Two weeks in, and already this season of The Bachelorette should be rebranded Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.
How can Ashley Hebert actually be falling for the supremely caddish Bentley? The guy is so vile and villainous, all he needs is a waxed handlebar mustache to twirl.
Yet she seems drawn to him, like a moth to a bugzapper. She's been warned both by the show's producers and by texting friends that Bentley is toxic. I half expected to see Jim Lange, host of the old Dating Game, run onto the set waving his arms to put an end to this ghastly charade.
I know, I know. We have the advantage of hearing what Bentley is saying behind Ashley's back. All she gets is his fake affection and sincerity.
But when a guy is adamantly declaring he'd rather swim in a cesspool than marry you (he said it far more crudely), how does that degree of contempt not register? Moments after they shared their first kiss, he described it as "boring."
Ashley, a dental student, says she trusts her gut. She should consult a gastroenterologist.
And maybe an ophthalmologist, because she seems intrigued by Jeff, the suitor who has insisted on camouflaging his face at all times. He looks like he's on his way to a masked ball but forgot to shave.
You wear a mask on TV, buddy, you better be available to fight crime.
Once is enough. Speaking of The Bachelorette, it seems to be following the trajectory of most returning summertime reality shows. They bow to big ratings, then drop sharply in succeeding weeks.
It's like we're so desperate for decent entertainment, we'll tune in to anything. Then, by the first commercial we realize, "Oh, that's right. Now I remember why I don't like this show."
The big test will come Tuesday night. If America's Got Talent loses a goodly share of the 16.7 million viewers it premiered with (dragging its lead-out, The Voice, down with it), it's a pretty clear sign that America's Lost Interest.
Bumper cars. How in the world is Snooki permitted to drive? That's like giving a license to Mr. Magoo. The Jersey Shore smurfette couldn't see over the dash if she had eyes in her bouffant.
Her obstructed view may explain why she hit a police car in Florence, Italy, where the show is taping its fourth season. Maybe you saw pictures this week of Snooki wearing an orthopedic neck brace. She admitted the next day that she was totally uninjured.
Our little Snooks has obviously learned a few things during her time in Jersey. Garden Staters won't start up their cars unless there's a neck brace on the seat next to them.
If they're involved in a fender bender, even if they caused it to happen, they immediately throw on the brace and start moaning, "Whiplash! Whiplash!"
Double decker. On The Daily Show this week, Jon Stewart went off big time on Donald Trump for his "pizza summit" with Sarah Palin.
He mocked the Donald for choosing a pizzeria that lacked New York authenticity, and for using a knife and fork on what is traditionally finger food.
Fine and good. But he vehemently ridiculed the Donald (whom he labeled "Captain Combover") for stacking two slices on top of each other as if this were the worst kind of gaucherie.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on there, Jon-boy. In Brooklyn, the true ancestral home of pizza, stacking is perfectly acceptable. (See: Tony Manero, Saturday Night Fever.) Eating two at a time is - abbondanza! - a celebration of prosperity.
To suggest otherwise is typical Manhattan liberal elitism.