Televisualist: The Pan Am Games Invade Your Television
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Televisualist: The Pan Am Games Invade Your Television

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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QUICK QUIZ: Do you know—without Googling—which one is Key and which one is Peele?

Monday

Love It Or List It Vancouver comes back for another season of Show About Selling A House; maybe HGTV will sue W for infringing on their territory by airing this show? (10 p.m.)


Tuesday

Another season of WWE Total Divas, and we have to wonder: who is this show really for? Moreso than most “reality” shows of this genre, the scripting of the show is blatantly obvious, and wrestling fans by and large dislike it because (unsurprisingly) it more often than not just portrays female wrestlers as awful, terrible people (to say nothing of the fact that it doesn’t really focus that greatly on their jobs as professional wrestlers, which is the most interesting thing about most of them). But people watch it, so it’s clearly for somebody. (E! Canada, 9 p.m.)

In case you’ve never watched Little People, Big World, tonight’s two-hour season premiere is in many ways a total series recap/clip episode focusing on one of the children (without dwarfism) of the titular little people who, over the course of the series, met his partner (also without dwarfism) and got married. It’s like you’ve been watching this show since 2006! Except you didn’t have to! (TLC, 9 p.m.)

Hollywood Game Night is back, and the modern inheritor of Match Game‘s shlock Hollywood spirit is always one of the TV highlights of the summer, because Jane Lynch is the best forever. Tonight’s guests include Jesse Tyler Ferguson, John Legend, Zachary Quinto, and Jane Krakowski, which already makes it better than anything else on tonight. (CTV, 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

The Amazing Race Canada, which innovated last season by actually spending enough money to briefly leave Canada, returns for a third season of not being anywhere near as good as the actual Amazing Race. Sorry, but it’s true. (CTV, 9 p.m.)

Why? With Hannibal Buress is being promoted as a sort of topical point-of-view show, with Buress using a combination of taped segments and studio-audience interaction to discuss whatever happens to be in the news/on his mind this week. This could be great or it could be self-indulgent and bad, but either way, we’re going to give it a shot. (Comedy Network, 10:30 p.m.)


Thursday

Key and Peele is currently the best sketch-comedy show airing on television. Full stop. It ain’t even close (not even after Inside Amy Schumer had such a strong season). A new season premieres tonight. (Comedy Network, 10:30 p.m.)


Friday

It’s the opening ceremony of the 2015 Pan Am Games, and we’re not even going to pretend we care. Certainly it looks like we’re not alone about not caring about The Olympics Junior, or not being particualrly enthusiastic about how these Pan Am Games have been massively more expensive than any other Pan Am Games in history (expected to cost more than double the next Pan Am Games in Lima in 2019). So who’s performing in the opening ceremony tonight? We dunno. We could go read a website and find out but we don’t even care a little. Let’s just say, oh, it’s the Tragically Hip doing a medley of Rita MacNeil songs with a Bolivian pan-flautist accompanying them. That’s actually probably better than anything the opening ceremony will come up with. (CBC, 7 p.m.)

Sex With Brody: a discussion show about sex led by Brody Jenner, because why not. (E! Canada, 10:30 p.m.)


The Weekend

This weekend in Pan Am Games: Competitive flossing, women’s darts, 500-metre bunny hop, men’s speed hot-dog eating, figure rollerskating, men’s rochambeau. Only some of these are true. (CBC, Sportsnet, Sportsnet 360, all weekend)

Two shows which weren’t that great in their first seasons but at least showed room for improvement are back: Guillermo del Toro’s vampires-but-not-quite-vampires series The Strain, and the show about angels who are also mostly kind of assholes, Dominion. Remember, it’s this or Pan Am Games! (FX Canada, 10 p.m. Sunday and Showcase, 10 p.m. Sunday, respectively)


Online

This week in “what to watch instead of the Pan Am Games,” we suggest Rising From Ashes, a 2012 documentary about how the Rwandan cycling team worked its way back to Olympic contention following the Rwandan genocide. It’s compelling and features narration by Forest Whitaker; these are two things the Pan Am Games sadly lack. (Netflix)


CORRECTION: July 6, 2015, 1:42 PM This post originally listed incorrect channels for airings of The Strain and Dominion, which we’ve since corrected. We regret the error.

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