Televisualist: Not A Pirate
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Televisualist: Not A Pirate

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.

If you think this sort of standoff scenario is a tired trope, this is where it was invented. You’re welcome. From The Killer.

Tuesday

Your celebrity finalists on this year’s Dancing With The Stars are Bruce Willis’s daughter, a guy who was on Glee and is in a band that gets airtime on Radio Disney, and a double-amputee Iraq War veteran who is now a motivational speaker. We’ll root for Bruce Willis’s daughter. (ABC, 9 p.m.)


Wednesday

Mark Burnett’s latest attempt to create a hit reality show is 500 Questions, which contains a convoluted set of rules that basically boil down to “people ask questions at $1,000 a pop for each correct answer, until you get three in a row wrong and then you lose.” So it’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? except with way lower stakes. Is this the next Survivor or the next Pirate Master? Do you even remember Pirate Master? There were pirates in it. (ABC, 8 p.m.)

Speaking of Survivor, the season finale is tonight and this has been a strong season of the show overall: the “class warfare” angle was soon dropped early into the season as people started backstabbing and allying almost immediately, and that is fine and good because that’s what Survivor is going to be. Right now it looks like the favourites to win are either Mike, the sly alliance-breaking idol-finding oil worker, or Carolyn, the careful and manipulative corporate executive. Neither of them is a pirate. (Global, 8 p.m.)

MasterChef returns for its sixth season, and this year they have gotten rid of Mean Italian Judge and replaced him with Christina Tosi, co-owner of Momofuku Milk Bar and this show’s long-awaited female judge. Don’t worry, Big Fat Happy Judge is still around! (CTV, 8 p.m.)

Celebrity Wife Swap returns, featuring a swap between Jackee Harry (from 227) and Traci Lords. The ad copy for the show claims that Jackee is “non-traditional” and Lords is “traditional.” With absolutely no moral judgement whatsoever, we will say that this is probably the first time that Traci Lords has ever been considered the “traditional” member of an oddly matched pair. (ABC, 10 p.m.)


Thursday

Between is a show about life after a disease kills everybody over the age of 21, which makes it dramatically different from, say, Jeremiah, which was a show about life after a disease that killed everybody over the age of 13. I mean, that’s a whole eight-year difference right there! Also, this one doesn’t have Luke Perry in it. (City, 8 p.m.)

Rookie Blue returns for its sixth season, so when are they changing the title? It’s been six years now! They’re not rookies anymore! They’re experienced police officers! Someone email their MP about this. (Global, 9 p.m.)


Friday

Is it okay to be old-man pissy about marketing people renaming the movie Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark? As opposed to simply Raiders of the Lost Ark, which is of course the actual title. Really, it was more acceptable when Spielberg used computers to take the guns out of E.T. (History, 9 p.m.)


The Weekend

Mighty Planes is the sort of show where, as a TV critic, you just sorta sit back and say, “Look, folks: you get what you get here. It’s all there in the title.” Really, more shows should have self-descriptive titles like this. Then media people wouldn’t have to write so many words about Sexist Advertising Agency In The ’60s or Chemistry Teacher Makes Meth, Becomes Evil. (Discovery, 8 p.m. Sunday)


Online

Netflix has just recently picked up The Killer, John Woo’s classic Hong Kong action flick starring Chow Yun-fat in one of his trilogy of Woo collaborations (along with Bullet In The Head and Hard Boiled) that made him an international star. If you haven’t seen it, this is something you should rectify, if only so you understand why every hack B-list action director feels compelled to include fluttering doves in at least one gunfight sequence. (Netflix)

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