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The news, when it came, was momentous. A thunderbolt.

The inaugural The Bachelor Canada bachelor is none other than CFL wide receiver Brad "Brad" Smith. Quit your giggling. This is not inconsequential. Heavens no. It is the sort of news about a recherché aspect of Canada that requires a person to make a decision about laughing in derision or weeping with bitter regret about this country's direction.

The news is just so huge that, on Tuesday, it eclipsed such news as a) the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has taken my advice and rolled the Gemini Awards and Genie Awards into one Canadian Academy Awards, b) CBC will no longer be airing Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! and c) the blockbuster Flashpoint will end after its upcoming fifth season.

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And little wonder. It is via the musings of Brad "Brad" Smith that the gentle ladies of Canada will learn what it is that handsome, athletic chaps such as Brad want in a mate. Brad has let it be known, straight off, that he's interested in a "low maintenance" lady. "A sense of humour is a turn-on," he told CITY-TV, which will broadcast the execrable show. "Someone who is high maintenance turns me off!"

Well, there you go. High maintenance is a turnoff. Exactly what amounts to "high maintenance" remains a tantalizing mystery but Canada will know, in the fullness of time, if that means the dude resents being expected to be in the same time zone as his girlfriend, resents being asked if she should wear shoes or boots, or resents being obliged to listen when she speaks. The answer will tell us what kind of guy he is. In fact, I put it to you that the most important initial question regarding Brad "Brad" Smith is which oneof the guys in The Big Bang Theory is he? Is he a Howard, Leonard or Raj? He's not Sheldon, obviously. I'm thinking Howard.

I'm also thinking that there are relevant facts about The Bachelor Canada bachelor that must be at the forefront of our minds. (Well, when our minds consent to think about him. Which could happen.) Brad "Brad" Smith is a graduate of Queen's University and has played for the Montreal Alouettes, Toronto Argonauts and Edmonton Eskimos. He is the son of former CFL commissioner, Montreal Alouettes president and current senator Larry Smith.

Thus I also put it to you that Brad "Brad" Smith is a 1-per-cent guy. He is representative of a particular background and, yes, class, that has resonance in Canada. While the original U.S. version of the show tends to have up-by-the-bootstraps, entrepreneurial, too-busy- for-love kinda guys, Canada gets an Anglo-Quebecker, son-of-importance, sometimes CFL player who was cut by the Argos and is currently and, handily, a "free agent." Who finds "high maintenance" a turnoff. Riddle me that and tell me what it says about this great country?

The thing about The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is that they are utterly repulsive television shows. If you watch, you tend to be disgusted with yourself the next day. In both instances the essence is about following a perky, limelight-hogging bubblehead finding a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Both shows are staggeringly blunt in their crassness. Those chosen as Bachelor or Bachelorette are good-looking, if your standards of beauty extend only to bosomy blonde women and the chiselled male model/sporty type of man. Apart from being pretty, they also tend to be narcissistic, predatory and, frankly, none too bright.

The next and equally momentous event in Canada's embrace of The Bachelor franchise will be the announcement of the passel of ladies hoping to make a mate of Brad "Brad" Smith. I look forward to that with glee. The ladies on The Bachelor are always compelling figures, but not necessarily in a good way. Indeed, I well remember an early edition of The Bachelor when there was considerable attention paid to the question of whether the Bachelor, a dude named Bob, would choose Estella or Kelly Jo. I was willing to wager on Estella – hobbies: "doing the running man, breakdancing and making animals out of balloons." In that context, Kelly Jo seemed banal – hobbies: "reading romance novels and being with friends." Mind you, I knew it to be an irrelevant matter because my conclusion was that the one with the bigger ta-tas always wins.

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Far be it from me to suggest a foregone conclusion, but that is likely the answer to the vital question of what Brad "Brad" Smith and handsome, athletic chaps such as Brad want in a mate. I'm just saying. Because it's just TV. It's not life. TV does teach about life, though, and it's up to you whether you laugh with derision or weep with bitter regret about what The Bachelor says about this country's direction.

Dude, I'm just saying. And ladies, don't you ever, ever forget that for Brad "Brad" Smith, "Someone who is high maintenance turns me off!"

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About the Author
Television critic

John Doyle is The Globe and Mail's television critic. His column appears in the Review section Monday to Thursday and on Saturday. He has been the paper's critic since 2000. More

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