Televisualist: We Hated the Olympics Before It Was Cool
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Televisualist: We Hated the Olympics Before It Was Cool

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.

Brett is cynically using the Olympics to promote his new idea for a comic strip about a lovable shut-in who lives with his mother and collects porcelain cats.


The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Homer Goes To College.” A true classic. “Remember, your job depends on your successful completion of Nuclear Physics 101. Oh, and one more thing…you must find the Jade Monkey before the next full moon.” “Actually, sir, we found the Jade Monkey. It was in your glove compartment.” (Comedy Network, 8 p.m.)

Today in Olympics: Men’s basketball (Australia and Russia, which are of course two countries that immediately come to mind when you think of basketball), men’s volleyball, men’s 50m rifle shooting (even the Olympics can’t make GUNS boring! Oh, wait, yes they can), men’s discus throw, and women’s field hockey (Argentina and Australia; Australia are just in everything, sort of). (CTV, TSN, SportsNet, Outdoor Life, Asian Television Network, Omni 1 and 2, and V from 4 a.m.)


Oh, man, Twister? Trash classic time! I want to see Bill Paxton beat up that tornado! Take that, tornado! (Slice, 9 p.m.)

Today in Olympics: Men’s triathlon, men’s diving, the bronze-medal match for women’s table tennis between Singapore and either China or Korea, women’s volleyball, rhythmic gymnastics (aka “one of the stupidest sports ever invented”), the quarterfinals for women’s handball (which apparently is the “hey, wait, this is actually a pretty great sport” meme-winner at this Olympics, since every sportswriter ever seems to be saying “wait, why isn’t handball a bigger thing? Because it’s great”), men’s weightlifting, and the women’s basketball quarterfinals game that pits Canada (yayyyy!) against the USA (boooooo!). (Channels as above.)


Of note: today’s procession through TVTropolis’ seemingly never-ending panoply of That 70s Show reruns features the pilot, which is worth watching only if to see how cleverly that show started out and how good Topher Grace, Debra Jo Rupp, and Kurtwood Smith were right from the very beginning. Also, interesting to see how Mila Kunis, who is nowadays the absolute sexiest woman in Hollywood, used to be amazingly, wrist-slittingly annoying. (8 p.m.)

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is TLC’s spin-off from Toddlers and Tiaras (and that sentence alone should be enough to make some of you throw up in your mouth a little), featuring Alana, the weirdest little contestant on that show, and we have to say that if Toddlers and Tiaras was white-trashy, then this program…let’s just say that if Toddlers and Tiaras were a field of poppies, then Here Comes Honey Boo Boo would be pure, uncut heroin. (10 p.m.)

Today in Olympics: Women’s wrestling, women’s taekwondo, and women’s boxing (somebody at the Olympics is secretly coordinating things so as to mess with women-fighting fetishists—we’re just saying), men’s and women’s BMX, quarterfinals in men’s water polo, more men’s volleyball, and the quarterfinals in men’s basketball, as we wait to see how many more points Team USA can score over whatever hapless opponent it gets next. Seriously, did you see the box score on that game against Nigeria where they scored like 300 billion points? (Channels as above.)


Today in Olympics: The finals for canoe and kayak sprint racing, the semifinal for women’s platform diving, the bronze-medal and gold-medal games for women’s soccer, the semifinal for women’s basketball, and, yes, synchronized swimming, which is even stupider than rhythmic gymnastics! (Channels as above.)


It is the reunion episode for The Real Housewives of Orange County. Because…we got nothing. (Slice, 10 p.m.)

Today in Olympics: The men’s 10K marathon swim (which should be dreadfully exciting), BMX semifinals and finals, the medal round for synchronized swimming, men’s wrestling finals, taekwondo finals, semifinals for men’s basketball, men’s platform diving, a lot of track-and-field final races, and more rhythmic gymnastics because you really need to see girls twirling those ribbons. (Channels as above.)

The Weekend

Hell on Wheels returns for a second season and we are not sure why, because the first season was kind of not very good at all. Televisualist likes Colm Meaney and it likes Common, but unfortunately Colm Meaney and Common are not enough to make this show anything more than an attempt to capitalize on everybody who remembers Deadwood fondly (and there are a lot of us) with pseudo-historical crap television. Admittedly, though, there are trains, and some people will watch anything with trains in it, so maybe that is how this show will go six seasons and a movie. (AMC, 9 p.m.)

This weekend in Olympics: On Saturday, there is the men’s gold-medal soccer game, the gold-medal games for women’s volleyball and basketball, the men’s boxing finals, more track-and-field finals, and—yes—the women’s 20km race-walk! On Sunday, there is the men’s basketball final (we will go out on a limb here and say that the United States will be playing in this game), as well as the gold-medal games for men’s water polo, men’s handball, and men’s volleyball; medal rounds for men’s mountain biking and marathon, and for women’s modern pentathlon; and then that is it and we get the closing ceremony (which may or may not feature Kenneth Branagh dressed up as an old-timey man), and we can close the book on another fucking Olympics and not have to worry about them until the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia (city motto: “One Of The Least Cold Cities In Russia!”) or until some crazy-like-a-fox politician suggests that the only way Toronto will ever get real transit funding is to play chicken and get the 2024 Olympics so that the federal government decides that Canada can’t be embarrassed by our city’s outdated transit system. (Channels as above.)