‘The Golden Bachelor’: Photographic memories

The Golden Bachelor
October 5, 2023

We begin the episode with the women moving into the McMansion and discovering that they are expected, at 70, to sleep in bunk beds.

The grandmas, they are not thrilled. They have not been through the shit to be forced to sleep in an eight-year-old’s bed. Also, someone could break a hip trying to climb down to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. HAVE THE ABC LAWYERS EVEN LOOKED INTO THIS?

After the ladies have a toast “to Gerry and to Social Security!” Jesse Palmer arrives to deliver the first date card. While most of the women start freaking out, one of the ladies (I think it was Hearing Aid?) is like, “What is that?” Jesse Palmer is taken aback and explains that it’s a date card, and she goes on to ask, “Are you going to open it?” These are the most wholesome people who have ever been on one of these stupid shows, God bless.

As for the date card: “Birthday Suit: You’re never too old to find love again. Love, Gerry.”

While she prepares for the date, Birthday Suit tells us about her first marriage: Billy was her high school sweetheart, who was drafted into the Vietnam War, and they got married at 18 with 2 days’ notice. Before he passed, Birthday Suit insists, he urged her to find someone else and get married again.

Gerry arrives to pick up Birthday Suit in a classic convertible Thunderbird, and then they send this elderly couple onto the California freeways — which Gerry has never driven on before — at night, and the car’s headlights aren’t working properly.


The only reason they show us this, though, is to demonstrate that while Gerry is having a FULL BLOWN PANIC ATTACK, Birthday Suit pats his arm and assures him he’s doing a great job, which makes Gerry feel so much better.

They arrive at some diner called Cadillac Jack’s which has a whole 1950s theme, which Gerry and Birthday Suit lean into, ordering a chocolate shake and some fries. Over this snack, Birthday Suit tells him that she is surprised at how quickly she felt a connection with him. She then proceeds to tell him about Billy, how they were married for 42 years before he passed away from kidney disease almost 9 years ago.

The two bond over the loneliness of losing one’s partner, even when you have friends around, and then discuss learning Italian together and one day visiting Italy.

And that’s when the singing and dancing break out? “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey begins playing. And are the producers … high? Because the last time we were in a diner and this specific song broke out on the jukebox …


But the waitstaff jump up and start singing along and are dancing on the counters which just has to be a health code violation.

(By the way, this isn’t a real restaurant: it’s a literal set. So don’t go to Los Angeles looking for the 50s-themed song-and-dance restaurant. That’s in New York.)

Anyway, while the cast dances around him, Gerry offers Birthday Suit the date rose and she gladly accepts.


Pt. 2 #thegoldenbachelor #protectgerry #dad #gerry #worried #heartache #earcandy

♬ original sound – Matt Cordova

Before we move on to the next day, a bit of news — we are down one lady:

One night of sleeping on a bunk bed and Dope and Rizz was like NOPE.

So, for the group date which involves all of the ladies except Motorcycle Chick (well, and Birthday Suit, obviously), the producers have brought out everyone’s favorite ridiculous photographer, Franco. However, I regret to tell you, Franco is not wearing shorts this time. Boo.

The plan is to shoot covers of fake romance novels, requiring the women to don a number of different costumes: some sort of Ren Faire get-ups; some 60s hippie looks; biker chick garb; and wedding dresses.

And the first signs of some cracks in the ladies’ otherwise supportive relationships begin to appear when Prince Groupie pouts because she wants one of the hippie looks, but Laughing Queen beats her to it, forcing Prince Groupie to have to wear one of the biker costumes instead.

And that’s it. That’s the extent of the conflict: Prince Groupie doesn’t get her way; pouts.

The photo shoots are ridiculous and silly which is exactly the point, until one of the wedding dress ladies, Hearing Aid, realizes that she hadn’t worn a wedding dress since her wedding day to her now deceased husband. Hearing Aid becomes emotionally overwhelmed, and tearfully discusses how much she misses her husband who has been gone for 12 years now. It’s genuinely heartbreaking. 

Gerry notices that Hearing Aid seems off and takes her aside to make sure she is OK, noting that there seems to be a disconnect between them. Hearing Aid explains that she hasn’t put on a wedding dress in 36 years, and it just brought up a lot of emotions. Gerry tells her that he can relate: that he was walking past a bakery about a year ago and smelled some cinnamon. It hit him hard and unexpectedly, remembering how his wife would make cinnamon balls every Christmas. He wasn’t expecting it, and at first it made him sad, but then he found some joy in remembering.

The photoshoot continues, and Gerry marvels at all the things that he’s learning about the women, including the fact that Prince Groupie also wears hearing aids.

In the end, he gives Hearing Aid the date rose, and Prince Groupie is clearly a little irritated, believing she had nailed it by revealing that she also wears hearing aids, and not realizing that Hearing Aid beat her to that on the first night. Also, the whole dead husband thing.

The next day is both Rose Ceremony day and Gerry’s birthday, and so the women host a casual surprise party for him, though surprising a 72-year-old seems ill-advised.

Twice Photocopied Kris Jenner takes him aside and threatens to smother him with chicken piccata and meatballs. F-Bomb Zen Master reveals she’s a “football-aholic.” Biker Chick tells him how insecure it made her to not be on any of the dates this week, and how she’s not a fancy girl like the rest of the ladies. Someone Named Joan drags Gerry onto the top of one of the bunk beds to talk about her dead husband and how he insisted she date again. And Gerry presents Roberta’s Friend a framed copy of their romance cover photo which seems like a pretty big move on Gerry’s part.

And then it’s Rose Ceremony time. Line up, Mawmaws!

Rose #1: Prince Groupie
Rose #2: Someone Named Joan
Rose #3: Golden Goddess
Rose #4: Roberta’s Friend
Rose #5: F-Bom Zen Master
Rose #6: Twice Photocopied Kris Jenner
Rose #7: Someone Named Christina
Rose #8: Biker Chick
Rose #9: Chicken Dance
Rose #10: Someone Named Kathy

As Gerry says goodbye to Can’t Breathe, I Dream of Genie, and Laughing Queen, he becomes tearful, feeling terrible about sending them home.

But Laughing Queen, for one, doesn’t seem all that upset — she’s just mad she had to stand up for the entire Rose Ceremony.

“Guys, do the Rose Ceremony in chairs. You have people in here 60, 70, and above. Do the Rose Ceremony in the chairs. They have chair yoga. They have chair exercise. They have chair aerobics. Chair Rose Ceremony.”

I love her. Send this woman to Golden Paradise, please

… Which … now that I say that our loud sounds like a euphemism for heaven, so no, on second thought, please don’t send her there.

Here are the ladies who have been eliminated along with their very not good nicknames:

Here are the women along with their dumb nicknames who are still “dating” Gerry:

The Golden Bachelor airs Thursdays on ABC at 7/8 p.m and streams on Hulu.

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