The Real Love Boat: An obvious “Bachelor in Paradise” counter, but the premiere entertains

For as long as The Bachelor franchise has been dominating on ABC (over two decades now), the other networks have been trying to tap into that viewer base.

The results have been mixed. But nothing has come close to toppling the king of the dating reality genre.

Our latest challenger is a reality throw back to the 80s with “The Real Love Boat”. A dating show on a cruise ship that looks to bring couples together the same way the old TV show did back in the day.

The set up is similar to Bachelor in Paradise. Get a bunch of attractive single men and women in a confined space, and hope they hit it off amidst challenges and dates.

Our hosts for the journey are real life couple and Generation X staples, Jerry O’Connel and Rebecca Romijn. And they are bringing all of the cheese here, going full “Trip McNeely” and “Pepper Dennis” for our entertainment and lucky for the show it actually works in this wacky environment.

And the show is wacky.

Much like Bachelor in Paradise piles it on with the debauchery, The Real Love Boat seems intent to make us laugh. The boat’s crew randomly interviews the contestants and you wonder what kind of insight they could possibly bring to the romantic goals of complete strangers.

But hey, it worked on the TV show. Right?

Still. If you’re looking for a Bachelor tide me over, The Real Love Boat is a silly appetizer. They do need to streamline that elimination ceremony. Bingo balls can’t compare to roses.

I’m going to see where it goes. And my contestant favorites so far? Emily, the nurse with her adorable “Oh jeez” Wisconsin-nice philosophy, and Daniel who seems to be the easiest going of the group. But will he connect with Nicole, who seemed to pick Jordan just for the first elimination ceremony only?

Let’s see what happens next week!

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