Hollywood, Are You Listening?

The Golden Bachelor Got A Senior Reboot — These 12 Shows Should Be Next

We know Hollywood is allergic to original ideas, but at least it can tackle ageism.

by Lizzie Logan
Originally Published: 

The Golden Bachelor has renewed our collective faith in the messy franchise simply by replacing its usual cast of 20-somethings with wise, wholesome elders who’d never be caught stirring up petty drama like #Shrimpgate. It’s delightful. Meanwhile in the scripted space, And Just Like That… is one of the reboots that’s actually working, because middle age brings its own set of sexual challenges and romantic opportunities. So, why stop there? We know Hollywood is allergic to original ideas, but by giving other shows the “senior reboot” treatment, at least it can tackle ageism. I mean, if they can do Young Sheldon, we can certainly try Old Malcolm in the Middle, right?

As Ellen Burstyn said in a recent interview, “I turn 91 in December, and I’m busier than I can ever remember being at any point in my career. And I don’t understand it at all. I mean, what’s all this stuff about ageism in Hollywood? How did I get left out of it? I don’t know, except possibly that everybody else who could play those parts has already died, so I’m the only actress still standing who can play the great-grandmother or something.” Dick Van Dyke’s still around; can we get them in a show together?

If old people want to work, I have some ideas for them.

1. Survivor: Boca Raton

The older you are, the better you must be, by definition, at surviving. The athletic games and hut-style accommodations probably aren’t right for aging boomers, but maybe Jeff Probst can use other elements from the franchise. I would absolutely tune in to watch blue-haired ladies vote each other out of their retirement community. But this time, no immunity idols. These old coots made it through polio; they don’t need dolls to survive.

2. The Complicated Life

The Simple Life saw spoiled heirs Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie attempt to fit in in the “real” world of low-paying jobs and regular-degular families. In this series, my dad tries to turn a JPG into a PDF without calling me. It takes the entire 45 minutes, and somehow he’s made it a GIF.

3. Pretty Elderly Liars

I have to imagine that crimes and misdemeanors were easier to get away with in the pre-surveillance-state days of no social media or smartphones. People weren’t expected to be in constant contact, so sneaking away for nefarious doings must have been pretty easy — which leads us to AARP members covering up murders and having second families stashed away in Canada. You thought the teens of Rosewood had secrets, but just imagine what an early bird special “A” could dig up. Personally I’d very much like to know what exactly happened to Natalie Wood!


4. How I Met Your New Grandmother

We all miss Gam-Gam, but here’s the story about how Grandpa met this here broad Gina. It was at senior swim at the Y. Seems like a short story, right? Not the way he tells it!

5. My Super Sweet 66

What’s so hard about being 16? Hormones? Peer pressure? Come on, you don’t even have to pay bills or vote. It’s easy. You know what’s not easy? Being 66 in an economy where Social Security isn’t what it used to be. So let’s throw these sexagenarians the parties of their dreams. Unlike the original MTV show about minors, these parties can have open bars. It’s fine. They’re all on Medicare.

6. The Grizzled Bear

My grandma made way better food than anything on that FX show, and she didn’t even yell at anyone while making it. Like, why are they so stressed about sandwiches? Not to mention, it’s absurd that restaurant culture is so sexist considering that in home kitchens around the world, women do the majority of the cooking. If a series wants to spotlight the actual culinary taste-makers, hit up a bunch of ladies named Ethel and Marjorie.

7. The Vampire Microfiche

Technically The Vampire Diaries characters are all pretty ancient, but can we get a show about vamps who were turned as adults? Not True Blood adults, not What We Do in the Shadows adults, I mean old people. What would it be like to be 60 forever? But please, don’t do that cliche thing where the vampire off-handedly mentions having been present at a number of historical events. Every vampire is always like, “Yeah, I met Napoleon, and I was roommates with Jack the Ripper.” It makes no sense. Just because you’re on the planet at the same time as someone doesn’t mean you know them. If I somehow live another 200 years and someone asks me what Oprah was like, I’ll have to tell them, “Well, I never met Oprah.” Sorry!


8. America’s Next Top Model

No twist on this one. I just think it would be fun to watch old people do modeling challenges.

9. Subtle Home Makeover

Your mom comes over, rearranges some things, muses that “what you’ve done with the place” is so “interesting” and asks, “Do you need help cleaning or do you just not mind all this dust?” She buys you a dish rack that you absolutely hate but end up using anyway.

10. 81 Jump Street

The original ’80s hit was about adult cops who could pass for teens going undercover in a high school. In the reboot, middle-aged cops who are, let’s face it, kinda beat and can pass for super old people go undercover at a senior center. Most of the deaths are from natural causes, so there’s not too much crime to suss out, but still.

11. Big Mouth (With Fillings)

This cartoon tackles puberty with humor and fantasy elements, but what about menopause? Where’s the Monster of Erectile Dysfunction? The mouth may have gotten drier, but it’s still big!

12. Iris Apfel: The Reality Show

This should be a thing!!!

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