The Bachelor Season 23: Will Colton Underwood Underwhelm?
By Kimberly Grabiec
On paper, Colton Underwood is the ideal bachelor. He is family-oriented, loves dogs, and has a pro-athlete background. But “The Bachelor” superfans know that he was not the obvious choice as this season’s bachelor when compared to other options because of his young age and stagnant personality on the previous season of “The Bachelorette”. Expectations are very low for Underwood, and the first few episodes of Season 23 do not seem to be setting him up to exceed them.
Underwood is a virgin. This is a fact that producers will not let viewers forget as they are reminded with every season promo, within the first few seconds of the premiere, and after every commercial break. The audience quickly forgot all of Underwood’s other character traits after his virginity was cemented into their minds, making it the theme of the season.
As per usual, this season’s premiere was a three hour live show. Unfortunately, producers decided to fill those long hours with footage from viewing parties across America hosted by bachelors from previous seasons. After watching hundreds of screaming fans and multiple audience proposals, viewers dreaded the live show recordings and wanted to get to the videos from the actual episode.
The premiere picked up as 30 women exited their limos to meet Underwood. Each season the bachelorettes’ entrances become more elaborate, and this season was no different. Unfortunately, the women with clever and unique first impressions were overshadowed by the handfuls of women that joked about his virginity. “The Bachelor” fans were aching to figure out who the villain of the season would be and throughout the night, Demi and Katherine seemed to have potential to fill this role, but their actions were unpredictable and inconsistent in the following weeks.
The next episode started off with a chaotic mixture of group dates and one-on-ones. Past seasons usually began with a group of women teaming up against one or two of the most hated bachelorettes, but this season had many mini-feuds among the women, which were difficult to keep track of. One that stood out was the animosity between Hannah and Caelynn. They knew each other from a Miss USA contest where Caelynn was a runner-up and Hannah didn’t place. Both of the contestants resented each other because of an unexplained fallout that occurred during the pageant and Underwood spent most of his conversations during the second and third episodes trying to figure out what caused the conflict. This not only frustrated the other contestants but also frustrated the viewers because these conversations were inconclusive and extremely drawn out.
Season 23 shows exciting potential. Underwood has already switched things up by replacing the weekly cocktail party with a pool party, which is atypical at so early on in the season. This season looks to be more “real” and natural than other seasons because many of the women are introverted and are not causing trouble. Underwood is also taking on a very laid-back approach to the process which is interesting for reality television, but producers and editors may need to up the drama in the near future in order to keep viewers watching. The first few episodes lack certain character roles and storylines that used to drive some of the past seasons to success. “The Bachelor” is notorious for its action-packed sneak peeks followed by underwhelming events in the actual show. The current sneak peeks do imply an increase in drama, so hopefully the show will follow through.