We really wanted to try to give the “Bachelor in Paradise” aftershow “After Paradise” at least some sort of respectable review, mostly because for the most part this is such a cheesy show that it is easy to dogpile. Plus, it would be so easy to come on here and hate on it in the same cynical way that most people view the franchise.
Here’s the problem with the show: It is almost too cynical for its own good. It feels like someone pieced together an idea a week ago, and nobody bothered to tell everyone else just what sort of show this is. You have Chris Harrison trying to steer the show in a somewhat-looser way than he typically hosts the other versions of the show, but for the most part he struggles to tow that line. We feel like for “The Bachelor” franchise, Chris should always be the straight guy, the Leonard to everyone else’s Sheldon. He did okay with that, but he was surrounded with way too many cooks.
First, let’s start with his co-host Jenny Mollen. Apparently she’s some sort of frequent live-tweeter, though we’ve never personally heard of her (but then again, we don’t tweet about the show much). We appreciated that she came on here with a sense of humor about the whole ordeal, but often what works on social media doesn’t really work on TV. Contestants on “The Bachelor” and its subsidiaries get attacked so much on social media, the actual shows are almost a safe haven. Silly humor about Jillian’s black bar is fine, but joking that she was a man took all the fun out of the joke. There were a couple of times she got a little too mean, and we know from reading Jillian’s own timeline that she was upset over the remark.
Now, the celebrity guests. Do we really need them? Katie Lowes and Josh Malina are great on “Scandal”; they looked really uncomfortable here. We’d rather leave the ABC cross-promotion to “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and reserve the guest spots for “Bachelor” alum. Why not have someone fun like Sean Lowe or someone opinionated like Andi Dorfman on? Jason and Molly Mesnick would be great! There are so many media-savvy people that we feel would be more fitting.
We do think that a “Bachelor” aftershow can be very good, and some of the video packages were fun and added some more insight to the show itself. The other portions of the show just need to be tighter, and someone needs to figure out what the tone here is supposed to be. Grade: C.