Televisualist: Column Reborn
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Televisualist: Column Reborn

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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Please be good. Please be good. Please be good. Please be good. Please be good.


The Muppets managed to spawn a Twitter controversy even before it aired due to the plot point that Kermit and Miss Piggy have broken up and now Kermit is dating a new, probably younger pig called Denise. And, of course, there’s the point to be made that maybe we don’t need “The Office-style mockumentary starring the Muppets, where they’re all maybe kind of dickish.” On the other hand, though, the clips released so far have been funny and not too nasty, so we’re more than willing to give it a chance. (City, 8 p.m.)

“Let’s remake Prison Break!” “Can’t do it, we’re already remaking Heroes for some reason.” “Okay, but what if Prison Break is a woman?” “Still not enough.” “Okay, what if she has amnesia and the tattoos have to be solved with the help of law enforcement of some kind?” “Getting there.” “What if there’s the hint of a massive conspiracy, too?” “Sold!” Hence: Blindspot. (CTV, 9 p.m.)

Minority Report: takes the basic setting elements from the book and the movie but decides that instead of boring philosophizing about the morality of pre-crime, wouldn’t it be better if they made a sci-fi cop procedural? Answer: not really. (Global, 9 p.m.)


Scream Queens is the new horror anthology series from the guys who created Glee and American Horror Story, and judging by what we have seen so far is trying to marry elements of the two for a melodramatic-slasher hybrid with plenty of murders. It also features a loaded cast for its chosen audience (Emma Roberts, Abigail Breslin, Lea Michele, Nasim Pedrad, Nick Jonas, Ariana Grande, Diego Boneta) plus Jamie Lee Curtis in a major role for the old people watching. (City, 8 p.m.)

Limitless is like the Bradley Cooper movie of the same name, except it stars Not Bradley Cooper. (Global, 10 p.m.)


This season’s Survivor theme is “Second Chance,” making it a sort of All-Stars season, except nobody in the cast has ever won the game, whose case were selected via fan votes and range from original-first-season-of-Survivor runner-up Kelly Wiglesworth (who competed when she was 22 and is now 37) to Joe Anglim, who got voted out relatively early in last season’s Survivor: Worlds Apart. Other than that, it’s Survivor, the same balance of game theory in action against human weirdness that is almost always entertaining TV. (Global, 8 p.m.)

Our bet for “surprise hit that nobody’s talking about yet” for this new season of TV is Rosewood, which stars Morris Chestnut—one of the truly underrated actors of the last two decades—as a somehow privately operating pathologist who teams up with a tough, spunky female cop. We think this will be a hit for two reasons: first, because Chestnut is great and this is a role he can really chew on, and second, because it airs right before Empire, the biggest network hit in five years, which incidentally also premieres tonight. (Fox, 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. respectively)


Speaking of Heroes Reborn: yeah, it premieres tonight. We’re not sure why. This is a show that, after initial success, went steadily south; it started losing viewers halfway through the first season and then for the three remaining seasons shed them faster and faster, because everybody realized that Marvel was doing the core concept better with its movies and also that the writers were seemingly making it up as they went along with no actual plan, or alternately, had a plan which made no sense. Is anybody really desperate to see if they figured it out five years later? (Global, 8 p.m.)

The Player has a ludicrously stupid premise: guy is hired by a sort of international not-quite-a-crime-ring thingy to stop crimes, so they can bet on whether or not he stops the crimes, which is amazingly dumb even by TV standards. However, it’s created by the guy who created Leverage, which means the guys behind the camera are guys who know how to make exciting and fun action TV, so it could be good. Then again, it does rely somewhat heavily on Wesley Snipes. (NBC, 10 p.m.)


After managing a minor miracle by having a surprisingly fun season based around a fairly stupid “blind date” gimmick, The Amazing Race returns with teams that include dating TV news-anchors, breakdancers, paparazzi, and TMZ staffers, and Phil being Phil, for he is Phil, and the finest of all living men. Also, they will go around the world, unlike some Supposedly Amazing Races we could mention. (CTV, 8 p.m.)

The Weekend

Blood and Oil: It’s like Dallas with the serial numbers filed off, to the extent that it’s North Dakota instead of Texas. (CTV, 9 p.m. Sunday)

Quantico has a super-convoluted trailer, wherein an FBI agent is framed for a terrorist attack and has to investigate all of her other former classmates from Quantico (title!) to prove her innocence. Silly, but we do note that it features a female lead of colour in Priyanka Chopra, although her character is named “Alex Parrish” just in case a white person gets nervous that maybe she’s a terrorist after all. (CTV, 10 p.m. Sunday)


Viola Davis just won an Emmy for her performance on How To Get Away With Murder, and as luck would have it, as of last week you can watch it online, so wow, it’s synergetic! (Netflix)