January 10, 2011 12:00 PM

The Bachelor

ABC, Jan. 3, 8 p.m. ET/PT |


Brad Womack, who notoriously spoiled season 11 of The Bachelor by not bestowing a final rose, returns for another go. The premiere delivers strange, juicy psychodrama. After undergoing therapy to make sense of his refusal to commit on national television, Womack is masochistically contrite. You get the impression he’d gladly be placed in the stocks while all the single women in America filed by and slapped him with corsages. The producers, in turn, seem determined to confound him with the most perverse candidates ever. One, a vampire enthusiast, flashes what appear to be fangs when she smiles. I hope the guy finds forgiveness and love. Until then, the squirm-factor is fun. If the previous installment was titled On the Wings of Love, this one’s On the Thorns of Pain.

Jersey Shore

MTV, Jan. 6, 10 p.m. ET |


In a reality casting stroke of genius, the new season of Jersey Shore brings Snooki and company back to the Garden State’s Seaside Heights-along with a fresh addition: Snooki’s BFF Deena, who looks like Saturday Night Live’s Nasim Pedrad under a wig of banana leaves. By the time the gang has picked out their beds and reacclimated to the old house-ooh, the duck phone!-Deena is either flirting outrageously or screaming at the top of her lungs. She’s Danielle Staub’s Mini-Me. By comparison, Snooki is the model of comportment: Her upper lip could be said to be as stiff as her hair. Welcome, Deena!

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