Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Grandpa seeks a bride in new cringeworthy reality TV show
When I say I cannot WAIT for the Sept. 28 debut of “The Golden Bachelor” — the senior citizen version of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” franchises — please know I’m not being sarcastic. Much.
For too long, we’ve been subjected to shiny 20 somethings with taut skin, thick hair and thin ankles (girls) and Chiclet teeth, ripped abs and, OK, not much else (guys).
No more. “The Golden Bachelor” follows 72-year-old widower Gerry Turner’s quest for a bride he will select from 22 women aged 60-75. As someone in that demographic, I bristled at “Entertainment Weekly’s” snarky observation “They have names like Edith, Joan and Peggy!” Why you little…
Here’s hoping the wisdom that comes with age will eliminate some of the more ridiculous tropes of “The Bachelor.” Pretty sure none of us want to see grandma doing that walk of shame out of the “fantasy suite” for example.
One of the sublime pleasures of watching the shows is laughing at the cornball displays of romance. Age doesn’t kill romance, but it does rough it up a little in favor of practicality. We can’t help ourselves. If, for example, bachelor Gerry proffers the obligatory chocolate-dipped strawberry in a gesture of (scripted) affection, there’s a better than average chance it will be greeted with, “You kidding? I’ve got diverticulitis. See those tiny seeds right there? No? Here…let me pull the chocolate off…Aw crap on a cracker, now it’s all over your pants. Give ‘em here. I can get that out in a jif with my Tide pen…”
The trainwreck appeal of watching the bachelor meet the finalists’ parents could be challenging since most will be, frankly, dead. The late-season “hometown visit” could be bittersweet as potential brides point out the old homeplace was razed for one of those car washes that feels like a Disney ride and why doesn’t anybody wash their own damn car anymore?
Because beauty is part of the entire shallow experiment, bachelor Gerry is ridiculously handsome, and all the women are head-turners. That said, the PR department’s descriptions were, ahem, underwhelming. Lover of geriatric cats. Never been paintballing but would like to. Hates fishy-tasting fish. Makes a decent pistachio cake. Enjoys finding pennies on the ground. Hates mice. (Maybe she needs some geriatric cats!) Refuses to stand in long lines.
To be fair, these are not all that different from the insipid responses from the traditional, young contestants so there’s that. Mediocrity knows no age limit apparently! I once watched a Bachelor give the coveted rose to a woman who promised they could have Crab Rangoon from her favorite hometown restaurant if he picked her. The heart wants what the heart wants. And his heart wanted fried wontons filled with imitation crab cream. Then again, whose doesn’t? OK, maybe not the hates fishy-fish one. But most of us.
Bachelor Gerry has already earned my eyeroll when he confessed Helen Mirren would be the “best-case scenario.” How like a man. Here’s this guy nobody ever heard of from Flat Butt, Indiana, or some such but he can fully envision one of the world’s most beautiful and talented actresses falling for him. What must it be like to have that kind of confidence? Also, in defense of normal older women everywhere, I bet Helen Mirren’s pistachio cake tastes like poo.
“The Bachelor” always allows for plenty of moments of faux introspection and Golden Gerry seems up for the task. On “Good Morning America” he wondered what his late wife would think about all this but then he remembered they had always “told each other when one of us goes, we want the other to be happy.”
That’s messed up. I want my husband to wear my CLOTHES when I die.
“She’ll be up there rootin’ for me,” said Gerry. Right. Whatever helps you sleep at night buddy.