Picks and Pans Review: How to Fix The Bachelor
The bloom is off the rose. Not only has ABC's once addictive reality romance suffered a decline in ratings this season, its watercooler worthiness is, to borrow a phrase from one of the show's tongue-twisted hopefuls, "nilch, nada." Where has the love gone? Herewith, four ways to make viewers swoon all over again:
1) Ban the bland bachelors. In the beginning, there was Alex. And then Aaron. And then Andrew. And for a while, the show's promise of a climactic proposal kept us coming back for more. But now that every Bachelor romance has fizzled, we're jaded—and the fact that pro fisherman Byron, this season's designated wife bait, is yet another Hot Boring Guy doesn't help. Women flipped for Everyman Bob Guiney simply because he showed a spark of wit. Sure, he turned out to be a tongue-thrusting horndog, but at least he was funny. Alas, the only thing humorous about Byron is the Fabio-meets-Jeff Spicoli hair.
2) Bring on the real girls. Enough already with the Bikini Brigade, whose matching taut tummies and bleached teeth make them maddeningly interchangeable. Shows like American Idol and Survivor have maintained their success by prizing charisma over looks. The Bachelor should do the same.
3) Ditch the clichés. Please, please, please nix the following: "I realize this is not going to be an easy elimination"; "I'm pretty sure that this is going to end in everything I've ever wanted"; and, of course, "The Most Dramatic...rose ceremony...ever." The latter, which once seemed like tongue-in-cheek fun, now merely conveys wishful thinking.
4) More reality, less fantasy. Yes, the sunset-by-airplane dates are entertaining, but they foster just the sort of punch-drunk romance that defies longevity. However, if after a night of babysitting and pizza Byron and one of his suitors still think they're soul-mates—well, they may actually have a shot.