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.
Pretty much the last major event for which TSN has exclusive rights is the World Junior Hockey Championships, so enjoy it while they’re still a sports network. Tonight, you can watch Team Canada (yayyyy!) take on Finland (weren’t they the bad guys in one of the Mighty Ducks movies? Like, one of the later ones that went straight to video—D7: The Mighty Ducks Go to the Moon or something?). (8 p.m.)
Happy New Year, Charlie Brown is one of the later specials (1986) and, accordingly, is not that great. Missable. (ABC, 8 p.m.)
Wedding Planner Mystery is such a terrible title it kind of makes you wonder if it wasn’t the placeholder title while they tried to think of a clever pun, before just giving up. Anyway, Erica Durance is the wedding planner who turns into an amateur detective, as one does. (CTV, 8 p.m.)
Avalanche Sharks is part of the “let’s rip off Sharknado” genre of horror film, wherein a shark of some kind attacks people on land somehow. This one is so cheaply made that it doesn’t even have a single former 90210 cast member involved—which is what happens when you rip off an “ironic” made-for-TV horror film. (Global, 8 p.m.)
Tonight and tomorrow, CTV airs both parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, if you like that sort of thing. (8 p.m.)
It’s the 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, wherein people who are safe and predictably decent and loved by mainstream white America are given medals. This year: Al Green, Tom Hanks, Patricia McBride, Lily Tomlin (she’s old and safe now), and Sting. (CBS, 9 p.m.)
Friends With Benefits was a reasonably solid rom-com when it came out, mostly because Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis have excellent chemistry and fun with the (perfectly okay) script. It has not yet dated, even considering its reliance on flash mobs as a plot point—but give it five years, and then we’ll see. (Global, 8 p.m.)
Horrible CBC “icons” return for New Year’s Eve specials! First off, there is the Royal Canadian Air Farce’s Air Farce New Year’s Eve 2014/2015, which will serve you this evening much in the same way that a strong slap across the face might do. Ron James: The Big Picture follows, providing comedy for everybody over the age of 70 and/or people who find Austin Powers impersonations too risqué. (8 p.m.)
New Year’s Eve stuff: Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2015 features no tortured spirit form of Dick Clark, but does have Gavin DeGraw, Lady Antebellum, One Direction, Meghan Trainor, Florida Georgia Line, MAGIC!, Idina Menzel, Fergie, Iggy Azalea, Bastille, Jason Derulo, Pentatonix, Rixton, Brantley Gilbert, Ella Henderson, Nick Jonas, Nico & Vinz, Train, and Elton John (starts at 8 p.m.). NBC counters with A Toast to 2014! (8 p.m.), wherein Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb remind everybody they are the worst, and then NBC’s New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly 2014, which has Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Seth MacFarlane, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, and Pharrell Williams to help you wash the Kathie Lee taste out of your mouth (10 p.m.). Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution features Enrique Iglesias, Fall Out Boy, Fifth Harmony, the Band Perry, and Becky G—and since it is Pitbull’s revolution here, we will go out on a limb and guess that there will also be popping bottles and hopping models (Fox, 11 p.m.). CNN once again has New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin (9 p.m.), and Global brings us ET Canada’s New Year’s Eve at Niagara Falls, which will have Keith Urban, Nick Jonas, Shawn Mendes, and Lights (10 p.m.).
On New Year’s Day, there is, as always, college football—for starters, the Rose Bowl, which this year features Oregon and Florida State both trying to advance toward the first-ever National Championship game, an idea that took college football only 100 years to come up with (TSN, 5 p.m.). And then you can watch the Allstate Sugar Bowl, which has Alabama and Ohio State (8:30 p.m.).
The Toronto Raptors are currently the best team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference; the Golden State Warriors are currently the best team in the Western Conference. The Raps visit Golden State tonight and a lot of baskety-ball people will be paying close attention to this one. And it should be a fun game, considering that Steph Curry is quite possibly a shot-analyzing computer in human form. (Sportsnet, 10:30 p.m.)
Galavant is kind of amazing in that it is a straight-up musical comedy—and not one in which the music is inherently part of the setting or story, as in Smash, Glee or Nashville. It a musical comedy about a heroic knight in a medieval kingdom where there is an evil king. It’s devoted to the idea of being wacky and doesn’t entirely fail at that: a lot of the gags work reasonably well, and it’s fun, albeit predictable, at times. But it’s just so weird that this is on network television! (ABC, 8 p.m. Sunday)
Celebrity Apprentice returns for another season of celebrities kowtowing to Donald Trump, who is a racist asshole. This season’s celebrities include Vivica A. Fox, Ian Ziering, Leeza Gibbons, Gilbert Gottfried, and Geraldo Riviera. Who will win the asshole racist’s favour? The suspense is killing us, truly. (NBC, 9 p.m. Sunday)