Televisualist: Fa La La La La (Beatboxing Noise)
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Televisualist: Fa La La La La (Beatboxing Noise)

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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A cappella: the dorkiest of the singing arts.


The Sing-Off returns for a fourth season after NBC had previously cancelled it in 2012, and this time the a cappella group singing competition show is returning to its previous, more successful “let’s bang out an entire season in two weeks” format and turning its back on the full-length format NBC tried to impose on it in 2011—which shows that NBC has maybe decided to stop trying to fix things that are not broken, perhaps. This year Jewel will be a judge, and we love Jewel without irony, so that’s nice. (CTV2, 9 p.m.)

You know those people who break the bank to create incredibly gaudy and tasteless Christmas light arrangements for the holidays? You know, the ones that just scream out “Our electricity bill is going to cost more than your university tuition, and we don’t even care.” Well, what if there was a reality show about those people competing in Christmas light arranging? The Great Christmas Light Fight is that show! (ABC, 9 p.m.)


The San Antonio Spurs play the Toronto Raptors in the Air Canada Centre tonight, and the big basketball news this weekend is that the Raptors traded Rudy Gay (along with Aaron “The White Panther” Gray and Quincy Acy, the best bench celebration guy in the NBA) to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday for a bunch of spare parts, and then the Raptors promptly went out and beat the Lakers into the ground even though Kobe Bryant came back, so that was fun. (SportsNet, 7 p.m.)

This week on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, J. August Richards returns as the super-soldier who was in the pilot episode, which gives this television show set in a superhero universe a rare glimpse of somebody with actual superpowers. (CTV, 8 p.m.)

Oh, hey, Home Alone. I remember once somebody sat down and checked what would happen if Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci had suffered all the injuries they suffer in this movie in real life. The answer was: they would be really, really dead. Comedy! (AMC, 8 p.m.)


Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale is… well, it has a fun title. Featuring performances from Clarkson, plus special guests (there are always special guests in these things) Blake Shelton, Trisha Yearwood, and Reba-who-used-to-be-McEntire-but-now-just-goes-by-her-first-name-for-some-reason. TRIVIA PUB NIGHT FUN FACT: Reba Lastnamegone is actually Kelly Clarkson’s mother-in-law! (NBC, 10 p.m.)


Turner Classic has Cinema Paradiso tonight, and it is basically perfect as movies go, so you should watch it. We have nothing else to say about this. “It is basically perfect” just sums up this movie so well. (8 p.m.)


We have been seeing a bit of a backlash against Love Actually these past few weeks on the internet as brave contrarians have decided to speak out about how Love Actually is a romantic comedy and does not talk about the daily grind of partnership and responsibility towards your loved ones. In other news, brave contrarians on the internet have also lashed out against water, on the grounds that it is wet. (W, 9 p.m.)

The Simpsons rerun of the week: “Grift of the Magi,” which is the one with Springfield Elementary letting a toy corporation interfere in classes to help design the ultimate Christmas toy. “Don’t you think there’s something weird going on here? We spent all day selecting fabric swatches and then our guest speaker was Phil, from marketing.” (MuchMusic, 9 p.m.)

The Weekend

Survivor concludes an entertaining season tonight, and as of this writing, Tyson, a legendary Survivor villain and clever player, seems very likely to advance to the finals and make a strong case for winning it all. This season’s “returning contestants plus their loved ones” twist has made the Redemption Island gimmick actually work for the first time ever (it’s always been terrible otherwise) and has richly layered the game’s voting strategy and made players even more paranoid than usual, which means entertainment for all of us! Hooray! (Global, 8 p.m. Sunday)

Penguins: Waddle All the Way is a documentary about penguins that was filmed with robotic penguin-cameras and, well, you probably already know if you want to watch this or what. Some people just want to watch the world burn; others just want to watch documentaries about penguins. (Discovery, 8 p.m. Sunday)