We’re only two weeks into the newest Bachelor spin-off, The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart, but already the powers that be (a.k.a. Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss and host Chris Harrison) are thinking about what’s next. With COVID-19 leading to postponement of season 16 of The Bachelorette, the cancellation of The Bachelor: Summer Games and the likely cancellation of the this summer’s instalment of Bachelor in Paradise, the franchise is looking for another way to keep the love (and their cash intake) going during the pandemic. Their solution? Bachelor in Quarantine.
Speaking to Deadline, ABC exec Rob Mills said the network has thrown around the idea for a Bachelor spin-off set in quarantine. Yes, you read that correctly.
“The best thing about The Bachelor is its willingness to evolve as a format so if we need to shoot a cycle that reflects these times, that’s what we’re going to look at doing,” Mills said. While the network hasn’t landed on anything concrete, fans were already giving some suggestions—including the idea that Bachelor alums who are currently quarantining together—like Victoria Fuller and season 19 Bachelor Chris Soules and Kelley Flanagan and Peter Weber—film what’s going down in their relationships while in isolation (which for Kelley and Peter seems to be just a lot of bad TikToks).
And we’re conflicted. Because as much as we’d like to commend the Bachelor producers for making the best of the situation, and as much as we’re absolutely obsessed with the franchise and want to consume it in every possible way, we have to ask: Is Bachelor in Quarantine really what the world needs?
We’re not so sure.
First of all, Bachelor in Quarantine would be kind of boring
As much as we’ve dragged some previous Bachelor seasons and leads for being boring as heck (*cough* Peter *cough*), let’s be real: two months of watching people in isolation try to date would be trying. If they decided to do typical season remotely, how would that even look? Would viewers just be watching the lead loaf around his Texas pad in WFH sweats, snacking incessantly and lounging on a sad double bed with poo-brown sheets (like Love Is Blind‘s Mark) before logging into his Zoom dates? Would dates just be hours of wine guzzling and virtual chatting?
That. Is. Sad!
Not to mention if the franchise *did* move forward with fan suggestions of checking in with past cast members who are quarantined together, the only couple I’d really care to watch is Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron (TBH, would love to see them meal prep together). I would literally rather gouge my eyes out than watch Peter and Kelley try to banter and film TikToks.
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Plus, with salon visits a hard no and online shopping a tricky situation, how would the contestants even get camera-ready? How would the ladies get their lash extensions and fake tans?! How would the men order their salmon pink blazers?! What would the show even be without all these familiar trappings?
Not to mention, Bachelor in Quarantine would be chaotic as heck
On top of being plain sad, filming the show would be an absolutely *chaotic* logistical nightmare. Not to mention the dates themselves. You thought a group date to a bumper car park off the side of the highway was bad? Imagine a 12-on-one Zoom date?! Just picturing all of the internet delays and people talking over each other is giving me chills.
As is the thought of being stuck inside your home, only able to use the internet for Bachelor-related content. Would the strict filming rules (seriously: the only book contestants can bring into the house during filming is the Bible) apply to a quarantined season, too? What would the contestants do with the rest of their days?! Or maybe, because they’re not complete monsters, the franchise would allow contestants to keep what they need for entertainment, which could potentially make for interesting content. I’d love for the contestants to start a quarantine book club and actually have something to talk about with the lead—and each other. Perhaps a group date where they all come dressed as character’s from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick?
And, potentially kind of traumatic?
Finally, and arguably the biggest question: would people even *want* to watch a season of television that reminded them of quarantine? This has been a pretty bleak period for so many people, and a downright devastating time for many. Whether it’s because COVID-19 has caused them to lose their jobs, have mental health challenges or made their living situation even more dangerous than before, the pandemic has seriously affected people’s lives. Will folks really want to look back and watch the crisis used as a TV ratings ploy? Once this is all over, I plan to be outside 24/7 and block this period of time from my brain; pretty sure the last thing I’ll want to do is watch TV filmed in this situation to remind me of how sad it was!
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Unlike Idris Elba, who has suggested that people quarantine for a week every year “to remember this time,” I firmly believe we should leave this period of time in the past (while obviously taking the lessons we learned with us, and listening to health officials so that we don’t repeat it). I don’t want to watch it for recreation.
But let’s be real—isn’t that how you’d describe a typical season of The Bachelor anyway?
But also, maybe this show is exactly what we need? Because despite how much we drag Bachelor nation, we continue to return to it. Just look at the number of people on social media who vowed never to even engage with LTYH (I mean, isn’t it just like Glee but with less sex?), but are now tweeting about it incessantly week after week.
Shows like The Bachelor (and Netfix’s Love Is Blind and Too Hot to Handle) are like salves. They bore us (sometimes), are chaotic as hell (all of the time) and (usually) traumatize us, but they also help us escape from our lives for a few hours each week (or for an entire day if you, like me, binged Too Hot to Handle).
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Knowing how obsessed so many of us are with the garbage fire that is reality TV, I’m confident people will find a way to make Bachelor in Quarantine work. Just please, for the love of God, do not include Peter.