Televisualist: We Hardly Domed Ye
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Televisualist: We Hardly Domed Ye

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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“Why did my parents have to die?” “To provide dramatic heft for a television show that would otherwise have no obvious hook for the general public, who understand Gotham City only as a frame of reference for Batman.”

Monday

The most hyped premiere this week is undoubtedly Gotham, the Batman show minus the Batman. Except the show promises to feature Little Kid Batman heavily, because if there’s one thing people want to know about Batman, it’s “what was he like as a kid right after his parents got shot?”—which is eminently stupid because Little Kid Batman isn’t going to wear a cape and punch baddies in the face and he probably won’t even Batusi. Now, granted, there is the “But maybe it’ll be like acclaimed comic book Gotham Central and be a crime procedural set in a city with supervillains” argument, but as a general rule, we think superhero TV shows exist to pander to the lowest nerd common denominator and Gotham Central ain’t gonna go low enough. (CTV, 8 p.m.)

Under the Dome concludes its second season and apparently tonight will feature a major cliffhanger ending, because the ratings have been good enough that apparently a third season is somehow feasible. It’s domes all the way down, people. Domes all the way down. (Global, 8 p.m.)

This season’s coaches on The Voice: Adam Levine and Blake Shelton and two other people who are less relevant. Okay, this time it’s Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams, but so what—people tune into this show for Adam and Blake’s subtly homoerotic banter. (CTV2, 8 p.m.)

Scorpion is a new series that unfortunately has nothing to do with the legendary German rock band that wowed us with “Wind of Change” in the early 1990s but is instead about super-smart nerds who work for Homeland Security saving lives with brainpower. It’s cheesy in the way most CBS action/procedural series are, but it’s competently made and has a fun cast. You could do worse. For example, you could watch a Batman show without Batman in it. (City, 9 p.m.)


Tuesday

NCIS: New Orleans is apparently not a joke and is a for-real show, although they really had us going when they announced Scott Bakula as the star. (Global, 9 p.m.)


Wednesday

This season of Survivor brings back the “blood and water” gimmick (teams of two related individuals form the tribes, creating instant natural alliances) and the Exile Island gimmick (members of losing tribes are isolated from the rest of their tribe but given clues to immunity idols), both of which were among the more successful gimmicks in Survivor history. It also cuts out the Redemption Island gimmick, which sucked and was bad. So we’re stoked. The only thing we need now for a truly classic Survivor season is an entertaining cast. What’s that, you say? The Sri Lankan twins from Amazing Race are on this season of Survivor? Okay, we’re sold. (Global, 8 p.m.)

Black-ish is our favourite sitcom of the season, featuring Anthony Anderson as a rich and successful black man who is concerned that his kids are not “black enough.” It manages to be funny about race without being milquetoast or wildly offensive, which is difficult. Also it has Laurence Fishburne in it and we love him. (City, 9:30 p.m.)


Thursday

How to Get Away With Murder is a crime procedural (boo!) that stars Viola Davis (yay!) and is created by Shonda Rimes (boo!) and is about law students solving crimes (meh). Did we mention Viola Davis (YAY)? Okay, good, then. (CTV, 10 p.m.)


Friday

CBS has moved The Amazing Race to Fridays, which is worrisome because Fridays are where good TV shows with small but passionate fanbases go to die. This season’s teams include pro wrestlers who are dating, a team of “food scientists,” and married surfers, one of whom is that famous one who got her arm bitten off by a shark. You know the one. (CTV, 8 p.m.)

OH MY GOD WE WERE KIDDING ABOUT WANTING MORE WILLIAM AND KATE but apparently CBC took us seriously because we cannot explain William and Kate: The South Sea Islands, a documentary about their tour of the various British territories the British Empire still has left. We’re very sorry and from now on we promise no longer to use sarcasm when discussing the Royal Anything. (8 p.m.)


The Weekend

Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns for a second season in a very favourable time slot (right between The Simpsons and Family Guy) and that makes us happy because this was the best new comedy of last season, hitting “nearly as good as best-level Parks and Recreation” right out of the starting gate. We are stoked for more. (Fox, 8:30 p.m. Sunday)

The premiere of Family Guy is the hour-long, long-awaited/long-dreaded Simpsons crossover episode. We shall say no more. (Fox, 9 p.m. Sunday)

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