When a couple’s getting ready for their upcoming nuptials, normally they surround themselves with close friends and family to help plan the big day. But the way Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell’s relationship began was far from anything remotely normal. The couple, who’ve been engaged since the Season 20 finale of “The Bachelor,” are keeping their private lives public by signing on to star in Freeform’s spin-off series, “Ben & Laura: Happily Ever After?”
Why the question mark and not an exclamation point at the end? Probably to keep us guessing whether the season will even end with a wedding. Without a big romantic wedding spectacular, there isn’t much reason to watch Ben and Lauren, one of the dullest couples ever to emerge from Bachelor Nation — something of which producers seem to be keenly aware. To wit, it’s been announced that numerous former “Bachelor” contestants will be making appearances to spice things up.
“Happily Ever After?” will feature The Twins, Emily & Haley and Becca Tilley. And as if it’s not already delightfully awkward enough to have Lauren open her home to the women who were once vying for her fiancé’s heart, former Bachelorette JoJo will also be stopping by with her new fiance, Jordan Rodgers. According to “US Weekly,” they’ll all be going out on a double date to eat sushi and toast their respective happy futures.
We all know reality TV is never quite real — but this situation sounds so forced it’s comical. There’s no way Lauren’s cool just hanging out with the other woman to whom Ben famously said, “I love you,” even if she appears on Instagram to be happily engaged. There’s not one “Bachelor” fan that has forgotten this moment:
Nor has anyone forgotten this subsequent moment:
Ah, so many moments.
But reliving this stuff over and over, forever, is part of the job when you insist on leaving your personal life in the hands of reality producers — we should expect to see JoJo and Jordan at the eventual wedding, and at this point we’d be disappointed not to.
For those wondering why a slew of guest stars are heading to Colorado — who’ve never even met Ben and Lauren — Freeform announced in a press release on Wednesday (Sept. 14) that they’ve been invited to offer “advice on life after the show.” It’s curious what kind of advice newly engaged “Bachelor in Paradise” Season 3 couple Grant and Lace — now known as “Grace” — could possibly offer, considering they’ve been public as a couple for less than three weeks.
Maybe “Happily Ever Awkward” would be a better subtitle for this one, between the constant unwelcome guests and unasked-for advice. Just look at this uncomfortable Instagram selfie of Ben and Grant:
Even more random, Chris Soules and the evil Chad Bear will be joining Ben and Lauren for a camping trip. Chris and Chad don’t know each other, and neither Chris nor Chad has ever met Lauren and Ben before, so why these four would gather to pitch a tent in the forest to roast s’mores together is quite unclear. Could it be to get life advice from Chad, who got so plastered in “Paradise” that Chris Harrison sent him home after one day?
“We survived ‘Bachelor.’ And now it’s time for real life,” Higgins says in the show’s trailer. Well, Bachelor Nation fans, it’s safe to say from that statement alone that the 28 year-old software salesman has yet to even dip a toe into actual real life. He’s not even near the beach at this point.
(For starters: In real life, former reality stars you’ve never met, like Chase McNary and James Taylor, do not simply stop by to play some ball.)
That’s the opposite of “real life.” But sure — why not also have the newest Bachelor, Nick Viall, make an appearance too? Hopefully this will end up being a role reversal scenario, in which Ben is the one doling out sage advice.
With so many random “Bachelor” stars stopping by, we really hope Carly and Evan visit Lauren and Ben. Based on the above guest list, there apparently doesn’t have to be a logical reason of any kind, so we’re crossing fingers for jilted leading man Luke Pell, considering he has nothing else to do.
“Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?” premieres October 11, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform.