8 Reasons You Absolutely Need to Start Watching “The Golden Bachelor”
If you’re not already watching “The Golden Bachelor,” consider this your sign to hop on the bandwagon immediately. I was initially hesitant to start the ABC dating series, which follows 72-year-old Gerry Turner’s journey as the Bachelor franchise’s oldest leading man. But after weekly pleas from a coworker, I finally pressed play on the premiere, and I’m so glad I did.
My reluctance to start “The Golden Bachelor” primarily stemmed from my love-hate relationship with the Bachelor franchise as a whole. I spent more hours than I’d like to admit watching everyone from Rachel Lindsay to Peter Weber fall in love, but I stopped tuning in two years ago after becoming fed up with the show’s continuous controversies and watching former host Chris Harrison try to sweep racism under the rug. Also, I’ll be real: the idea of a senior citizen dating show just didn’t sound appealing to me at first.
It’s been a welcome salve for the throngs of problematic, formulaic dating shows these days.
After just one episode, I was hooked. Gerry is an absolute gem of a human, and the group of women vying for his heart are just as wholesome. It’s been a welcome salve for the throngs of problematic, formulaic dating shows these days. (I’m looking at you, “Love Is Blind.”) Watching Gerry find love again after the death of his first wife has made me – a 29-year-old single woman with many married friends and dwindling faith in the New York City dating pool – realize that it’s never too late for love. I feel a renewed sense of hope, and I’m sure the same goes for many older viewers who may also be widowed like him.
While “The Golden Bachelor” doesn’t erase the franchise’s past missteps, it’s shown a new side to romance that we need more of on television. If you’re still unsure whether it’s worth a watch, I’ve outlined eight reasons to start tuning in below.
1. Gerry is a leading man you want to root for.
ABC couldn’t have picked a better first Golden Bachelor. Gerry is not only incredibly thoughtful, charismatic, understanding, and fun, but he’s also not afraid to show his emotions, often crying when he sends women home. He reminds me of my own grandfather, so I automatically had a soft spot for him. You can’t help but become a Gerry stan after watching him in action.
2. There’s minimal cattiness between the women.
Aside from the tiff between Kathy and Theresa, there’s been zero beef among the cast. The women are kind to one another in a way that’s never been seen on “The Bachelor.” They help each other get ready for dates, celebrate when others receive roses, and are forming genuine friendships despite dating the same man. What’s not to love about women supporting women?
3. The episodes aren’t too long.
Whereas past seasons of “The Bachelor” had episodes that dragged on for up to three hours or got split into two parts, “The Golden Bachelor” episodes are just one hour long. It’s not a huge time commitment if you’re looking for an easy watch to squeeze into your busy weekday routine.
4. The women all seem to have pure intentions.
The “Golden Bachelor” cast is comprised of widows or divorcées searching for a partner to spend their golden years with. They likely didn’t audition in hopes of gaining Instagram followers or becoming an influencer afterward, which can’t be said for all past contestants on “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette.”
5. Nothing feels scripted or rehearsed.
You won’t hear contestants reciting overused phrases like “I’m here for the right reasons” or “Can I steal you for a second?” Gerry has very real and deep conversations with the women, touching on topics like loss, marriage, values, and aging. Plus, some of the women had never even seen the series before, so you know they’re showing up as their authentic selves.
6. The focus is on romance, not drama.
Rather than giving prolonged screen time to problematic individuals stirring up arguments for the hell of it, the show centers on romantic connections. Yes, there was the whole Kathy and Theresa situation, but Gerry sent Kathy home shortly after catching wind of their quarrel, rather than keeping her around to amp up the drama. A dating show that actually focuses on the dating? Groundbreaking!
7. It’s genuinely entertaining.
The pickleball group date? A top-notch production. The women playing Never Have I Ever together? Too wholesome for words. Sandra missing the rose ceremony because she ate too much ice cream despite her lactose intolerance? Relatable as hell. I didn’t expect the series to have so many funny moments, but I’ve found myself fully engrossed in every episode so far.
8. It provides long overdue representation for elderly love.
So many reality dating shows today only star folks in their 20s and 30s, but “The Golden Bachelor” shines a spotlight on people who are above 60 and looking for that special someone to spend their final chapter with. Does it accomplish this goal without flaws? Not quite, but it’s a refreshing move in the right direction for granting an underrepresented group some well-deserved visibility. Here’s to hoping we get a season of “The Golden Bachelorette” next to keep up the momentum.