REASON TO WATCH: The return of Brad Womack, aka The Hated One.
WHEN/WHERE: Monday night at 8 on ABC/7
Brad Womack - the 38-year-old Austin, Texas, native, one-time oil- patch worker and notorious "Bachelor" who rejected two bachelorettes in the finale of the 2007 edition - is back.
And, he has changed. We know this because he says so.
Womack said in a recent telephone press conference that he was "broken" when he returned home after that final wilted rose ceremony in 2007, and says he "felt like a jerk." After four or five months of nursing his psychic wounds, Womack says, "I decided I needed to make a change." He found an "incredible therapist" who helped him identify the source of his commitment phobia (an absentee father), and now "I know in my heart I'm ready to fall in love," he says.
Cut to beefcake shots of Brad jogging, in the shower, etc. He apparently found an incredible personal trainer, too. Tonight, rejectees Jenni Croft and DeAnna Pappas turn up for one last sincere, heartfelt apology. Then we meet the 30 hope-springs-eternal bachelorettes - among them, Lisa P., 27, a sales consultant from Dix Hills who works in New York. Brad also assures us that his potential life soul mate is here. (Ten will leave at the end of tonight's show.)
This an especially interesting bevy of bachelorettes. One is a funeral director; another has elongated incisors, which she refers to as "fangs" (so does Brad, who contemptuously wonders if they are real); Emily Maynard, fiancee of NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick at the time he was killed in a 2004 plane crash; a "manscaper" who removes male body hair; and a Rockette.
Shawntell, the funeral director from Chico, Calif., tells us she "meets a lot of guys, but, unfortunately, they're not alive." Now she gets to meet Womack, the reality-show star who merrily burned his way through 30 suckers on prime-time TV! Someone's idea of a cruel joke? A suggestion - maybe Shawntell should go to Brad's therapist when this is all over.
And speaking of therapists, what kind of shrink tells a patient to resolve his commitment issues by going on "The Bachelor"? Dr. Phil? There are other signs that our lovelorn Casanova is still completely wanting for sincerity. He bleats out so many apologies to so many women that you'll be reminded of that old garbage bag commercial . . . "wimpy, wimpy, wimpy." Then he looks deeply, longingly, into their eyes and tells them how fabulous/beautiful/sexy/wonderful/funny they are. Oh, brother.
"The Bachelor" is TV junk food of the highest order, and fans won't want to miss tonight's heapin' helpin' of hooey. It's silly, ridiculous, fun, outrageous and absurd. Plus, there's Brad.