'The Bachelorette': Five better group dates Andi & Co. could enjoy

As we sat through another blah group date Monday night (another blah group date in two nights at that), I couldn't help but think that The Bachelorette really rests on its laurels when it's forced to organize more than a few guys at a time. The one-on-ones are great, always thoughtful. Just Sunday we got a recreation of the movie Bad Grandpa! Monday Andi and Marcus recreated that Burj Khalifa scene from Ghost Protocol! So no one's really slouching in that department.

But the group dates -- holy moly, it's always the same goddamn thing. You're going to sing with some help from my "friends" in this music group. You're going to play basketball, or softball, or whatever. You're stripping (for charity) at an all-male exotic dance revue. Once upon a time I'm sure those were novel ideas, but we're on the 10th iteration of The Bachelor -- it's time to embrace some shit a little more off the beaten path, huh?

With that in mind, another post in which I just rattle off a bunch of weird things that may or may not have anything to do with The Bachelorette! Personally, I think that any one of these suggestions would make for an excellent 20 minutes of television. But then I'm not one of the show's producers; I'm just a 28-year-old guy watching 4 hours of romantic reality programming in-between crying sessions.

Hunger Games style fight to the death

Let's get this one out of the way first just because it's such an easy, albeit flawed suggestion. Not in the way you'd think, either! The Bachelorette is a competition much like Panem's yearly Hunger Games, and features representatives from different parts of the country/districts who had roughly similar eating experiences growing up but definitely dissimilar parenting, which may have been regionally-influenced. Anyway that's neither here nor there -- the point is you can't kill all the guys on the show, at least not so early. No, you've gotta wait until Hometowns -- when you can get families involved -- to really see how far these men are willing to go to win your love. Or you know, you just don't implement this idea at all.

Dog walking

Each guy gets 10 dogs they've got to walk around a park, or several parks, and clean up after. Andi, watching from the bushes, gets to see who loves dogs, who hates dogs, and who is just a bad citizen when it comes to dealing with dog shit.

Family style dining at The Olive Garden

"When you're here, you're family!" is I'm pretty sure the slogan of much-loved chain restaurant The Olive Garden, and what better place to see how someone plays with others than the one with unlimited breadsticks. No more prefab dinners at the Governor's Mansion in Pasadena or whatever -- no, this is a live simulation where you, sir, have to decide what you're going to order for dinner. And you will be judged.

Timed IKEA furniture assembly

Presumably Andi's going to want kids. And you, you're just a poor pantapreneur. So you're going to have to compromise a little when it comes to how you furnish your home! Guys with leftover tools when assembly's done will be automatically disqualified.

The beach

Let them make sandcastles! You have no idea how badly these guys just want to make sandcastles.

Image: ABC