Televisualist: A Vaguely Murray Column
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Televisualist: A Vaguely Murray Column

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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HOW COULD ANYTHING WITH THIS MANY CELEBRITIES GO WRONG?


Monday

The Expanse boasts a strong cast (Thomas Jane, Jared Harris, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Jay Hernandez), a strong pedigree (based on a series of sci-fi novels that have been nominated for several awards, including a Hugo), and a strong commitment from its host network SyFy. Which is why we really wished we liked the pilot more. As it stands: eh. (Space, 10 p.m.)


Tuesday

It’s CNN’s final GOP debate before the Iowa caucus! Okay, there will be two more before the Iowa caucus, on Fox News, but they don’t count because Wolf Blitzer and his glorious beard will not be present, and by that point the debates will probably just be a contest to see if the moderators can make any of the candidates refer to Muslims with actual obscenities. Donald Trump will do it; Marco Rubio will mouth something but not make any noise. (8:30 p.m.)

I Want A Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown! is one of the most recent Peanuts holiday specials and eminently skippable. It features Rerun, for crissake. Lucy and Linus’ little brother. The one nobody really likes. (ABC, 9 p.m.)


Wednesday

The season finale of a pretty great season of Survivor is upon us; at this point, having finally voted off Abi (who was The Worst), all that remain are two cheerful people hoping to somehow get to the end and aw-shucks their way into the victory (Keith and Kimmi) and four serious players who have all backstabbed and blindsided other players numerous times (Jeremy, Kelley, Tasha and Spencer). At this point both Kelley and Jeremy have immunity idols in their possession, and the show last week made a huge deal about how Something That Has Never Happened Before In Survivor History will happen. Fans are speculating that maybe both Kelley and Jeremy will play their idols at the same time and result in a voting round where every single vote would be nullified. Which, if you are a Survivor fan, would be pretty neato. (Global, 8 p.m.)


Thursday

The 2015 Canada Walk of Fame Ceremony is tonight. This year’s inductees include Michael Bublé, Lorne Greene, Don Cherry, and Ron Maclean (together) and Silken Laumann, because they were all famous! Hence the name of the thing! (Global, 8 p.m.)

Ice Sculpture Christmas is a movie about a wannabe chef who finds True Love while competing in an ice-sculpting competition. That sentence sounded like a bad Saturday Night Live parody or maybe an off-week gag from David Sedaris but we assure you it is entirely real. (W, 9 p.m.)

Tonight’s episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls features U.S. President Barack Obama, so expect the usual talking heads to go insane when Obama mentions climate change and/or eats raw fish. (NBC, 10 p.m.)

Barbara Walters Presents The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2015— expect no overlap with the Canada Walk of Fame inductees. It’s a pretty safe bet. (ABC, 10 p.m.)


Friday

Tonight, you have your pick of Miracle on 34th Street showings: you can watch the original (AMC, 7 p.m.) or the 1994 remake (CBC, 8 p.m.). The original is the better film, but David Attenborough provides the superior Santa in the 1994 version.


The Weekend

The Sound of Music Sing-Along is just the film with follow-the-bouncing-ball subtitles. So you still have to watch The Sound of Music, unfortunately. (CTV2, 8 p.m. Sunday)


Online

Hey, remember when Bill Murray played an untalented lounge singer? A Very Murray Christmas is actually kind of like that except Bill Murray doesn’t realize he’s not really a great lounge singer, so he takes it more seriously than he should. Just go watch Scrooged again instead if you want Bill Murray Christmas antics, because this is indulgent and boring and, worst of all, not really very funny. (Netflix)


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