Televisualist: The Weekend When Toronto Politicians Really Pretend To Care About Basketball
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Televisualist: The Weekend When Toronto Politicians Really Pretend To Care About Basketball

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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Samantha Bee Is Displeased With Our Sidebar


Monday

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee is the latest “Daily Show alumnus gets their own take on The Daily Show” show, and like most of the rest it’s both quality topical comedy and also (judging from preview clips) still trying to find its own distinct voice from The Daily Show. The good news is that most of these shows eventually find their own voice: John Oliver did it with Last Week Tonight and Larry Wilmore did it with The Nightly Show, and Sam Bee is too talented not to follow suit. Unless, of course, she gets cancelled too early because she’s a woman, which is entirely possible. (Comedy Network, 10:30 p.m.)


Tuesday

It’s the New Hampshire Presidential primaries! SPOILERS: Bernie Sanders will almost certainly win the Democratic primary, and someone terrible will win the Republican primary. (CNN, coverage all day but really nothing happens before 8 p.m.)

tosh.0 returns for another season of Daniel Tosh relying on YouTube to create content for him to mock, like Mystery Science Theatre 3000 minus the standards and writing talent. (Comedy Network, 10 p.m.)

Not Safe With Nikki Glaser: Nikki Glaser and her guests make fun of the week that was in a sort of “what if we just filmed a podcast and stuck an audience in front of it” way, which given that Glaser’s rise to fame was in part to her podcast work is appropriate, we guess? Anyway, there’s worse shows out there by far, even if she isn’t a Daily Show alumnus like some people. (Comedy Network, 10:30 p.m.)


Wednesday

Big Fish, Texas follows the lives of a family of commercial fishermen/independent fish market operators, so basically it’s a scaled-down version of Deadliest Catch but also there’s a store for the fish. (National Geographic, 9 p.m.)

Big Fix Alaska: a reality show about mechanics in Alaska who fix vital infrastructure, and which also reminds us that National Geographic Channel really loves naming their shows “Big”, perhaps because they’re overcompensating for their relatively inauspicious placement on your digital cable guide. “A show about kitten wranglers? Call it Big Kitten Utah.” (10 p.m.)


Thursday

Project Runway: All-Stars is back for a fifth season of not having Tim Gunn, so what even is the point, and no Isaac Mizrahi isn’t good enough to replace Tim Gunn I mean seriously what are you even smoking, man? (Bravo, 9 p.m.)


Friday

NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto hits the “when they start showing stuff on teevee” stage tonight. First off, there is the NBA Celebrity Game, which this year has a Canada vs. USA theme, with Drake and Kevin Hart coaching those respective teams (at least until the Canadian team starts doing poorly and then Drake will quietly sidle over to the other side—YES, WE WENT THERE). And then you can watch the 2016 Rising Stars Challenge, which features the rookie and sophomore players the fans want to see—including Toronto’s own Andrew Wiggins, of course, but also the magnificently named (and pretty good basketball player) Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks. (TSN, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. respectively)

The Amazing Race comes back for season number 28, and this season’s theme is that all of the teams are “social media stars” but the VlogBrothers aren’t even on it, and how does that even make sense? That seems like an omission! We even mentioned the Vlogbrothers last week! We’re current and relevant! (CTV, 8 p.m.)


The Weekend

All-Star Weekend continues with All-Star Saturday Night, which will feature the three-point shooting contest, the skills challenge, the dunk contest, and an inexplicable performance by Sting which has been mocked so much in advance you almost have to believe it’s a carefully crafted Trojan horse and that we’re really getting Drake instead, which would be kind of brilliant. (TSN, 8 p.m. Saturday)

If you don’t like basketball, alternatively you can watch The Bachelor at 20: A Celebration of Love, which is a remarkable title for a show where after 19 seasons (and the twentieth in progress) there have been exactly two successful relationships formed as a result of this show. That is slightly better than a 10 per cent success rate. What happened to having standards? (ABC, 8 p.m. Sunday)

And then, of course, comes the big show, the NBA All-Star Game, featuring the Toronto Raptors’ own Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, as well as Kobe Bryant in his final All-Star performance which is, big shock, completely undeserved (just like his last two All-Star appearances were), but this sort of thing is why everybody hates Los Angeles Lakers fans. (TSN, 8:30 p.m. Sunday)

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