himself. This show is sort of like American Idol minus the competing, since Lythgoe “discovers” singing talents and then trains them to open for various established musical acts. This week, a very nice girl finds out that she is going to open for Rod Stewart, and then gets some training (since, sure, she can sing, but can she siiiiiing?), and then we get to find out if someone who wants to be a singer and who has trained as a singer and performed as a singer can in fact sing in front of an audience, while pretending that this will somehow be suspenseful. (E!, 10 p.m.)


Tuesday

Since we had the Home Run Derby on Monday, that means it is time for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday. Which is traditionally also kind of boring, since it takes all of the virtues of baseball (the hitter/pitcher mental duel, the strategic questions of where the hitter wants to pull his shot with respect to the outfield) and systematically gets rid of them. But, hey, if you really, really love baseball, you’ll still watch it. (Sportsnet, 7:30 p.m.)

Trust Us With Your Life is the new improv-comedy show from the people who produced Whose Line Is It Anyway? and features many of that show’s alumni, including Wayne Brady, Greg Proops, and Colin Mochrie (who is an excellent sport whenever we make fun of him—presumably because he needs the exposure. BOOM!). The gimmick this time around is “here are some C-level celebrities, and the comedians will improv comedy bits around details from their lives.” Which…okay, whatever, we get the Whose Line team back on the air—we’ll suffer through Serena Williams and the Osbourne family if that’s what it takes. (ABC, 9 p.m.)

NY Med is ABC’s new reality show about doctors at hospitals in New York City, doing the exciting things that doctors do, presumably on the premise that this is much cheaper than producing another scripted medical drama. Which it is, certainly, and exciting to boot. But it does feel kind of exploitative and icky. (10 p.m.)


Wednesday

The ESPY Awards have now been a thing for almost 20 years and we still don’t get the point of them. Athletes do not need an awards show to validate their performances, because athletes are validated by winning at sports. The whole thing is sort of redundant. Anyway, this year’s host is…Rob Riggle? Oh man, there’s even less reason to watch. (TSN, 9 p.m.)


Thursday

Of late, iMPACT Wrestling has been putting itself forward as a strong competitor to WWE. This, of course, has not always been the case: iMPACT (which may or may not still be also known as TNA Wrestling, a name which they rightfully seem to be abandoning) has had its share of ups and downs, with a bad habit of letting former WWE castoffs like Jeff Hardy try to compete while visibly drunk and/or high, or giving too much time to Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair (who, in case you have forgotten, are 58 and 63, respectively). However, over the last six months, the company has more or less performed a full turnaround and started pushing the wealth of young talent it has under contract, most notably “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived,” Austin Aries, and Toronto’s own Bobby Roode, who had an exceptional match this past weekend at the company’s most recent pay-per-view. This is a fine thing, because when wrestling is good, it’s really good (and when it’s bad, it’s really bad), and the more good wrestling, the better. (Spike, 8 p.m.)

Big Brother returns for another season of…we don’t care. Sorry, there has to be some reality shows we just don’t watch. This is one of them. (We are pretty sure Julie Chen is an android.) Anyway, this year, four former contestants are returning, and we don’t care about them either. Sorry! (Global, 9 p.m.)

Fast N’ Loud is Discovery Channel’s new car show about guys who love cars (a subgenre in reality shows, as fans of American Chopper and its ilk can attest). This particular show is about a pair of mechanics who restore vintage cars (they specialize in 1950s-and-earlier, so we are talking serious vintage) to street-legal hot-rod quality. The most amusing part of this show, however, is that the leads get so excited when they see a scrap beater in someone’s yard on that they know they can turn a profit, that they will frequently forget to ask permission to enter the yard to check it out; this leads to some heated exchanges. (10 p.m.)


Friday

Zombie Apocalypse isn’t particularly good: another in the long, long, oh man, it’s so long line of terrible zombie movies that have come out since 28 Days Later and the Dawn of the Dead remake reignited the genre, and it’s a made-for-Syfy TV movie to boot. But it does have Ving Rhames in it, which is fun because he was also in Dawn of the Dead and then the remake of Day of the Dead (which was absolutely awful) and you can pretend that Ving Rhames always survives zombie apocalypses! (Space, 10 p.m.)


The Weekend

Political Animals is being called a “miniseries,” despite the fact that it appears to be an open-ended story with an option to continue to another season. Possibly this is because it is only going to be six episodes long, but that’s as much airtime as Sherlock got and nobody called that a miniseries. Anyway, this is a show where Sigourney Weaver stars as a former first lady who now serves as secretary of state to the current president, who beat her in the presidential primaries. In short, it is Hillary Clinton: The TV Series, except in this show the former first lady divorced her cheating husband, which almost makes the whole thing sort of like fan fiction with the names rubbed out and new ones written in. You know, like Fifty Shades of Grey minus the kinky sex. (Bravo! 9 p.m. Sunday)

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