Televisualist: Your Fortunate Baggage
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Televisualist: Your Fortunate Baggage

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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“That columnist BETTER not be comparing me to Connie Britton. Connie Britton don’t compare to Cookie.”

Monday

This season on Dancing With The Stars: Patti LaBelle, Suzanne Somers, the older half of LMFAO, Bruce Willis’s eldest daughter, gay football player Michael Sam, and Jennifer Lawrence’s little sister in The Hunger Games. Celebrities, all! (ABC, 8 p.m.)

One of the worst movies made in the last decade is Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, which attempted to take the sorta-popular Street Fighter franchise of video games and turn them into movies again, after Jean-Claude Van Damme‘s take on it went horribly wrong in the mid-’90s. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and the movie is a giant stink bomb—although you should not miss Chris Klein’s weird-ass movie-length Nicolas Cage impersonation. (CHCH, 9 p.m.)


Tuesday

Despite being mostly terrible, Undateable returns for a second season, because six people and a dog watched it, and so far as NBC is concerned, that’s a great demo for them to control. (9 p.m.)

What One Big Happy has going for it: great performances from Elisha Cuthbert and Kelly Brook, and Ellen DeGeneres’s name attached as a producer. Its unfortunate baggage: a premise that’s kind of forced, to say the least (guy gets married just as his lesbian best friend finally becomes pregnant with his baby); bland writing; and predictable, formulaic jokes. However, predictable and formulaic may well win the day, especially with the DeGeneres media machine backing the show. Maybe it will succeed! Maybe it will become good! We have to be optimistic because Elisha Cuthbert is Canadian and it’s in our contract! (NBC, 9:30 p.m.)


Wednesday

The Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Toronto Raptors, and this will be Canada’s first chance to see Andrew Wiggins compete on Canadian soil at the NBA level, so it’s win-win for us: either the Raptors win a game, or they lose but we get to see a Canadian player excel. Hooray! (TSN, 7:30 p.m.)

Empire concludes its first season this week as a gigantic super-hit, and although Taraji P. Henson is delightful in this show, we disagree with the comparisons to Dynasty, partially because calling it “the black Dynasty” is tacky and lame, and partially because it’s not really accurate. Dynasty, for whatever faults it may have had, was a show where the plot advanced relatively quickly, and Empire‘s cardinal flaw is that on a week-to-week basis very little actively changes. Really, if you want a comparison point, it’s more accurate to call it a hip-hop equivalent of Nashville—both shows are entertaining, well-cast, set in the music industry, and use good dialogue and fine performances to disguise the fact that not that much actually seems to happen, plotwise. (City, 8 p.m.)

Hockey Wives is the inevitable truly Canadian equivalent of the Real Housewives franchise (and yes, we know there’s a Real Housewives of Vancouver show, but you get our point), in that as long as you stamp HOCKEY on the side of a thing, we will anoint it as having cultural significance. Which is why when we start up our churro bakery, we are going to call it Hockey Churros. (W, 10 p.m.)


Thursday

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament, or if you prefer, March Madness, begins tonight, and the question everybody is asking is “can anybody beat Kentucky?” Because the Wildcats are currently undefeated, which—if they win the championship—would make them the first team to have a perfect season since the Indiana Hoosiers did it in 1976. And there’s a Canadian—power forward Trey Lyles—starting for Kentucky, so hooray! We can take pride in that, sort of! (CBS, all day)

E! Canada officially crosses the line from “pointless” to “actively awful” with Autopsy: The Last Hours Of…, which is a show that re-examines the deaths of celebrities. In this episode, the forensic pathologist who decided he wanted a new addition to his house explains how River Phoenix overdosed on drugs, using the official autopsy report. We are not joking about any of this. Someone greenlit this show because they thought it was a good idea that would make money. (9 p.m.)


Friday

Glee comes to an end, only one year after—wait, this show lasted five seasons? Oh, man. (City, 8 p.m.)


The Weekend

Neighbors With Benefits is a reality show about swingers, which we’re sure A&E will treat with respectful seriousness. Uh huh. We’re sure that’s gonna happen. (10 p.m. Sunday)

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