<p>Academy Awards host Billy Crystal.</p>

Academy Awards host Billy Crystal.

Credit: AP

Review: Academy Awards telecast and host Billy Crystal lean heavily on nostalgia

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Timewarp quality leads to a not-so-wonderful night for Oscar
Of the nine films nominated for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards, only "The Descendants" was set entirely in present-day America. Parts of "Midnight in Paris" took place in 2011, but it spent more time on the Hemingway end of things. And the other nominees were period pieces ranging from the turn of the millennium back to the 1920s.
 
It was a year where the Oscars had little interest in what was happening in the world today, and an Oscar telecast that had very little interest in what's happening in the movies today. It was a telecast that, over and over and over again, wanted to remind people of how much they used to love going to the movies — especially back in the days when the big winners were also box office hits that most of the viewing audience had seen. We got one montage after another whose only theme seemed to be "Movies: weren't they just swell when you were growing up?"
 
The nostalgia ran right through to the choice of host Billy Crystal, doing the same act he'd done 8 times previously, trying desperately to recapture the good feelings he got 20 years ago when Jack Palance did those one-armed push-ups. At one point, he even trotted out his old Sammy Davis Jr. impression from "Saturday Night Live," not recognizing that the reaction to blackface is a bit different a quarter century later.
 
But all that those grabs to past movie and Oscar glory couldn't disguise a lifeless show featuring a bunch of pre-ordained winners and Crystal looking repeatedly surprised that his jokes were dying.
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<p>Shane (Jon Bernthal)&nbsp;and Rick (Andrew Lincoln)&nbsp;in &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Shane (Jon Bernthal) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) in "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

'The Walking Dead' - '18 Miles Out': Choose life?

Rick and Shane take a trip, and Lori and Andrea have a talk

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I eat birthday cake and listen to "The Lord of the Rings" book on tape...

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<p>John Ortiz as Turo Escalante in &quot;Luck.&quot;</p>

John Ortiz as Turo Escalante in "Luck."

Credit: HBO

'Luck' - 'Episode 5': Trust no one

Paranoia strikes deep in the season's midpoint

A review of tonight's "Luck" coming up just as soon as I confuse Judge Judy with Dr. Phil...

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<p>In &quot;Awake,&quot;&nbsp;Jason Isaacs partners with Wilmer Valderama in one reality and Steve Harris in the other, but occasionally paths cross.</p>

In "Awake," Jason Isaacs partners with Wilmer Valderama in one reality and Steve Harris in the other, but occasionally paths cross.

Credit: NBC

Interview: 'Awake' producers Kyle Killen & Howard Gordon

Can they make the NBC drama about a cop living in two realities work long-term?
We're less than a week away from Thursday night's premiere(*) of NBC's "Awake," which was far and away the best broadcast TV pilot I watched for this season. It conveniently brings together creator Kyle Killen, who was responsible for the best broadcast TV pilot I saw last season in FOX's "Lone Star" (which was canceled after two abysmally-rated episodes), and producer Howard Gordon, who co-created the best new cable show I watched this season in Showtime's "Homeland."
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<p>Rainn Wilson, Catherine Tate and Dave Koechner in &quot;The Office.&quot;</p>

Rainn Wilson, Catherine Tate and Dave Koechner in "The Office."

Credit: NBC

The Morning Round-Up: '30 Rock' & 'The Office'

Liz celebrates Leap Day, while Jim tries to escape a seduction

Reviews of last night's "30 Rock" and "The Office" coming up just as soon as I write lyrics to the song the cantina band plays in "Star Wars"...

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<p>Nick Offerman in &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Nick Offerman in "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' - 'Sweet Sixteen': Signs of overwork

Leslie struggles to balance her two jobs in the first disappointing episode in a long time

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as we talk minimum acceptable thread count for sheets...

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<p>Troy (Donald Glover)&nbsp;and the rest of the &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;gang have reason to smile again.</p>

Troy (Donald Glover) and the rest of the "Community" gang have reason to smile again.

Credit: NBC

Why I miss 'Community': Because we're about to return to the prime timeline

With the return date announced, it's time to celebrate!

We officially have only three of these Why I Miss "Community" posts still to go, now that NBC has announced that the show will be returning to its old timeslot on Thursday, March 15. Not sure what I'll do for the other two yet, but the choice this week seemed obvious, as it's both one of the most celebratory moments(*) in the entire series and one that marks a departure from the Darkest Timeline: the final scene of "Remedial Chaos Theory."

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<p>Jim O'Heir as Gary &quot;Jerry&quot;&nbsp;Gergich on &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Jim O'Heir as Gary "Jerry" Gergich on "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

HitFix First Look: 'Parks and Recreation' presents the best and (mostly) worst of Jerry

The parks department's whipping boy keeps going and going and going

Outside of some of the kids from "The Wire," I can think of few characters in primetime in recent years who have suffered as consistently and profoundly as Jerry Gergich on "Parks and Recreation." For starters, "Jerry" isn't even really his name (it's Gary), but no one cared enough to learn it properly. Nothing he does is good enough for his co-workers, and no one quite appreciates his many awesome traits, including a healthy and loving marriage, a fine artistic talent, and, as the doctor in the clip below explains, a tremendous anatomical gift.

Tonight's episode celebrates Jerry's 16th birthday — sort of. As Leslie explains early in tonight's episode, "Sweet Sixteen," Jerry was born on Leap Day, so his birthday technically only falls every 4 years. (This also makes Jerry significantly older than actor Jim O'Heir, but he's a good sport about so much, so why not this?) So to celebrate this milestone birthday, NBC has put together another one of its "Parks and Rec" character highlight reels, which is exclusive to HitFix for the next few hours.

Enjoy the malapropisms, the stumbles, the pants splitting, and all the other misfortunes that befall poor Gary/Jerry over and over and over again, and my "Sweet Sixteen" review will be up at 9 Eastern.

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<p>Allie Grant and Maestro Harrell on &quot;Suburgatory.&quot;</p>

Allie Grant and Maestro Harrell on "Suburgatory."

Credit: ABC

The Morning Round-Up: 'The Middle,' 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern Family' & 'Happy Endings' reviews

A good night for ABC's Wednesday comedies

Morning round-up time, and we're going to hit ABC's Wednesday comedy line-up in order, with quick reviews of "The Middle," "Suburgatory," "Modern Family" and "Happy Endings" all coming up just as soon as I start an organic lesbian catering venture...

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<p>Lamorne Morris, Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield in &quot;New Girl.&quot;</p>

Lamorne Morris, Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield in "New Girl."

Credit: FOX

'New Girl' - 'Bully': Hi, this is Nick, leaving a message

A very funny all-around episode

A review of last night's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I look like a Gypsy courtesan...

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