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On The Tube

July 12, 2012
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By Dean Robbins

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen puts his foot in his mouth in ‘The Franchise’

Showtime’s “The Franchise” (Wednesday, 9 p.m.) takes us behind the scenes of a sports franchise, right in the middle of a season. This year it’s the Miami Marlins, who were expecting big things for 2012. They have a new stadium, a new name, new uniforms, new stars and a new manager in the foul-mouthed Ozzie Guillen. Owner Jeff Loria hoped the Marlins would be the talk of baseball.

They have been, but for all the wrong reasons. In April, Guillen lived up to his unfiltered image by bluntly expressing his love for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. As a commentator points out, “He said the one thing you can’t say in this market.” We get to watch all hell break loose, with Guillen suspended, management losing its mind and Florida fans picketing the ballpark.

Guillen is the sort of blowhard you’d avoid like the plague in real life. As the central figure in a TV series, however, he’s fascinating. I can’t wait to hear his views on Stalin and Mao as the season progresses.

‘Big Brother’

Thursday, 8 p.m. (CBS)

Do we really need to watch another group of airhead exhibitionists live together in a sealed-off house, sniping at one another through a series of eliminations as the cameras track their every move?

In a word, yes. “Big Brother” taps into our primal need to spy on people’s interactions, no matter how banal. The new season features the usual bonding and betrayal among some of the most obnoxious people on reality TV. For true hard cases, Showtime presents a nightly feed, with the cameras switched on from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

See you there. CV

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