Archive for Sunday, January 15, 2012

Animated ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ a dud

January 15, 2012


There was a time when hit movies inspired “novelizations,” quickie books describing the story of a film you’d already seen a dozen times. There wasn’t much point in reading them. And there are not many reasons to watch the animated “Napoleon Dynamite” (7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., Fox) either.

In the show’s defense, it’s supposed to offer a kind of sequel, or a deeper exploration of the movie’s characters and elements, like the Cartoon Network’s “Clone Wars,” which is an animated version of “Star Wars.” But I couldn’t help feeling that the 2004 movie’s extraordinarily languid pace and deadpan sensibility seemed particularly ill-suited to animation’s manic potential. At worst, it makes viewers think that the charming, original comedy was a “Beavis and Butt-Head” imitation.

All of the actors behind the movie’s characters have returned to provide the voices. It’s a reunion they should have skipped.

• Ricky Gervais hosts “The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards” (7 p.m., NBC) for the third time. Look for plenty of awkward moments. It’s fruitless to try to anticipate the winners, but I will go out on a limb to predict that “American Horror Story” will pick up some trophies in the TV categories. It’s an odd, lurid and addictive show that seems particularly suited to the slightly off-center tastes of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that votes on the Golden Globes.

I’ll be very shocked if Jessica Lange doesn’t win best supporting actress for “Story.” For those who haven’t seen it, imagine if Blanche DuBois wandered into “The Shining,” and you’re just getting started. At a time when some of the best dramas on television (“Homeland,” ‘‘Boardwalk Empire”) are slow to build and unfold, “Story” is a toboggan ride of unexpected shocks. To put it bluntly, stuff happens on that show — scary, bizarre and unexpected stuff. And it happens all the time. The only downside to “Story” and its onslaught of action is that it’s hard to imagine how it can pick up the threads next season. I can’t wait.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (6 p.m., CBS): Groupon CEO Andrew Mason.

• “Undercover Boss” (7 p.m., CBS) returns for a new season.

• Orphaned children need help on “Once Upon a Time” (7 p.m., ABC).

• Alicia defends a lawyer’s right to silence on “The Good Wife” (8 p.m., CBS).

• Wartime needs turn Downton into a hospital for officers on “Downton Abbey” on “Masterpiece Classic” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings).

• Gaby plays corporate matchmaker on “Desperate Housewives” (8 p.m., ABC).

• Tensions mount before a first-ever commercial flight to Moscow on “Pan Am” (9 p.m., ABC).

• Cullen’s fateful choice on “Hell on Wheels” (9 p.m., AMC).

• A twister-chaser in need of a dermatologist visits Tornado Alley on “World’s Smallest Storm Chaser” (9 p.m., TLC).


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