‘The Bachelor’: Why a Quarantined Season Could Be Just What the Show Needs

The Bachelor has been a staple of ABC for years. But over the course of season after season, some have argued that the show has become stagnant. With so much producer guidance, the basic storylines in the franchise have started to follow the same route. But the newest season of The Bachelorette will have to deviate from the normal format. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused production to film in one location for the entire season, which effectively switches up the whole second half of the season. While this may seem like an extreme inconvenience, it could be exactly what the show needs.

Chris Harrison and Clare Crawley
Chris Harrison and Clare Crawley | John Fleenor via Getty Images

How’s the quarantined version going to work?

The Bachelor franchise has heavily incorporated travel into the show. Usually by week four, the cast is on their way to some other state. This switch-up gives audiences a change of scenery and keeps the cast from going stir crazy.

In this new version, the Bachelorette and all her men will remain in one location for the duration of filming.

“They are doing their d*mnedest to ensure a healthy environment by keeping staff and crew on that location, but the reality is they can’t control the people who work at that location,” Jason Carbone, a former director and co–executive producer of the show told Slate. “If they’re in a resort, the people that work at that resort are going to be coming and going. The people in the kitchen are going to be coming and going, the maid service is going to be coming and going.”

For hometowns, which usually bring a healthy amount of drama to the show, the family and friends of contestants will be contacted weeks in advance.

“If you know that of these six individuals, at least three will be going on hometown dates, you’ll begin to plan those hometown dates two to three weeks ahead of time,” Carbone said. “If there is someone from that hometown that the Bachelor franchise feels will be good TV, they will say to that person, ‘Hey can you come to this location? We’ll isolate you for two weeks to make sure you’re healthy,’ and they’ll be ready for the drama.”

How is this good for the show?

Over the years, viewers have been able to guess how the show will go. There’s always a villain who inevitably turns all of the contestants against them and there is always someone who is there for fame. The lead is usually blind to all of this because they are kept away from the contestants for the majority of filming. But with everyone quarantined together, it could give the lead time to actually get to know her contestants.

“For the first time in years, you have the best opportunity at success on The Bachelorette, simply because the only thing they’ll be able to work on and think about and do is this relationship.”

In addition to spending the most time with her contestants, Clare Crawley, the upcoming Bachelorette, got to have her season recast, which means some of the bad eggs were already weeded out. This shakeup could be just what Crawley needs to find love in a franchise that doesn’t have the best track record for lasting relationships.