Televisualist: Donnie Wahlberg, Jenny McCarthy, and the Grim Abyss
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Televisualist: Donnie Wahlberg, Jenny McCarthy, and the Grim Abyss

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.

They're not saying anything in this photo because they're silent. Because of the game. The game...of silence. They’re not saying anything in this photo because they’re silent. Because of the game. The game…of silence.


Monday

Hunters is based on Whitley Streiber’s Alien Hunter books (Streiber being that one sci-fi/horror author who has claimed for decades he was once abducted by aliens). The basic premise is “guy’s wife is kidnapped by alien criminals, so he teams up with an alien cop to fight alien crime.” There are alien-guns as well. Okey dokey. (Showcase, 10 p.m.)

Sons of Anarchy concludes after seven seasons of biker gang members maybe not being all that bad, guys. Well actually it concluded four months ago but, you know, Canadian TV. (FX Canada)


Tuesday

Game of Silence is actually based on a Turkish TV series, of all things—it’s about a group of kids who bond over a shared secret and time in juvie, and then 25 years pass and one of them has moved on, or has he? Spoiler alert: he has not entirely moved on! (NBC, 10 p.m.)


Wednesday

If you were going to combine The Biggest Loser with American Ninja, you might well end up with Strong, a show where people are paired with personal trainers in order to build muscle strength and then put in challenges (competing with their trainers) on giant obstacle course thingies. And hey, all three of these shows are NBC properties! Who woulda thunk. (CHCH, 9 p.m.)

Tonight on the season finale of Donnie Loves Jenny. Donnie Wahlberg tries to make Jenny McCarthy forget about the grim abyss that is eternity compared to the brief candle-flickers that are our human lives. Okay, maybe the episode synopsis didn’t say it quite like that, but that’s what happens! (A&E, 10 p.m.)


Thursday

American Grit has John Cena and Hero Soldiers teaming up with everyday contestants to do incredible challenges, so it’s like Strong except with more patriotism and also mud. (Fox, 9 p.m.)

Returning for a fourth season: Orphan Black. How many clones are there now? We lost count a while back. (Space, 10 p.m.)


Friday

Look, Die Hard is on tonight, so we know from experience there’s no point in suggesting anything else because you’re just going to watch Die Hard. (AMC, 9 p.m.)


The Weekend

Gravity doesn’t have quite the same vertigo-inducing impact on television that it has on the big screen, but this can actually make the movie watchable for some people who couldn’t handle the theatre experience. The movie is still quite exciting and tense and entertaining without the vertigo, after all. We like accessibility in our entertainment. (Showcase, 8 p.m. Sunday)


Online

We’ve mocked Shomi for many reasons since its inception, and some of those reasons remain valid: the online portal is as user-friendly as a live badger, the review and ratings options are minimal, and it doesn’t have basic elements of streaming-view functionality (like, for example, remembering what episode of the TV show you’re watching that you’re presently on). But Rogers has strongly committed to the catalogue, and right now the movie selection in particular is extremely deep. While it’s not so hot on the freshest releases, the back catalogue is extensive, so much so that there are simply dozens of good recommendations one can make. This week, we will recommend Quick Change, Bill Murray’s 1990 cult hit comedy about a clown robbing a New York City bank, which remains smart and funny over 25 years later. And we could make so many more suggestions, so in this respect at least we can say: good job, Shomi.


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