Televisualist: We Vote Shepherd
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Televisualist: We Vote Shepherd

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.

Do not ask Monte McNaughton to name parts from this image from Jodorowsky's Dune

Do not ask Monte McNaughton to name parts from this image from Jodorowsky’s Dune.


Monday

It’s Indepencence Day! Well, the movie, not the holiday. The holiday is far inferior because we don’t get it off. Also, it doesn’t have Will Smith punching aliens in the face. (AMC, 7 p.m.)


Tuesday

Hey, it’s the original Teen Wolf! To celebrate this rare appearance, we are going to list off all the characters we remember from this beloved ’80s film. There of course is Teen Wolf himself, but also there was Teen Wolf’s Dad Who Is Also A Werewolf, Teen Wolf’s Friend Who Is Sort Of Jealous Of Teen Wolf, and of course The Girl That Teen Wolf Likes. They may have had names. (AMC, 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

Oh, the winner of American Idol gets announced tonight. Remember when people really cared about American Idol? Remember when it mattered, when every new Idol was going to be a superstar? Remember Brian Dunkleman? Doesn’t it feel like a lifetime ago? (Fox, 8 p.m.)


Thursday

Wayward Pines comes across as M. Night Shyamalan’s cheeseball ripoff of The Prisoner—really, “office of the law trapped in a dystopically weird small town” isn’t going to be much else—but it has a rock-solid cast (Matt Dillon, Juliette Lewis, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones) that has the potential to elevate a schlocky high-concept “event series.” Well, until the plants decide to murder everybody, anyway. (City, 8 p.m.)

Returning for a second season: The Awesomes, Seth Myers’ sorta-occasionally-fun show about superheroes. It’s kind of hard at this point to do a comedic superhero show, because everybody knows the tropes and subverting or parodying them in a fresh way is difficult, and The Awesomes only manages freshness every so often. But it manages to do so occasionally, which is more than most shows. (Teletoon, 9:30 p.m.)


Friday

The finale of The Amazing Race ends a season with a mostly-not-very-consequential “blind date” gimmick, where half the teams were people who had never met before and were thus on “the ultimate blind date.” Unsurprisingly, an extremely stressful competitive event is not perhaps the ideal environment for romance to flourish, particularly when Phil has had to ask them at every opportunity if they’re in love yet, so most of the “blind date” couples quickly came to an understanding that they were simply going to try to co-operate to win the million-dollar grand prize. Surprisingly, the “blind dates” have actually proven to be stronger competitors, for the most part, than the teams that were in existing romantic relationships: of the four finalist teams, only one is a pre-existing pairing. What this says about love, we do not know. (CTV, 8 p.m.)


The Weekend

The grandiosely named I Love Lucy Superstar Special is actually just two episodes of I Love Lucy: the one where William Holden and Eve Arden guest star, and the one where George Reeves appears as Superman, so really, this is a remarkable sales job for some very old reruns. But it’s still I Love Lucy, and watching it for its contribution to TV structure is an education in and of itself. Plus, you know: Lucille Ball, she funny. (CBS, 8 p.m. Sunday)

The 2015 Billboard Awards are, as always, the opportunity to reward those musical artists who were most financially successful over the past year. Wiz Khalifa, Fall Out Boy, and Sam Smith are scheduled to perform, as they were quite successful and therefore are worthy of performing on your television. (CTV, 8 p.m. Sunday)

Mad Men comes to the end of its long run. Will it end with Don Draper staring blankly ahead of him, as so many previous episodes of Mad Men have done to demonstrate the meaningless ennui of our lives? Or will there be a dramatic change and will Don Draper become a shepherd? We are voting shepherd. (AMC, 10 p.m. Sunday)


Online

Jodorowsky’s Dune is a documentary about the Chilean-French surrealist director and his unsuccessful attempt to film the wildly overrated Frank Herbert novel. The design elements are fascinating; the way money was spent equally so. Well worth your time. (Netflix)

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