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Picks and Pans Main: Tv

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The 82nd Annual Academy Awards

ABC, March 7, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT


The Oscars are supersized this year: The number of Best Picture nominees mushroomed from 5 to 10, and we’ll watch two hosts instead of one. 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin are your maitre d’s for this colossal buffet. It’s the first splitting of the job since the 1987 broadcast, which was overseen by Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase and Paul “Crocodile Dundee” Hogan. Actually, this used to be fairly routine: There were six hosts, including Laurence Olivier and Jerry Lewis, in 1959. I prefer to have just the one: one face, one overriding (or undergirding) sensibility to tie together the speeches, pageants and clip-jobs. In that regard Baldwin and Martin are maybe as good as one. Two urbane comic actors, they could be each other’s avatar.


FX, March 16, 10 p.m. ET/PT


As deputy U.S. marshal Raylan Givens, Timothy Olyphant has found a role that clicks with him as naturally as The Closer’s Brenda Johnson did with Kyra Sedgwick. Givens-a character who has popped up in stories by crime writer Elmore Leonard-is an old-school western figure. A polite, soft-spoken Kentuckian in a literal white hat, he can coolly talk down an armed criminal or, failing that, coolly plug him dead. Olyphant (Deadwood) plays this laconic, loping lawman with a smiling minimalism that makes Givens both iconic and contemporary. The supporting cast includes the excellent Walton Goggins (The Shield) as an old friend gone wrong.

High Society

CW, March 10, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT |


In addition to being a Manhattan socialite and handbag designer, Tinsley Mortimer is also delusional. In her enjoyably ridiculous reality show, she’s self-consciously restrained, perhaps trying to project old-fashioned noblesse oblige-even while goosing her Google profile with this project in self-exposure. She just ends up neutralizing herself. The show is dominated instead by a supporting group of rich kids who take the reverse tactic of whole-hog shamelessness. For instance, there’s horrible, horrible Jules Kirby. She runs through a list of minorities and races she avoids, then adds, “My dream is to work for the United Nations.”