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Review: “The Golden Bachelor” Proves It’s Never Too Late to Find Love

“The Golden Bachelor” maintains youthful feeling with less immaturity.
Photo from ABC

The premier of ABC’s “The Golden Bachelor” aired Sept. 28. The show is a spin off of “The Bachelor,” but with seniors aged 60 and older. It pleasantly surprised me with how entertaining it is.

The Bachelor is a reality dating show where the chosen “bachelor” is the main person of the show, who tries dating around 30 contestants. Each week they go on dates and the “bachelor” picks who to keep on the show. The show films for 8 weeks and it usually ends in a proposal.

The spinoff, “The Golden Bachelor,” features seniors instead of young adults. The show was created because many fans of “The Bachelor” have been complaining for years about the immature casts and unnecessary drama that accompanies the youth. Fans wanted a greater focus on the “love” aspect of the show, and it was just time for something new. This led them to a new concept in which the show would feature older people finding love.

The first ever “golden bachelor,” 72-year-old Gerry Turner, from Hudson, Indiana is a retired restaurateur. Turner’s high school-sweetheart wife, Toni Turner, died 6 years ago of bacterial infection in her kidneys and liver. They were married for 43 years.
From my first impression of the episode, Turner seems like a kind-hearted, sweet man. He is cordial with a calming presence, though not with a dull personality. I think he was a good pick for the first “golden bachelor” because he seems to do well with the cameras, and the production environment, which could be nerve-wracking for many.

The beginning of the episode started off with the showing of pictures of his former wife, honoring her and their story. He acknowledges no one will replace Toni, but he wants someone to make him happy. I thought this portion of the show was courteous and necessary because it was paying homage to her, as well as giving the viewers an insight to his past love.

At first I was hesitant of this new show, because I was expecting it to be boring and uncomfortable to watch old people try to find love, but I was shocked at how enthralling it was from the get go.

Some memorable limo entrances include one of the contestants Faith who rode in on a motorcycle, and Thereasa who joked she came in her “birthday suit” because it was her birthday, but when she took off her robe, she was just wearing her evening dress. These were both bold choices as limo entrances, especially considering their age.

The cast of women has a wide range of personalities from sincere and calm, to energetic and lively. It was relieving to see different types of people at that age because many, including myself, due to pre-existing notions of older people, thought the majority of the women would be calm and quiet, and that the show wouldn’t have any interesting personalities, which is usually where a lot of the entertainment stems from.

I love the women who were casted, because they seem sweet and full of life. None of them seemed like boring “grandmas,” just women who were older.

The cast of women that Turner will date started off with 22 women, with most of them in their 60s. I thought the women, and the amount of women the producers casted was strategic and well-thought out. Usually “The Bachelor ” will start with 30-32 women, but for “The Golden Bachelor,” I thought it was good that he started with 22 women because Turner is older, and it would be more overwhelming than it already is to talk to even more people in the first few weeks. I could tell through the screen the reduction of the cast size of just 10 people drastically helped minimize the chaos and stress of the first night.

The episode lasted only an hour opposed to “The Bachelor” which is two hours. This unfortunately took away from the show, as it felt more rushed overall. The women got less screen time in many aspects including limo entrance impressions and conversations in the house which are essential for the audience to get to know the cast. This could cause disengagement with the show because when viewers don’t know the cast members, they are not as invested as they would be, leading them to miss episodes, or stop watching that season.

Other than the screen time and cast size, the format of the show was nearly identical to “The Bachelor.” It started with limo entrances, then conversations, and then the rose ceremony.

The women’s limo entrances were similar to those on “The Bachelor,” with some women just saying hello, some coming with a trinket to start a conversation, and some with bold, crude jokes. This surprised me as I was expecting them to all have “normal” or “boring” limo entrances.

The set up and decorations in the Bachelor Mansion were the same too which was pleasing because many fans including myself were concerned that the style of the house would be changed to a calmer, more senior-friendly look, taking away some of the glam of the show.

I’m very glad they did not change the set for “The Golden Bachelor” because the set is where the memories from past seasons are engraved into furnishing and more. If it was taken away, it would feel like those memories were lost.

From the previews, it looks like they will still be doing extravagant dates such as riding horses in the jungle, rock climbing up the side of a waterfall, riding roller coasters and going in hot air balloons. I was shocked when I saw this because I didn’t expect seniors to physically be able to do something such as rock climbing, but I am glad they were able to because the cool dates are part of what makes the show fun to watch.

Faith got the first impression rose. My favorite part of this first episode is when she sang him a love song with a guitar during their conversation. I thought this was sweet, and it was clear that Turner enjoyed it too. I think Faith is poised, mature, yet youthful, and I think she and Turner could be great together so I am rooting for her.

From this first episode, I think the strong contenders for Turner’s heart are Faith, Theresa, and Leslie, with my front runner being Faith.

I loved how the show showcased contestant’s youthful sides, with clips of them having a dance party. There was also vocab being tossed around such as “rizz” and “dope” which was hilarious to see older people using those words. The women, and Turner, were surprisingly youthful for their age, and it was nice to see that they can still have fun when they are older.

I think this first episode of “The Golden Bachelor” was wholesome and I thought it was awesome seeing older people looking for love because it sends a message that it is never too late to find love.

All in all the show was very similar to “The Bachelor,” but with more mature people and seemingly less drama. It was a refreshing change of pace from the original shows such as “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette,” and “Bachelor in Paradise” because the contestants have lived more life and appear wiser in their actions and words.

Overall, I was blown away by the premiere of “The Golden Bachelor.” It exceeded my expectations despite initial concerns of being boring. I hope Turner and all the contestants find their happy endings.

About the Contributor
Mila Segal
Mila Segal, Designer
Where’s the next place on your travel bucket list and why? Greece! It looks gorgeous! If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pizza If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Malibu