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Archive for Monday, April 2, 2007

If you’re so great, why are you still single?

April 2, 2007

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"The Bachelor" (8:45 p.m., ABC) returns for what seems like the 400th season. And this season's Prince Charming seems almost too good to be true.

Andy Baldwin grew up on a Pennsylvania farm to a family of modest means. As a kid, he worked three jobs and earned the paperboy-of-the-year citation. He became a nationally known swimmer, earned scholarships to Duke, where he excelled, then joined the Navy and trained to be a Navy Seal. He took advantage of an opportunity to go to medical school, where he excelled. He has recently received some kind of humanitarian-of-the-year award for his work with orphans. And in his spare time, he works out to perfect his chiseled physique and participates in Iron Man triathlons. Where he excels.

And as if to polish his Mr. Perfect credentials, he drives off to his bachelor mansion in a car that resembles the DeLorean in "Back to the Future." These women aren't going to date a "Bachelor," they're going out with Batman!

You have to wonder how a fellow this brave, clean and reverent managed to avoid Cupid's arrows all these many years. And why someone who appears to be such a straight shooter now wants to dip his Iron Man toe in the fetid waters of reality television. Is he an officer, a gentleman and an exhibitionist?

Seriously, if a guy like Baldwin can't find a date on a Saturday night, what about the average Joe nonmillionaire? Anybody who says they watch "The Bachelor" because it's romantic is either deranged or a liar. This depressing spectacle should have been put out its misery a long time ago.

¢ The new reality series "Taquita & Kaui" (9:30 p.m., MTV) stars two unsuccessful contestants from "Making the Band 3" who regroup and move to Las Vegas to try to make it in show business. And they invite a camera crew along.

The casino capital offers plenty of chances for the ups and downs of auditions. And endless opportunities to hug, shout "whoo!" and cry.

¢ The documentary "Sister Aimee" on "American Experience" (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings) profiles Aimee Semple McPherson, a trailblazing preacher who married the religious fervor of the revival tent with the fledgling mediums of radio, motion pictures and public relations.

McPherson's life and public career seem more like something out of a novel than the history books, and "Sister Aimee" does a good job of sketching the broad biographical outlines in an economical and nonjudgmental 60 minutes.

At its height, McPherson's brand of "old-time religion" was neither old nor specific to any particular denomination. Critics blasted her for creating a cult of personality. Many praised her for her efforts on behalf of the poor and for integrating her services decades before the civil-rights movement.

Nearly a century before our current so-called culture wars, the story of "Sister Aimee" shows the role of cutting-edge spectacle and hardball politics in the business of religion.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ Michael races against time to upend Mahone's scheme on the season finale of "Prison Break" (7 p.m., Fox).

¢ The bracket of 64 comes down to just two teams in the NCAA finals (8 p.m., CBS).

¢ Jack's efforts with Gredenko play out against a power struggle between two presidents on "24" (8 p.m., Fox).

¢ The bar needs a fresh coat of paint on "The Black Donnellys" (9 p.m., NBC).

¢ Doug's ex comes looking for alimony payments on "The Riches" (9 p.m., FX).

¢ John Waters is host on "'Til Death Do Us Part" (9 p.m., Court).

Late night

Jake Gyllenhaal and Brand New appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS, subject to delay) ... Jay Leno plays host to Kurt Russell and Hilary Duff on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC) ... Amy Poehler and Josh Groban appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:05 p.m., ABC) ... Quentin Tarantino, Jesse L. Martin and Brian Kiley chat on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Craig Ferguson plays host to Mo'Nique and Noisettes on "The Late, Late Show" (11:37 p.m., CBS).

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