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Commentary Entertainment

Dotard and dames: “Golden Bachelor” acclaim

HOKUM, FOLKDOM, PRODUCERS SNORTING CO- UM? One writer lavishes praise on “The Bachelor” pastiche, veritable five-star gold, but worries that the sultry foxes will, in Socrates fashion, “corrupt the old.” PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

“The Golden Bachelor” is a refreshing take on the franchise that brings love and hope back into the Bachelor Mansion.

I had very little hope for this new season before it aired. With a track record of a whopping 19% of couples that get engaged at the end of the season and are still together over 27 seasons of “The Bachelor” and 19 seasons of its counterpart “The Bachelorette,” my faith in people finding love through this reality television show has dwindled.

However, it has been rekindled with the first-ever “Golden Bachelor,” Iowan Gerry Turner. Within the first three minutes of the episode, he had me smiling and tearing up. He was married to his high school sweetheart for 43 years, and together they had two daughters before she died from a bacterial infection in 2017.

At 72 years young, Gerry is ready to find that kind of love again. I’m rooting for him!

The best word I can use to describe this season premiere is “wholesome.” From the way Gerry was so complimentary of the 22 women who stepped out of the limo to the “In Memoriam” card at the end of the episode recognizing the death of the best friend of one of the women competing this season, this first episode made my heart melt.

I was so impressed by the level of respect and class exhibited by these women, ranging in age from 60 to 75. As they entered the mansion, they complimented each other’s dresses, jewelry and hair. While there was an appropriate amount of jealousy in the confessionals, there was a general excitement among the women to be there making history and possibly meeting the man of their dreams. 

In a voiceover, one woman said “it’s nice to see women enjoy how they feel in their skin at this stage in life.” I couldn’t agree more.

Near the end of the episode, Gerry and his ladies had a dance party (probably somewhere around 4 a.m.). Gerry and Marina attempted — and succeeded — to correctly use “dope” and “rizz” in a sentence, words they picked up from their daughter and granddaughter, respectively. These baby boomers proved that age is but a number in the first episode of a season that will surely make anyone feel young at heart.

Some things remained the same because “The Golden Bachelor” is still run by “The Bachelor” producers. There were of course the cheesy entrances and terrible puns meant to make the women memorable. Leslie and Theresa were definitely the most memorable, in my opinion.

Side note: I was honestly nervous that Gerry wouldn’t remember all their names since our younger bachelors can barely do it, but he seemed to be picking them up pretty fast!

Like regular seasons of “The Bachelor,” roses and kisses were handed out in spades. The roses are red, not gold, thank goodness, and there were 18 up for grabs on night one. Producers seemed to understand that a smaller pool from the beginning allows for better connections.

Speaking of connections, Gerry kissed FOUR women on night one. Honestly, good for them for proving that seniors can show affection too. I’m interested to see how intimacy plays out near the end of this season because, as one woman put it in her toast, “here’s to not being able to get pregnant!”

My only complaint about “The Golden Bachelor” is that this show is most certainly going to ruin Gerry. He’s too good to be on this show that’s known for its crafted villains and drama. He teared up about sending women home on night one!

I sincerely hope that “The Golden Bachelor” doesn’t ruin my boy Gerry because he deserves someone who makes him smile like I did when he brought out a cupcake to the woman celebrating her birthday at a cocktail party night shoot.

While I am not the biggest fan of “The Bachelor” franchise, I think “The Golden Bachelor” is the refresh that this franchise desperately needs. I will be rooting for Gerry, and I hope he finds a love that makes him feel young again.

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