10 Shows Like 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette' to Watch Next

To celebrate the 27th season of 'The Bachelor' and 20th anniversary of 'The Bachelorette,' here are 10 similar shows to watch next, ranked by Metascore.
by Taylor Freitas — 

'The Bachelorette'


It's been more than two decades since ABC's The Bachelorfirst aired and changed the course of reality TV — and in particular, reality dating shows — forever. Created by Mike Fleiss, The Bachelor and its female-led counterpart The Bachelorette, which premiered a year later in 2003, are some of the most well-known reality programs in TV history, even boasting a devoted fan club that calls itself "Bachelor Nation."

Both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have followed the same format for the past 20 years (with a few exceptions, such as last year's season of The Bachelorette, which featured Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia as co-bachelorettes).

Typically, though, the shows focus on a single person (the titular "bachelor" or "bachelorette") who's hoping to find true love. To do so, they're introduced to a couple of dozen suitors, who participate in group and one-on-one dates. Each week, the bachelor or bachelorette hands out roses to the contestants they'd like to keep seeing, and anyone who doesn't receive one is eliminated. All of the romance and drama culminate in the season finale when the bachelor or bachelorette hands out their final rose to the person they'd like to marry.

The success of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette prompted ABC to green-light a slew of spin-offs, including Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise, and The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart (among others). The franchise has also gone overseas, with nearly 40 international versions of The Bachelor produced in countries including Australia, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and Vietnam. And like most other high-profile things in pop culture, there have also been parodies, including Burning Love, which aired on E! and was executive produced by Ben Stiller.

To celebrate the 27th season of The Bachelor and the 20th anniversary of The Bachelorette, here are 10 similar showsto watch next, ranked by Metascore.


Shiri Appleby in 'UnReal'



Metascore: 78
Best for: Drama-lovingreality TV fans who don't take the genre too seriously
Where to watch:

, , iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 4

It may not be a reality series itself, but UnReal offers a fictionalized look at what happens behind the scenes on these types of shows. In it, Shiri Appleby plays Rachel Goldberg, a reality TV producer on Everlasting, a popular Bachelor-style dating show. Under orders from executive producer Quinn King (Constance Zimmer), Rachel must manufacture drama on the show — a job that she reluctantly fulfills by manipulating contestants and pitting them against each other. Created by Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, UnReal ran for four seasons on Lifetime and Hulu, winning two Critics' Choice Television Awards in the process.

"A savvy, acerbic look at how the reality-TV sausage gets made, with all its inherent manipulation, and collateral damage be damned." — Brian Lowry, Variety


'FBoy Island'


FBoy Island 

Metascore: 67
Best for: Fans of self-aware reality dating shows
Where to watch:

, , iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 2

Most seasons of The Bachelor franchise feature at least one contestant who isn't there for the "right reasons," meaning that they're on the show for fame or money rather than true love (a huge no-no in the Bachelor universe). FBoy Island, on the other hand, flips that premise on its head. The HBO Max series, which was created by Bachelor producer Elan Gale, intentionally includes participants who are in it for a cash prize (they're known as "FBoys"), alongside men in search of a romantic connection (called "Nice Guys") — all of whom compete to win over three single women. 

"A fascinating anthropological document of what dating in the 2020s is like for a very specific demographic tranche." — Tara Ariano, Vanity Fair


'The Real World'


The Real World 

Metascore: 66
Best for: Fans of classic reality TV shows that aren't afraid to tackle serious issues
Where to watch:

, , iTunes, Paramount+, Vudu
Seasons: 33 (so far)

MTV's The Real World isn't a dating show (although there is the occasional romance), but like The Bachelor, it is a pioneering series within the reality TV genre. The show, which premiered in 1992, follows a group of young strangers who relocate to a new city and move into a house together. In the process, they must learn how to live, work, and socialize with one another — while having it all filmed. The first season took place in New York, with later locations including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, London, Paris, and Cancun.

"If not terribly revelatory about the youthful human condition, the series is better, and certainly more addictive, than it sounds." — Chris Willman, Los Angeles Times


'Dancing With the Stars'


Dancing with the Stars 

Metascore: 64 
Best for: Fans of family-friendly dance competition shows
Where to watch:

Seasons: 31 (so far)

If you like keeping up with the contestants from The Bachelor franchise, then you might enjoy Dancing with the Stars, another (former) ABC reality TV competition. Based on the U.K.'s Strictly Come Dancing, the series pairs celebrities with professional dancers, and together, each duo must perform a themed routine to earn points with judges and votes from at-home audiences. Several Bachelor alumni have appeared on Dancing with the Stars, including Hannah Brown, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Nick Viall, and Sean Lowe, with Brown and Bristowe winning their respective seasons.

