Plenty of balls flying your way this week.
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.
UEFA game of the day: Spain v. the Czech Republic, because the Spanish team is one of the ones to really watch during this tournament; were it not for the brilliant German team and the fact that the French are playing on home soil, the Spaniards would be the prohibitive favorites. (TSN, 9 a.m.)
BrainDead is a political sci-fi dramedy about a young political staffer (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who discovers a conspiracy: alien bugs are controlling Congress! Silly as balls, but it does have Tony Shalhoub in it as a baddie so it definitely has that going for it. And Winstead is good too. (Global, 10 p.m.)
Spartan is by the creators of American Ninja Warrior and it’s basically hyper-aggressive team-based obstacle course competition, but it loses everything that is great about American Ninja Warrior—see, in the latter show, people are competing against the course first and foremost, a course so difficult most people never even come close to finishing, and as a result the show is relentlessly positive as competitors cheer each other on to excel. Spartan doesn’t go hard-negative, but because it’s about competing teams, the show doesn’t have that positivity that makes American Ninja Warrior so enthralling. It’s exciting in its own way, but it’s a lesser show. (NBC, 10 p.m.)
UEFA game of the day: Portugal v. Iceland, because when is the last time you thought about the Icelandic football team? Amusingly, despite being a nation of only about 320,000, Iceland has better odds to win the whole thing than Albania, Northern Ireland, and even Turkey. (TSN, 3 p.m.)
The Baroness Von Sketch Show is CBC’s first major sketch-comedy show since Air Farce went off the air, and luckily the previews make it appear to be much funnier than Air Farce. More than one TV critic has compared it to Kids in the Hall, and wouldn’t it be nice to have a new sketch show on par with Kids on CBC? (9:30 p.m.)
UEFA game of the day: France v. Albania, because today’s games are not really enthralling, and when that is the case, go with the French, because they get home turf advantage. (TSN, 3 p.m.)
Uncle Buck: take the classic John Candy movie, put Mike Epps in the Candy role, and make it a sitcom (again). Sure, why not? (ABC, 9 p.m.)
On the total opposite side of the “make a movie into a TV show” spectrum: Animal Kingdom, which takes the critically acclaimed Australian crime drama, puts Ellen Barkin in the Jackie Weaver role, and adds an American setting. Again: sure, why not? (Bravo, 9 p.m.)
UEFA game of the day: Germany v. Poland. The Polish team is surprisingly strong this year and will be able to put up a bit of a fight. (TSN, 3 p.m.)
Inexplicably back for a second season: Aquarius, the terrible David Duchovny show about the rise of the Manson Family, and how one previously anonymous government agent took them on. Last season was nearly unwatchable, but apparently enough people had it on the background to merit a second season, we guess. (NBC, 9 p.m.)
UEFA game of the day: Italy v. Sweden. The Swedes are competent but unlikely to advance out of their group, while Italy is still a strong side but not the Euro-killers they once were by any stretch. In short, this is a more competitive matchup than one might expect; Italy are still the favourites, but Sweden could give a strong showing. (TSN, 9 a.m.)
UEFA game of the weekend: Switzerland v. France: this is the top matchup in Group A, and by this point (barring an upset) France and Switzerland should be competing for top rank in the group heading into the eliminations rounds. Plus, once again, France’s home-crowd factor should make for an exciting game. (TSN, 3 p.m. Sunday)
It’s the 2016 iHeartRadio Canada Much Music Video Awards, as proud a tradition as the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl is to the Americans. Also, note that the channel started calling itself “Much” a long time ago, but these awards are still called the “Much Music Video Awards” (with the all-important space) to keep the branding intact so sponsors like iHeartRadio will sign a cheque. Naming rights: they’re the worst. (Much, 9 p.m. Sunday)