'Bachelorette' recap: Meet the Meat

ashley-hebert-bachelorette.jpgWell, well, well it's that time of year again. A time for The Bachelor's detritus to get a second chance at love AND contracting herpes. Tonight, Ashley Hebert, the charming UPenn dental student with a relentlessly bubbly personality, transforms from Bachelor Brad's trash to a Bachelorette on the prowl. Like a phoenix from the flame, or a recycled 40-ounce bottle of Olde English 800. As you are well aware, Daniel recapped The Bachelor, so I was able to spare my dwindling brain cells ( The Voice takes a toll, yo) the indignity of Bachelor Brad and his Barbies.

In preparation for tonight's episode of The Bachelorette, I took the "How Well Do You Know Ashley?" quiz on ABC.com. A sampling: What was Ashley's hair color last season? A flirty blonde of course! (Which she has dyed to a dead serious marrying-type brunette for this solemn season.) What was Ashley's first date with Brad? A private carnival! What is Ashley's favorite type of flower? ROSES, duh. Wait, no? Orchids? WTF? Why is she even on this show? She obviously doesn't have her heart in the game. No wonder Brad didn't choose her. At the end of the harrowing quiz (they had a boxing glove pop out of the computer and punch you in the face every time you got a wrong answer) I scored a whopping 50%. So there are an equal number of things I know (hair color) and things I don't know, for example, Ashley's greatest fear, which is not raging STDs, but heights. One thing I do know for sure is that tonight, Ashley Hebert is going to find love. Or die trying.* (*Not really. Sadly.) She will have to wade through a Whitman's Sampler of some two dozen greasy bohunks, schlubs, dorks, frat boys, salesmen of varying degree of success, realtors, IT guys with questionable social skills, stand up comics, and god knows what other types of damaged men the producers can dig up to entertain the audience or excite the Bachelorette, and maybe a few who will do both simultaneously. Also, she will have to stomach pretending to be a pal and a confidante of Chris Harrison. Oh the horror. And so it begins.

As the era of Ashley's reign as The Bachelorette kicks off, we are reminded of the long, winding and alcohol-addled (what WAS that green thing she was drinking in the hot tub? A virgin's life spirit with a dash of Four Loko?) road she took with Brad. Then he dumped her in South Africa, but alone, away from the riff raff, because Brad is one classy dude. As she sobs in the land rover as she leaves her almost true love behind, we start to emote and remember that we heart Ashley big time. And if we don't, the producers will make us, by trotting out more tears and more hard luck tales and maybe make us spend more time in her mom's double wide up in Maine until we feel something dammit. Worst case? They'll punch a kitten until we cry. Don't underestimate these people!