TV

Oscars Follow

Another year, another Oscars gone overtime.



Still, this broadcast wasn't bad. Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin didn't have the greatest opening (although Neil Patrick Harris was very funny in his Billy Crystal-like musical number), but had several solid sketches along the way (including a great takeoff on "Paranormal Activity.")



I skipped most of the pre-Oscar coverage -- I could care less about what Joan and Melissa Rivers have to say about the various dresses -- though I did catch Gabby Sidibe's rather tasteless joke at the red carpet.



Some of the choices during the production were puzzling: Why show a full minute of clips for each actor rather than 10 seconds? Why only play snippets of Best Song, yet do a frakking modern dance routine for the various Best Scores?



At the end of the night, I was happy to see Kathryn Bigelow and "The Hurt Locker" beat out the overrated "Avatar" in most of the key categories.



Best acceptance speech: Sandra Bullock. Worst acceptance speech: Mo'nique. (If you claim it's about performance over being political, then don't make your speech all political and not mention any of the performance stuff.)



"The Hurt Locker" should've beaten "Avatar" in Best Cinematography -- how can you have great photography in a movie that is 90 percent digital? (The Oscars screwed this category up last year by passing over "The Dark Knight's" Wally Pfister).



Quentin Tarantino should have won Original Screenplay for "Inglourious Basterds," while Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner should have won in Adapted Screenplay.



And what the heck was the deal with that crazy woman who won Short Subject Documentary, grabbing the mike out of the guy's hands and then going on for 20 minutes?



The biggest controversy heading in was nominating 10 movies instead of five for the first time since 1943, but as I wrote Friday, it didn't really make that big a difference. It drew in some fans by putting in more popular fare, but the small indy movies like "Precious" and "An Education" also got their moments in the sun.



MONDAY'S BEST BETS: "The Bachelor" (ABC, 8 p.m.) reunites last year's winning couple for their wedding. Thankfully, there are plenty of other options. It's followed by a new "Castle" at 10 p.m., in which the team investigates the body of a dead dominatrix. I hope that doesn't give the "Bachelor" couple any ideas for their honeymoon...



"House" (Fox, 8 p.m.) returns after a long absence as the team treats a blogger, who blogs about the experience. Just as long as my blog gets more hits... It's followed by a new "24" at 9 p.m., in which a team member gets demoted. My guess would be Katee Sackhoff, since she has spent most of the crisis dealing with her junkie ex-boyfriend rather than the international incident and dirty bomb that the rest of CTU has been dealing with.



The CBS comedies are new, including "How I Met Your Mother," in which Robin tries to teach Barney a lesson by setting him up with Jennifer Lopez. (How is that teaching him a lesson?) They are followed by "CSI: Miami" at 10 p.m.



Zachary Levi directed this week's "Chuck" (NBC, 8 p.m.), followed by new episodes of "Trauma" and "Law & Order."



"Life Unexpected" (CW, 8 p.m.) settles into a new timeslot, followed by the return of "Gossip Girl."



On cable, "Damages" (FX, 10 p.m.) continues its twists and turns as Tom follows the money, while the ABC Family lineup is all new from 8-11 p.m.



On the pay networks, "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" (Showtime, 10 p.m.) is new, as is "Tracey Ullman's State of the Union" at 10:30 p.m.

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