10 Changes “The Bachelor” Franchise Needs To Make If They Want Us To Take Them Seriously

Am I really about to get involved in the latest season of “The Bachelorette” with Ashley Hebert, a girl who in my estimation, is not really ready to settle down? I say this because at the end of last season, when she and Brad Womack were getting down to brass tacks, she hadn’t even considered the idea she may have to move to another state to be with him. Red flag that she may not be ready for marriage. The show, while highly entertaining, has lost all credibility. Trista and Ryan Stutter’s love was a fluke that producers have been fruitlessly trying to replicate since season one. I suppose Jason Mesnick and Molly Melaney are still going strong as well, but not without their fair share of scandal. Brad Womack and Emily Maynard are already over (well at least I think they are). I can’t say I’m the least bit surprised. It’s gotten to the point where you expect every “Bachelor” couple to fail. The show has become more about bikinis and less about betrothal. “The Bachelor” franchise needs to make a few changes if they want us to start taking them seriously agin. After the jump, a few suggestions.

  1. Select bachelors/ bachelorettes who live in the same geographical area. One issue that has broken up some of these couples is discrepancy over where they live or want to live together. Relocating for love is a big risk, worth taking, yes, but very hard to take after knowing someone for three months. Why put the added pressure of distance or relocation on a new relationship when the problem can be easily solved by pairing up hopefuls who already live in the same city? No reason whatsoever.
  2. Let family and friends choose the contenders. No point in casting a screen-time hungry pro wrestler or a drunk chick who takes her panties off the first night. Obviously, they are not serious contenders. I think the odds of the bachelor/ bachelorette finding love would be greatly increased if people who knew and loved them picked the contestants.
  3. Cut back on boozing. Oh, and just to ensure that no one gets drunk and passes the very first night, producers should cut back the booze supply. I know, drunk people do funny things we like to watch, but having more than a drink or two does nothing for relationship building. They should go all “Millionaire Matchmaker” and impose a two-drink minimum as far as I’m concerned.
  4. Hire Brad Womack’s therapist to counsel all contestants. Jamie Green, Brad Womack’s therapist, was the highlight of “The Bachelor” for me last season. They should bring him back and have him offer therapy to all of the contestants during the course of the show. It would be especially helpful for him to meet with “The Bachelorette” and her final three dudes and do mini-couples counseling sessions to see if they are ready for real life together.
  5. Stop planning over-the-top dates. These wild and crazy circus themed/ sky diving dates are fun to watch, but it seems like it would be more useful for the couples to get to know each other in more realistic settings. The over-the-top dates create this sense of magic which can be mistaken for feelings of love. I’m personally a fan of the ol’ standby: the dinner date. Do you like the guy when there are no circus ponies around and he has spinach in his teeth? If so, it could be true love.
  6. Take away the pressure of the engagement at the end. Nobody wants to feel pressure to get married, especially after six dates. I think the couples would fare better if the show took the engagement off the table. Then the bachelor/ bachelorette could simply choose the person they want to get to know better without cameras following their every move.
  7. Give the couples an allotment of camera-free time on dates. Speaking of cameras, can’t we give these people a few minutes alone to have a private conversation? Aside from the fantasy suite, the couples have no chance to get to know each other without a crew standing by. How can you truly get to know someone that way? Is it even possible?
  8. Don’t make all the contestants live in a house together. People act way less cray cray when they get their own room. I don’t care if you let the contestants live at home or rent them a single hotel room, just give them some space to breathe. I’m tired of the mansion turning into quasi frat/sorority houses with 24/7 pool parties. Unnecessary.
  9. No more group dates. It’s time to do away with the incredibly awkward group dates. They just make everyone uncomfortable, including those of us watching.
  10. Let the final couple stay in their fantasy destination together for three months until the series airs. Q: What is a major relationship killer? A: Having to be apart and keep your relationship secret for three months after you get engaged. The couples are just being set up to fail with this practice. I say, let them stay in Aruba, or wherever, in disguise for three months while the show airs. More fun for them and better for their chances of making things work.

What are your suggestions for “The Bachelor” franchise to earn their cred back? Share them in the comments.

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