"Watching this show is like traveling back in time, to a simpler era, when most of our pop culture was considered foolish and sad." — Heather Havrilesky, Salon


Brennon Lemieux and Alexa Alfia in 'Love Is Blind' Season 3


Love Is Blind 

Metascore: 62
Best for: Fans of experimental reality shows that go deeper than the average dating series
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 3 (so far)

Since 2020, Nick and Vanessa Lachey have hosted Love Is Blind, a reality dating show on Netflix. It revolves around a group of single men and women — all of whom live in the same city — as they look for their future spouse. The catch? Participants can't see each other in person until they get engaged. But before that happens, they can talk to one another from individual "pods" and build a solid emotional connection before things get physical. Once they're engaged, the couples live together and meet each other's families before tying the knot at the end of the season.

"For fans of the genre, it's a delicious romp with just enough twists to keep you guessing, just enough familiarity to keep you entertained." — Rachelle Hampton, Slate


'Sister Wives'


Sister Wives

Metascore: 62
Best for: Fans of drama-heavy reality shows that focus on family
Where to watch:

, fuboTV, , iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 17 (so far)

Like The Bachelor, Sister Wives focuses on a group of women who all harbor romantic feelings for one man — except, in this case, they're all married to him. The documentary series follows the polygamist Brown family, including husband Kody, his wives (Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn), and their combined 18 children. As you might expect, Sister Wives often has a more serious tone than other reality shows on this list, as it explores the Brown family's unique dynamics, as well as serious topics like infidelity, jealousy, and financial struggles.

"It's the rare reality show that reveals things viewers didn't expect. It even has jokes." — David Hinckley, New York Daily News


'Love Island USA'


Love Island USA 

Metascore: 56
Best for: Fans of spicy summer romances and non-stop drama
Where to watch:

, , iTunes, Netflix, ,
Seasons: 4 (so far)

Like the original British series that came before it, Love Island USA tags along with a crew of sexy singles looking for love in an exotic destination. To stay on the show (and remain in the running for the cash prize), every Islander has to couple up with one of their castmates. If not, they risk getting booted from the island and losing their chance at the money. As the season goes on, many of the contestants choose to explore connections with multiple Islanders, ditching their current partners and coupling up with new ones.

"Frothy, goofy, blunt and cynical." — Melanie McFarland, Salon


'Bachelor Pad'


Bachelor Pad 

Metascore: 50
Best for: Fans of competition-driven reality dating shows
Where to watch:

, , HBO Max, iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 3

Bachelor Pad brings together former contestants from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette to live together and compete for a $250,000 cash prize. In certain ways, the series is similar to reality competition shows like Survivor and Big Brother, as the housemates participate in challenges and nominate each other for elimination. But there's also plenty of Bachelor-style drama and romance, as the contestants get the chance to meet and date others from the franchise. Bachelor Pad was the first Bachelor spin-off, airing on ABC for three seasons before being replaced by Bachelor in Paradise.

"High school without, you know, the learning part." — Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times


'Too Hot to Handle'


Too Hot to Handle

Metascore: 43
Best for: Fans of steamy and scintillating dating shows set in a tropical locale
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 4 (so far)

Hosted by an AI-powered virtual assistant named Lana, Netflix's Too Hot to Handle is a social experiment-style dating show that tests the willpower of its contestants. It centers around a group of flirtatious singles from around the world who head to an idyllic island retreat to compete for a $100,000 grand prize. There's just one problem: any time they engage in sexual conduct, the prize money gets reduced. To make things even spicier, the young men and women are forced to live together and participate in racy workshops that focus on sex, intimacy, and relationship skills.

"A fairly witless excursion, with a batch of characters who seem like they were created in a reality show writers' room." — Kristi Turnquist, The Oregonian


'Sexy Beasts'


Sexy Beasts 

Metascore: 42
Best for: Fans of silly reality dating programs with a unique premise
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 2 (so far)

Narrated by comedian Rob Delaney, Sexy Beasts challenges single folks to look beyond physical appearances and "fall in love with someone based on personality alone." To do this, the show's production team transforms one participant into an animal using elaborate costumes and prosthetic makeup. Once they're unrecognizable, the newly-disguised person sets out on a series of blind dates with other creatures (who are also in costumes). By the end of each episode, the contestant must decide which of their suitors they'd like to take on a second date.

"It's all technically perfect — transforming young and eligible people into zombies, trolls, beavers, and dolphins. But this seamlessness leaves little room for personality." — Daniel D'Addario, Variety