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Archive for Monday, March 12, 2012

‘Bachelor’ appeal wilts

March 12, 2012

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For those who haven’t been paying attention: “The Bachelor” (7 p.m., ABC) ends its 10th year and 16th season tonight. While I’ve assiduously avoided such matters, I’m dimly aware that some guy who was jilted in a previous incarnation of the show has returned on a new “journey,” and some woman named Courtney has behaved atrociously. That’s as much time and effort as I want to devote to this endeavor.

I am struck by the fact that audiences turn out year after year to watch something so contrived — a show that sets out to find true love, yet has never resulted in a single walk down the aisle. I believe “The Bachelorette” has one wedding ring to its credit. If eHarmony had such a lousy track record, it would be bankrupt by now.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about “The Bachelor” this season is how many people have stopped watching it and started following “The Voice” (7 p.m., NBC) instead. Last Monday, NBC’s musical competition had more than twice as many total viewers as “The Bachelor” and nearly three times as many viewers aged 18 to 49. ABC may be finally running out of roses.

The recap show “The Bachelor: After the Final Rose” (9 p.m., ABC) pre-empts “Castle” tonight.

• Jokes about the prospect of “smell-o-vision” have been around at least since the invention of television. And every so often we’re reminded why it’s a good thing that they’ve never perfected this technology. Like tonight, when “Hoarders” (8 p.m., A&E) visits folks named Constance and Jeri Jo. One of them likes to keep chickens and rotten eggs in the house — long past their expiration date.

‘‘Hoarders” may fascinate some, but the show exploits mentally ill people for entertainment.

Many of those who appear on “Hoarders” do so at the encouragement of family members. Again, we’re told that it’s an intervention — not to be confused with an “Intervention” (9 p.m., A&E). But does anybody really think that putting mentally disturbed people on TV is a compassionate approach to their problems?

Tonight’s other highlights

• A pillar of the community harbors dark secrets on “House” (7 p.m., Fox).

• An innocent man returns on “Alcatraz” (8 p.m., Fox).

• Ivy’s voice quavers at all the wrong moments on “Smash” (9 p.m., NBC).

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