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Dave on Demand: The television week in review

By David Hiltbrand, The Philadelphia Inquirer –

How could he choose her? That’s been the refrain this week as people question Ben Flajnik’s choice of Courtney Robertson as his “forever” on “The Bachelor.”

With two dozen lovely women to pick from, why select a lady so high maintenance that you need a tool chest to take her out for coffee? A personality so volatile that Doppler radar can’t keep track of her moods?

Call it The Case of the Bachelor’s Revenge.

(Disclaimer: This is a theory. Cast member’s actual motivations may vary.)

Do you remember last year when Ben was a finalist on “The Bachelorette”? No one ever played the game with more ardor or sincerity than our young vintner. Do you remember how he literally staggered away, broken-hearted and humiliated, when Ashley spurned his proposal?

Imagine how appalled he must have been when ABC approached him and asked if he’d like to play again. Until, that is, the network reminded him that this time, he’d be in the hit-and-run seat.

If you view Ben’s participation on “The Bachelor” as purely cynical, it explains a lot. First off, that hair. With network stylists at his beck and call, he chose a bizarre center-parted look unseen since the days of former vaudeville comic Red Skelton. Then he refused to wash or cut it all season.

The message was clear: This is a charade, America. These beautiful women are throwing themselves at me and I look like a hobo. Do you think they’d even look at me if the cameras weren’t on?

Then there was Ben’s voice. Compare his tone from his time on “The Bachelorette” to “The Bachelor.” It went from emotional and sincere to droningly therapeutic. All season long, he’s sounded like Dr. Drew trying to calm down a manic Gary Busey. The message: These people are nuts.

Finally there’s the exaltation of Robertson over far more stable and kind-hearted candidates (in other words, everyone else). What was this but Flajnik’s way of thumbing his nose at the arch artificiality of made-for-TV romance?

It just proves the old saying: Fool me once, shame on Chris Harrison; fool me twice, do you think I have a shot at “Dancing with the Stars”?

—Head count. Have to give serious props to “The Walking Dead.” In the last two episodes, the zombie series has killed off two of its major characters: first Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) and then — even bigger shocker — Shane (Jon Bernthal).

With the season finale on Sunday, I have a little word of advice for our small band of survivors: Don’t wander off from the herd.

—American felon. After the expulsion of Jermaine Jones this week on “American Idol,” there was a lot of backstage fingerpointing. “I thought you vetted these kids.” “Do we even know if these are their real names?”

So the show announced it is hiring a private security firm to do extensive background checks on finalists from here on out.

While you’re at it, why don’t you also hire an accounting firm to tabulate the voting results just to put an end to the obvious improprieties there.

Stick that in your suggestion box, Nigel.

—In that order. Funniest line of the week came on ABC’s “Cougar Town.” Jules (Courteney Cox), surprised in her kitchen by a singing quartet before she even gets her morning coffee, says, “When I rank all the things that make me want to die, it goes: books, snakes, PBS, a capella.”

The episode also had the best bit of the week, a recurring gag about running in the arm-pumping fashion Tom Cruise uses in his movies.

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