on the tube

February 24th, 2011 |
By Dean Robbins


All my faves are favored


For once, I feel like the gods are with me on Oscar night (Sunday, 7 p.m., ABC). I think Christopher Nolan is an overrated director, and he got shut out of the Best Director category for “Inception.” The overrated “Black Swan” and “The Social Network” also got their share of snubs.

On the other hand, I’m delighted with the abundance of nominations for “The King’s Speech” and “True Grit,” along with the shout-outs for less commercial projects such as “Blue Valentine,” “Winter’s Bone” and “The Kids Are All Right.” And it’s good to see “Toy Story 3” in the Best Picture category, where it belongs. For thrills, laughs and poignancy, no live-action production outdid Woody and Buzz in 2010.

So I’m expecting a very personally gratifying evening, especially if Natalie Portman is denied Best Actress for that one-note performance in “Black Swan.” Come on, gods — can you help me out?


‘Only in America’

Tuesday, 8 p.m. (History)

The American backwoods humorist has a grand tradition, starting with Mark Twain. Larry the Cable Guy has attracted a following with his contemporary version, and he brings his crude country character to a cable-TV travelogue. In sleeveless shirt and shorts, Larry takes us on a tour of things that could exist “Only in America,” such as Las Vegas and a Wisconsin Dells water park.

The idea has potential, but Larry often spoils the fun with his mean-spiritedness. I suspect he’ll lose a portion of his audience with witless putdowns of liberal politicians and fat women. Indeed, wit is in short supply here. I like toilet humor as much as the next guy, but there has to be more to the joke than just saying the word “toilet.”

Plus, is there anyplace on Earth where they still laugh at Dolly Parton big-boob jokes? “Only in America,” I guess — but maybe not even there. CV