Televisualist: Nothing Wrong With Beards
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Televisualist: Nothing Wrong With Beards

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.

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“I vant… to tell you about the miracle of biogas generation plants!”

Monday

Guy’s Grocery Games is—and we’re sure you’ll be shocked by this—a cooking competition show hosted by Guy Fieri! What are the odds? Anyway, in this one Guy sets supermarket-themed challenges for the contestants—challenges like “make a meal for four people for less than seven dollars” or “make a dish, but use only ingredients from the frozen-food aisle.” For that last one, Guy Fieri just says, “Why dincha heat up a TV dinner? I love TV dinners. Catchphrase!” (Food Network, 10 p.m.)


Tuesday

The new PBS documentary series The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross has a hell of a mouthful of a title, but it’s still going to be very good. Henry Louis Gates Jr. has done excellent work for PBS before (notably in African American Lives), but this is probably his most wide-ranging and ambitious project yet—an attempt to tell the entire history of black America in a few episodes, from the slave trade right up to Barack Obama taking the presidential oath of office. Must-not-miss television, right here. (8 p.m.)

Ravenswood is apparently a spinoff of Pretty Little Liars (which we don’t watch, to be honest). It has one of the guys from the former show moving to a new town with a slightly different name where there’s a mysterious curse that affects people who are mostly white teenagers except for the one black one (I know you’re shocked by that). (MuchMoreMusic, 9 p.m.)

Returning for a third season: Snooki and JWOWW, because…oh, we’re not even going to bother writing a joke about this show again. That’s how over the whole Snooki thing we are. (MTV Canada, 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

Game one of the World Series is tonight. The St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox were actually the two best teams in baseball this year, so this is a World Series where nobody squeaked in on a technicality, and that’s pretty great. Certainly it’s better than all the fuss people have been making this year about how the Red Sox have wacky beards. I mean, come on, people. It’s just facial hair. Next, people will be making a fuss about being able to see ankles or something. (Sportsnet, 8 p.m.)

Ice Pilots NWT comes back for its fifth season of planes nearly crashing or sorta-crashing, which is why everybody watches this show. It’s the NASCAR of reality television, really. (History Television, 10 p.m.)


Thursday

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Treehouse of Horror XIV,” which has the inspired Homer-as-Death short in it. “Death! Death! We miss you so much! You were a busboy in the restaurant of life. Clearing away the oldies and the sickies and the junkies. And you made NASCAR racing exciting!” (MuchMusic, 8:30 p.m.)


Friday

Two years ago, we boldly predicted that Grimm would get cancelled after half a dozen episodes. It’s starting a third season tonight, which just goes to show you. If we got paid more for doing criticism, we’d probably care about having been wrong, or feel bad about it or something. We are what is wrong with journalism! (CTV, 9 p.m.)

Oh, my god, Dracula. What the hell is up with this show? I mean, don’t get me wrong—it’s nice to see Hollywood trying to do something other than the standard vampire riffs. But “vampires are really interested in alternative energy in Victorian England” was probably not the way to go here. Just saying. (Global, 10 p.m.)

Secret Princes is back for another season of vague misogyny. What is the opposite of “hooray”? (TLC, 10 p.m.)


The Weekend

This weekend’s episode of The Amazing Race is the second part of a two-part episode, and we mention it because they’re racing in Svolvaer, Norway—in other words, within the Arctic Circle—at the peak of midsummer, and they’re racing under full midnight-sun conditions. This is an opportunity to experience exactly how visually disorienting 24-hour sunlight can be. Assuming you aren’t reading this from Tuktoyaktuk, that is. Then you probably already know about it. (CTV, 8 p.m.)

The Governor’s Wife is a reality show about Trina Edwards, a young woman who married 85-year-old former Governor of Louisiana (and former convict) Edwin Edwards. People apparently watch this show in the United States—unironically, even. (A&E, 10 p.m.)

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