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.
Texas Rising is a miniseries produced expressly for Memorial Day about the Texas Revolution. It is basically crap, despite starring Bill Paxton, Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta, Kris Kristofferson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jeff Fahey, and Crispin Glover (which is a pretty great cast, even if they have inexplicably cast Brendan Fraser as the token White Man Who Lives With The Natives And Has Taken up Their Ways Like Kevin Costner). How crap is it? One simple answer: the trailer features numerous men wearing Stetson hats. The Stetson was invented around 1865. The Texas Revolution was fought from 1835 to 1836. (Global, 9 p.m.)
It’s a brand new season of American Ninja Warrior! We don’t have anything else to add, because American Ninja Warrior is just a genuinely unique experience—and a fun one too. (NBC, 8 p.m.)
The Island was likely pitched as “Survivor, but for reals”—they took 14 men (and yes, all men, and you can’t help but suspect that there was either sexism in the casting or lawyers told them they couldn’t risk a sexual assault—either way, booooooo), and stranded them on a desert island, and that’s the whole show. No contests, no eliminations, just a bunch of dudes trying to not die—there weren’t even any cameramen, since the participants were their own cameramen. This will either be fascinating or really, really boring. (NBC, 10 p.m.)
Worst Cooks In America: it does what it says on the tin; it’s Canada’s Worst Driver but with food (and Americans). (Food Network, 10 p.m.)
America’s Got Talent is back for a 10th season, to prove that Americans can do other things besides cook badly. (City, 8 p.m.)
Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? returns after six years with—they really said this in the show’s promo materials—a “new generation of fifth graders.” That’s probably good, considering the original fifth graders are now almost high school graduates, and therefore probably not that smart anymore. Also, they should totally do a show called Can You Cook Better Than A Fifth Grader? Man, I got so many good ideas. Call me, TV people! (Fox, 8 p.m.)
Extreme Weight Loss returns for a fifth season of Americans proving they can lose weight after they eat all that badly cooked food. (ABC, 9 p.m.)
The Briefcase is a reality show where two struggling American families (who, it appears, can generally cook well enough) are each given a briefcase with $101,000 in it, and then told they can either keep all of it or give as much as they like to the other family—with neither family knowing that the other family also gets a briefcase. The working title for the series was We’re Just Fucking With Poor People. (ABC, 8 p.m.)
Bullseye is a game show where people turn themselves into human darts to try to win money and it’s still more dignified than The Briefcase. No word on how good these Americans are at cooking. (Fox, 8 p.m.)
Aquarius finally answers the question “What if David Duchovny had to fight Charles Manson?” The answer: is groovy. (NBC, 9 p.m.)
Say Yes To The Prom is like Say Yes To The Dress but with teenaged girls because that’s more soul-deadening. (TLC, 8 p.m.)
Golan the Insatiable: a cartoon about a kid who summons a demon. It’s supposed to be wacky. It isn’t. (Fox, 9:30 p.m.)
Netflix picked up the truly incredibly bad 10,000 B.C., about two months ago, and it’s worth pointing out that this is a movie where the heroes supposedly walk approximately 3,000 miles in a week and then befriend a sabre-toothed tiger, and then convince half a dozen tribes to band together to fight an anonymous ancient empire that was building pyramids 5,000 years before the Egyptians did and to do it by walking into the desert without a map.