Tired of the barrage of cocktail dresses and tuxes? How about a minimum-wage twist on the franchise — in which Mickey D’s could gather its 25 leanest pieces of beef to court one perfect chick(en) on the night shift of its swankiest L.A.-based McCafe? OK, so a grease-splattered polyester polo shirt might not be the sexiest look, but imagine the product-placement opportunities!
THE BACHELORETTE IN SHONDALAND
Not only has ABC never given us an African-American or Asian-American woman in the Bachelorette role, her gaggle of suitors is always predominantly white, too. Why not put the franchise in the hands of Shonda Rhimes, the powerhouse producer whose beautifully diverse fictional works (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder) have made the network a Thursday-night ratings powerhouse? And on a completely shallow note, nobody knows pretty like Shonda.
It’s mating season for Big Lana — an 800-lb. female grizzly bear living in the woods of southern Wyoming. Watch as her 25 suitors present her with fresh salmon and prizes from the local landfill — and engage in paw-to-paw combat — for a chance to spend a night in the fantasy suite cave.
THE BACHELORETTE OVER 40
Perhaps with added age (and hopefully, wisdom), contestants would wind up talking about more than just their “journeys” and “feelings.” Who knows? Maybe ratings would tick upward at the prospect of mature, attractive folks dishing politics, religion, pop culture and other topics relevant to actual human beings seeking long-term relationships.
THE BACHELORETTE: AMY SCHUMER
Does your inner feminist weep bitter tears every time you fire up the DVR to watch ABC’s reality dating franchise? That could all change if ABC built a season around the hilariously unfiltered Comedy Central host — and let her put her subversive feminist slant on the usual slate of icky Cinderella/Pretty Woman-style dates.
THE BACHELORETTE: THE BALL’S IN HER COURT
The Bachelorette loves traveling to exotic locales — so why not have a lineup of hotties following tennis pro Serena Williams from the French Open to Wimbledon to the U.S. Open? She could hand out bright yellow balls instead of the traditional roses — and direct an overhead smash at any suitor deemed not to be there “for the right reasons.”
THE BACHELORETTE IS A GENIUS
Take one Mensa-member lady — and 25 gentlemen with super-high IQs — and see what (Ph.D.-level) chemistry occurs!
THE BACHELORETTE: REALITY STARS!
Let’s just acknowledge that half (or probably 90%) of Bachelor/Bachelorette grads would’ve happily settled for an acting gig, a record deal or even a nude modeling contract over an actual marriage proposal. ABC could provide happy endings across the board (not a euphemism) by extending an additional 15 minutes (and one chance for love) to grads of Idol, DWTS, Survivor, The Voice, the Kardashian School of Famewhoring, and those 47 series you don’t “accidentally” watch on Bravo and VH1.