I Spy

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The Hell Nine Yards

Chris Harrison's almost entirely lifelike animatronic doppelganger is on loan from The Carousel Of Regress (which is, for those of you with the four-day Disney Fun Pass, The Carousel Of Progress when confronted with the culture-killing ineptitude of whatever this is), programmed to smile, walk, instruct Carousel visitors as to how to operate a newfangled, wood-burning stove, sing that "now is the best time of your life" song, and send us merrily off to the teacup ride. But before he gets to that, he's being fine-tuned and debugged on the island of Bachelorinia, where we nine or so remaining souls brave enough to answer the question "Wait, that show is really still on?" and "On what network? C-SPAN?" and "Wait, is it still that Bob guy, or...?" dwell like mutant mole people of the reality-television-viewing public. Up on a high fjord of the cliffs of Malibu, Chris Harrison stands stock still on a lanai that is doubtlessly the seventh lanai of the seventh patch of acreage of the seventh painstakingly location-scouted Bachelor/ette pad, the fact that each house isn't the same as the previous season's but is merely made to look exactly like the one before it is an irony big enough to build next season's Bachelor's house on. Wearing a black suit and staid shades of blue in his shirt and tie like he's going to jet straight from here to the funeral of some dead Smurf brethren, Chris launches right in, using every ounce of physical dexterity that his DuPont-built mainframe can possibly pivot. "Welcome to The Bachelor!" he exalts, raising both arms slightly upwards, perhaps in hopes that a torch-bearing crowd will conveniently appear, nail him to a cross-shaped Date Box, and at least cease the spiritual portion of the poor man's agony. Ah, The Passion Of The Chris. And he proselytizes onward: "This time around, everything is different!" That's right, America and the privileged speck of Canada lucky enough to watch this show by staring through a pinhole-sized hole in a shoebox while wearing tinfoil bunny ears and tilting said box in the southwesterly direction of a passing DirecTV satellite, god bless their frozen souls: Different! Way different! For one, this Bachelor is generically good-looking to a wide swatch of women! For another, the women are blonde and in pharmaceutical sales! And, finally -- if you can believe it -- casual drinking and subsequent, distressingly premature pronouncements of true love will be rampant! Hold on tight to your fear of change, people! Because change told me it feels a connection with you.

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