To paraphrase Miss Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single Canadian man in possession of an acre of stubble on his face must be in want of a wife.
Ladies and gentlemen, to whom it concerns, here he is, the new Bachelor Canada! He is Tim Warmels! And who is Tim? Glad you asked. I have the answer: "Born and raised in the small countryside town of Campbellville, Ont., the 28-year-old entrepreneur is as handy with a horse as he is with a hockey stick. Having grown up working on ranches and farms, Tim is a down-to-earth, all-Canadian guy who isn't afraid to work hard and get his hands dirty. A natural athlete, Tim enjoys sports such as hockey, sailing and scuba diving." And yes, he has a full acre of stubble on his handsome mug.
There you have it. Not quite in possession of the great house and grounds of Pemberley. But still.
The Bachelor Canada (City-TV, 8 p.m.) is back. This event signals a change in the seasons or a sign that Canada has gone to hell in a handcart. You choose. Following in the grand tradition established by the legendary Canadian dreamboat and original Canadian Bachelor, Brad Smith, along comes Tim.
Tim is "searching for a woman who is happy in her own skin, driven, ambitious, and wants just as much out of life as he does – someone he can call his best friend."
I could bore you with a variety of interpretations of The Bachelor and similar reality series, but I won't. It is important to note, though, that this genre shows no signs of wilting and dying. There is an addictive quality to The Bachelor and Bachelorette shows because they answer a visceral need. Viewers live vicariously through the contestants, emoting like mad. This is not to say that viewers are blind to the fabrications of the show, or the manner in which they are being manipulated. The shows are operas of cheap fervour, but nobody criticizes opera lovers for seeing multiple productions of The Magic Flute or Carmen over and over again.
There is also, out there, an assumption that the women who participate in The Bachelor are dimwits. Not true, I think. Many are merely conniving, desperate for attention or intent on achieving fame of any degree. They are acting on their impulse to parade themselves and are fully aware of the fleeting nature of the fame the show brings. There is a very thin line between the antics of husband-seeking young women in Jane Austen and the shenanigans of the women on The Bachelor.
It is all best approached with a smidgin of sympathy for all involved and a healthy dose of humour. The contrivance is, after all, so very predictable.
Now, Tim is obviously a dreamboat. That is a given. And in general it is a given that the bachelorettes, all aglow with anticipation of dating Tim, are ladies with long hair. There is, as usual, a motley assortment of occupations listed for the bachelorettes – nurse, dental hygienist, receptionist, personal trainer, waitress and hairstylist. Also, inevitably, there is an ER doctor and an engineer. And the obligatory, inescapable lingerie model. Said lingerie model is 42-year-old Sonia, all the way from Calgary – "Sonia describes herself as a unique combination of fun, serious, and hardcore rocker chick. This diehard Metallica fan is a registered nurse who also models, and plays the violin and piano."
For all my abiding skepticism, I must say I'm curious about one Jennifer, whose occupation is described as "joyologist." We're told that "Jennifer looks forward to one day writing her thesis and earning her PhD in the field of happiness." Don't we all, sunshine, don't we all! As for the main man, "in his spare time, Tim enjoys writing, travelling (he is fluent in Spanish), modelling, building custom furniture, and completing renovations on his own home. Most of all, he enjoys spending time with family and friends and still loves to ride horses whenever he can."
What a thing is, this man. It is a truth universally acknowledged that this is all harmless fun. What larks. Enjoy.
Also airing tonight
Haven (Showcase, 9 p.m.) returns with more adventures in that town where supernatural afflictions abound. Apparently, "Audrey, Nathan and Duke's victory over William feels hollow as they deal with the aftermath of Duke on death's door, Mara in control of Audrey's body, and a strange trouble supernaturally silencing citizens all over town." Also, if you missed the new season premiere of New Girl on Fox on Tuesday, it airs tonight on City at 10 p.m. Goofiness is back then, but it had better be funny.