'The Bachelor,' running out of fantasies
By Rick Porter
February 07, 04:51 PM
The newest Bachelor is a British guy. Matt Grant is tall and "charming," or so says ABC, and he probably does pretty well for himself in his finance career.
So on first glance, anyway, he seems to be what the show's non-WGA writers are fond of calling "the total package" -- handsome, successful, accented.
Don't discount the accent -- Grant's British-ness is the key selling point to this season's fantasy.
The Bachelor has always been about fulfilling a certain kind of romantic fantasy -- you've never seen, say, an electrician or a middle manager on the show. But as the show has dragged on and on and on (the new season will be its 12th), it seems to be grasping ever harder at some sort of perceived female ideal, be it in a romantic locale (Paris and Rome, a few seasons back) or in the Bachelor himself.
Look at some of the guys the show has featured in recent seasons: a quarterback (Jesse Palmer, now a surprisingly solid college football analyst for ESPN), a prince (Lorenzo Borghese), a doctor (Travis Stork, who got to court his women in Paris), an actor (Charlie O'Connell -- not a movie star, maybe, but reality TV isn't going to bring in Leonardo DiCaprio, is it?) and a naval officer (Andy Baldwin, who's a doctor as well). And now, (ABC hopes) a dashing Brit.
Ratings, somehow, are still OK, even though the show has a terrible track record in producing lasting relationships. Which tells me that the fantasy (and, probably, the schadenfreude of watching 25 women throw themselves at a guy that at least 24 of them won't end up with) has really become the selling point for the show.
With that in mind, we offer some suggestions for future Bachelor casting:
The Bachelor: Puppy Love. If Meredith Gray can fall for Finn (at least for a little while), then surely real women would fall for a handsome and sensitive veterinarian who cares for our four-legged friends. Group dates at the dog park, and instead of meeting the family, the final four women would have to bring their pets over to see if they're compatible with his.
The Bachelor: Music of My Heart. Women love musicians; it's a fact. We're thinking that a singer-songwriter type would be best here. He could make the hearts of all 25 women flutter by playing the piano at the first-night party, then express his love in a song for his chosen woman. Bad-boy rocker types need not apply; we already have that show, and it's called Rock of Love.
The Bachelor: Home on the Range. Sure, Joe Millionaire 2 tried to pass off a cowpoke as an object of desire, but the mythos of the American West was probably lost on the European women who were the dupes that season. My editor assures me that a stoic, rugged individualist in the Sam Elliott-Tommy Lee Jones mode, would set spurs a-janglin'.
The Bachelor: Shiver Me Timbers. One word: pirate. If it's good enough for dozens upon dozens of romance novels, then it's good enough for The Bachelor.
The Bachelor: Love Kills. If you Google "Spike Fanfic," you get better than 67,000 results. I don't know exactly how ABC will go about finding a real-life vampire to star in this season, but that's their problem. It'll play -- look at Moonlight, after all. And as a bonus, the romance is doomed from the start -- he's immortal, she's not; if he turns her, she loses her soul; and so on -- so ABC doesn't have to face questions about why the relationship didn't work.
Any "types" of guys you'd like to see as The Bachelor? 'The Bachelor,' running out of fantasies - From Inside the Box - Zap2it