Televisualist: Super Karate Monkey Death Column
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Televisualist: Super Karate Monkey Death 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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“Lisa, this new tablet is just amazing, I tell you what.” “That’s a piece of paper, Mr. James.” “Damn. I just thought the screensaver wanted me to be patient.”


Monday

Both Superstore and Telenovela got shoved out the door late last fall by NBC, dumping several episodes all at once in a programming idea that can generously be described as strange (“giving viewers three episodes all at once right before the holidays and then nothing until the new year”). You explain it, because we can’t. Both shows were unable to keep viewers over the three-episode stretch especially well, although Superstore had better starting audience numbers. Neither show, it must be said, is terribly bad, but neither show is particularly good, either; they are bland sitcoms, retreads of what other shows have already done better. (NBC, 8 p.m.)

The annual exercise in sadness that is The Bachelor returns for a twentieth season. We’ve already used up and recycled all of our Bachelor mockery many times over (and yes, it’s once again a former Bachelorette contestant who is this year’s Bachelor). We will simply note that last year’s Bachelor and the “winner” to whom he proposed at season’s end lasted exactly two months before ending their engagement. Twoo wuv! (CFMT, 8 p.m.)

The Biggest Loser returns for a seventeenth season with celebrity contestants! Well, reality-show celebrities, anyway—first Survivor winner Richard Hatch and former The Voice contestant Erin Willett. They will be great guest witnesses when someone inevitably dies on this show as a result of its remarkably unsafe practices and their estate sues. (NBC, 9 p.m.)


Tuesday

Tonight’s season preview of Hollywood Game Night is loaded by any meaningful sense of the word: Alyson Hannigan, Helen Hunt, Dave Foley, Tony Hale, Justin Long and… well, Kevin Smith is tolerable in this context. BOLD PREDICTION: he will wear a hockey jersey. (CTV2, 8 p.m.)

The Shannara Chronicles is MTV’s shot at stealing some Game of Thrones mojo by adapting a popular fantasy series. Wisely, MTV have decided to skip the first book of Terry Brooks’ seemingly endless fantasy series, which is a good idea because it was a mediocre pastiche of Tolkien-derived clichés. The show is entertaining enough, but the first couple of episodes feel uneven and occasionally bland. It needs to find itself. However, the network is supporting it and the subject matter means it should get the time it needs to develop. (MTV Canada, 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

It is the final season of American Idol! Eh, wake us when it’s over forever. (CITS, 8 p.m.)

It’s also the final season of Mike and Molly, and while we have never been a fan of this show we do note that it does reliably good ratings and it has Melissa McCarthy and she is an actual movie star, so what is the deal with it ending? The short answer is “they would have to spend a lot more money on actors’ salaries to make more of it so…no.” (City, 8:30 p.m.)

Also tonight: you can watch the People’s Choice Awards! Spoilers: people make terrible choices! (Global, 9 p.m.)


Thursday

Shades of Blue is a show where Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta play dirty cops and Lopez gets caught being a bad cop and apparently we are all supposed to enjoy the moral dilemma here but lately it seems like it’s really hard to enjoy the idea of corrupt cops for some reason? Because they’re bad and not really romantic at all, maybe? (Global, 10 p.m.)


Friday

We want Angel From Hell to be good, because it has Jane Lynch in it and we love Jane Lynch. And it has Kevin Pollak and we love Kevin Pollak! And Maggie Lawson is underrated! So why does every joke in this show just collapse like a Jenga made out of souffle? (Global, 8 p.m.)


The Weekend

The 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards: you watch them to see if the emcees make slightly-daring jokes (it’s Ricky Gervais again this year) and to see if any movie stars get drunk, and anything else is a bonus! (CTV, 8 p.m. Sunday)


Online

Did you know you can watch all of NewsRadio online? Well, you can, and we recommend you do because this show (or, at least, the first four seasons of it before Phil Hartman’s untimely death) are some of the greatest TV comedy of all time, one of the very few 1990s TV comedies to remain funny twenty years later. High points: “Smoking,” “The Cane,” “Arcade,” “Complaint Box,” “Jumper,” and “President.” Also, Crackle doesn’t cost you money, so there’s that. (Crackle)

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