Autumn is finally here. There is a pleasant coolness in the air, the seasonal drinks are flowing freely and The bachelor turns over a new leaf with its oldest leading actor to date. I’m calling it now: On Thursday evening, 71-year-old grandfather, pickleball fan and “Golden Bachelor” Gerry Turner will single-handedly get this ailing franchise back under control.
A long-lasting one Bachelor spin off, The Golden Bachelor premieres Thursday on ABC and, like its predecessor, will watch its lead character go through a house full of women to find “The One.” In this case, that would be Gerry – a retired restaurateur, father, and grandfather from Indiana who enjoys grilling, off-roading, and going out on the town with his loved ones.
“He releases his thirst traps in a leather-bound album,” says ABC first teaser hums. “His DMs are prepaid. He gets the early bird offer whenever he wants. When you call him, he answers the phone. He doesn’t have gray hair, he has “strands of wisdom.” Florida wants to retire and move in with him. He’s Gerry.”
Honest? I wasn’t sold at first. Sure, Gerry is charming enough and he’s older, but is that enough of a hook? Then came the cast reveal — a game-changing moment for both skeptics Bachelor fan and apparently the internet as a whole.
The charisma of each of these women was flawless, but the BIOS were even better – an unprecedented marketing effort that should definitely get someone a raise. (Or at least a rose.) I don’t know what Sandra’s seemingly high credit score is – her chosen factoid – but I’m really happy for her and glad she’s proud of it!
That doesn’t mean Gerry is an idiot. He’s already gaining fans around the world thanks to promotional videos for the season that highlight his emotional depth. Gerry appears to be a devoted family man who, after grieving the devastating loss of his late wife, is ready to fill his days with happiness again. Can someone get me a tissue?!
Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way. A few hours after ABC announced its cast in a second trailer, it became clear that this could be a hit not just within Bachelor Nation, but more importantly, perhaps even outside of it. Not-Bachelor-Viewers from near and far, both former fans and complete newbies, seem ready and eager to follow Gerry’s “journey” in search of love.
As much as long-time fans love it (…hate it, love it…). Bachelor franchise, we should all be able to admit that it has seen better days. The tropes have, of course, become more predictable, and none of our recent bachelorettes have managed to capture the public’s attention like the leading men of yore. The Bachelorette things turned out better, and Bachelor in paradise is still a fun and sexy time at the beach, but after a few PR scandals and the sudden influx of new dating series from streamers like Netflix, this 21-year-old franchise is starting to show its age.
Then again, age is just a number – and as Gerry and the ladies prove, getting older doesn’t have to mean becoming less lively.
Speaking of the ladies, let’s take a look at some of their bios because as I mentioned before, they are spectacular. 61 years old Annas is as confusing as it is baffling: “When Anna dives with sharks, she loses her cage.” The biography does not specify how often Anna paddles around with “Jaws.” Jeaniea 65-year-old retired project manager, says her favorite color is “neon” (???) and a retired education consultant Kathy (70) is “OBSESSED with Christmas.” This season also includes Lesliea former aerobics champion, a woman with three master’s degrees, the mother of former Bachelor Matt James, Patty (who apparently “loves the glitter of her body”) and above all: Maria (60) – who “has never played paintball before but really wants to try!”
With a heartfelt lead like Gerry and Golden Bachelorettes, this delightful, The bachelor could finally deliver the kind of “back to basics” we all deserve – one that’s high on humor and emotional connection and low on petty drama. Things are already looking pretty promising: Gerry is determined to find a woman who loves pickleball, and from the trailer, we already have six women on the list as pickleball lovers this season. With a bit of luck, Gerry might find his perfect partner.