Televisualist: The American Canada Day
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Televisualist: The American Canada Day

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 WEEK ON TELEVISION: A spoooooooooky (schoooooool) ghoooooooost!


While Steve Paikin is on a well-deserved vacation to wherever Steve Paikin likes to chill out (we imagine it probably involves bikini-clad women lecturing about monetary policy in the Eurozone), we get the plainspokenly titled The Agenda In The Summer, wherein guest hosts talk about appropriately wonkish Agenda-ish topics. Tonight: David Rothkopf about the balance between public and private power in society. Yep. That’s the good stuff. (TVO, 8 p.m.)

Episodes, the surprisingly not-bad sitcom starring Matt LeBlanc as himself, returns for its second season of Matt LeBlanc being sorta funny and light in this not terribly intense satire about Hollywood. We’re not going to say that this is a particularly revolutionary show (heck, even the “famous person as himself” schtick has been done better many times over (most recently by James Van Der Beek in Don’t Trust The B—- In Apartment 23, but we also fondly remember Jennifer Grey’s turn as Jennifer Grey in It’s Like, You Know). But as calorie-lite television goes, this is decent Splenda right here. (TMN, 9 p.m.)

Four Houses is a show where each episode is about four houses. So it’s definitely got a good title going for it. Anything else, who knows. (TLC, 10 p.m.)


Michael Wood’s Story of England is the whole of British history as told through one village in Leicestershire, which is presumably where both Robin Hood and James Bond were born at some point. Because this is all about England, it is of course airing on PBS. (8 p.m.)

Meanwhile, Haunted Highway is exactly what you think it is about. Granted, it’s no Four Houses when it comes to TV-show titles—doesn’t that title just want to make you learn about all four of those houses?—but then, what is? (Space, 10 p.m.)


It is the Fourth of July today, and you know what that means: Independence Day! Will Smith versus aliens! Jeff Goldblum versus aliens! Bill Pullman versus aliens! Adam Baldwin (yes, Adam Baldwin is in this) versus aliens! Judd Hirsch versus aliens! Take that, you aliens! Serves you right for being from another planet! (CTV2, 8 p.m.)

Of course, if you want to watch more traditional July Fourth TV, you can watch A Capitol Fourth, as Washington D.C. parties in the way only it can—in a staid and unspontaneous manner, but with a lot of fireworks to compensate. (PBS, 8 p.m.)

The premiere of School Spirits—a reality show about supposedly haunted campuses—has nothing to do with the Fourth of July. But, so what? We’re Canadian. We can celebrate some other country’s holiday however we like. (Space, 9 p.m.)


Most Eligible Dallas is about wealthy socialites in Texas, because somebody needed to make a show about people who are worse than any given cast of a Real Housewives show, and that has become a high bar to cross. But rich people from Texas? Yeah, that seems like good odds to manage it. (E! 10 p.m.)


The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Lisa the Greek,” wherein Lisa can predict football results and there is drama between her and Homer as a result. “Let’s see…. Football… Football… ‘Homoeroticism in…’ ‘Oddball Canadian rules…’ ‘Phyllis George and…'” (Comedy Network, 8 p.m.)

I Didn’t Do It is Discovery’s new show about people who are wrongly imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit. In a non–Discovery channel–ish twist, though, this show will use a lot of reenactments, which threatens to push the cheese factor of the show through the roof: “It’s just like America’s Most Wanted that way” will never be one of the stronger selling points for reality shows, so far as we are concerned. (10 p.m.)

The Weekend

Hoarding: Buried Alive returns for a fourth season of being the show that everybody thinks is Hoarders but is, in fact, a completely different reality show about hoarders. The purpose of this show is so that the Learning Channel can help you learn about copyright and trademark infringement and when it does not exist, even if you think it might. (9 p.m. Sunday)