'Bachelor in Paradise' Is Better Than 'Bach Pad'

I'm sure there are some people out there wildly disappointed about the cancellation of Bachelor Pad, but letting Bachelor in Paradise replace Bachelor Pad was the best decision the production and ABC has ever made. Seriously. Not since creating The Bachelorette have they made such a smart decision. Where Bachelor Pad was simply really, really trashy, Bachelor in Paradise is delightfully trashy. What was once pathetic, is now a little pathetic but mostly funny. Most of the participants now feel in on the joke, and the joke feels a lot less mean than it once did.

And, by the way, in one season Bachelor in Paradise accomplished what Bachelor Pad never has: it's brought together a highly successful couple. Not just together for the duration of the season, not just "engaged" for the length of a talk show circuit, and even though they're mining their relationship for a potentially televised wedding, they're clearly super into one another. Who knows if it'll last forever, but for now, Marcus Grodd & Lacy Faddoul are on their way to the altar later in 2015. This could be the very rare case of a successful relationship built from a chance meeting on a reality TV show: AKA what all the Bach, Bachelorette, and BiP contestants are looking for.

The big hook of The Bachelor Pad was that at the end of the show, the winning couple had the option of choosing to split the prize money, both choosing to take the money solo, which results in them getting nothing, or one person choosing to take the money and the other choosing to split, in which case the greedy person wins it all. While that was always fun for the final reveal, especially the rare time a greedy person screwed over their teammate for a bigger payday, it kept away the best Bachelor contestants — the ones who think they're going to find true love on television.

And that's the key to what makes Bachelor in Paradise so fantastic. The entire cast is so desperate for love that they'd sign up for a show where there isn't even a cash prize in order to find it, and stay at what was supposedly a terrible resort for weeks. Another fantastic decision was to coin the phrase "YOPO: You Only Paradise Once," which suggests that they won't bring back any of the same cast members. A great way to keep it fresh and avoid people meeting up in advance to make fake relationships.

OK. In truth, not everything about Bachelor in Paradise is perfect, so there's no reason to pretend it is. One big thing I'd love to see them take from Bachelor Pad is the idea of weekly challenges. I know part of the charm of BiP is that the cast is utterly bored most of the time, but just the twice-episode date cards aren't enough to sustain two-hour long episodes. But if they get it together and manage to figure out how to incorporate a little more structure, then Bachelor in Paradise will continue to be a successful successor to Bachelor Pad.

Image: Giphy; Unabashinglyme/Tumblr; Bachelor in Paradise/Tumblr