Paging all olds.
In a commercial during Monday’s episode of “The Bachelor,” ABC announced a casting call for “seniors looking for love,” with host Chris Harrison saying: “Looking for love in your golden years? We’re looking for eligible seniors who want their shot at love.” Likewise, on the ABC casting website, there’s a listing for a still-untitled “New Dating Show for Seniors” that says, “The Producers of The Bachelor are looking for active and outgoing single men and women in their golden years for a new exciting dating show.”
On Twitter, ABC’s reality head, Rob Mills, clarified that the show will feature singles age 65 and over, calling them “Grumpiest Old Men” and “Goldenest Girls.”
I think I love this idea, even if it sounds like the premise of a “Saturday Night Live” sketch. It’s not that I want to see older people acting like fools, nor am I eager to see them shvitzing in hot tubs or stabbing one another in the back or pretending they’re really going to settle down forever with someone they’ve only known for a few weeks.
But the youth obsession that plays out on both “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” is exhausting, as the perfectly skinned 20-and-30-somethings wind up looking like blonde and brunette versions of the same doll. A senior “Bachelor” or “Bachelorette” — if treated with some of the dignity missing from the youth versions — has the potential to offer a sweet sense of hope to those who think they’re too old for dating. A mall-walking group date? I’m there for it.