Maybe it’s the only show on at 3 a.m. that isn’t an infomercial. Maybe it’s what the TV is set to at the gym. Maybe you’re just bored and it kinda looks good to you. There are a lot of reasons to watch shows you’d never otherwise watch. You call it random. We call it Spin the Remote.
Given the amount of wedding-themed programming on basic cable (if you include cake designs in the total, it may be close to 80 percent. Kidding. Sort of), it’s no surprise that someone had the bright idea to turn the most important day of a couple’s life (well, most important according to the wedding industry) into a money grubbing, backstabbing competition. Yay! Because when I think wedding, I think hateful women judging one another!
On TLC’s “Four Weddings
,” the premise is simple. Four random women are brought together, make nice, attend one another’s weddings, then say crappy things about them behind one another’s backs. Oh, and they give one another scores for their dresses, their food, their entertainment and the like. The winner gets an all expenses paid honeymoon. The losers must live with the shame of knowing their ceremonies sucked ass and their cakes tasted like stale Twinkies.
Honestly, though, this show is a bridezilla’s worst nightmare. Just imagine planning every detail of your big day for a year or so, only for three complete strangers to waltz in, sniff at your flower arrangements, whisper that you seemed drunk during your ceremony (yes, it happened) and declare that your groom’s cake looked like sugar-coated vomit. It’s like having to invite Martha Stewart to your ceremony, but worse. At least Martha would be far too polite to tell a national audience that the venue you spent five months searching for smelled like cat pee.
While the show really just seems like an excuse to drag cameras into weddings so viewers at home can huff that their own ceremonies were so much better/their dresses didn’t show off their back fat/at least they didn’t serve nachos, ostensibly it’s about winning a prize. But honestly, when a wedding with a $70,000 budgets goes up against one with a $6,000 budget, it’s not exactly fighting fair. I mean, at the $6,000 wedding I saw, they couldn’t afford flowers, the bride wore Converse sneakers and they had a cookie bar. It was more like a Girl Scout meeting than an actual ceremony. Okay, that was my catty bridezilla moment. Moving on.
Still, I guess a show like this was inevitable. While bridal programming of all shapes and sizes seems to have hit a nerve with (presumably female) viewers, this particular show has tapped into the ugly undercurrent of competitiveness that makes a bride a bridezilla. We (women, that is) usually work so hard and so long on this Most Important Day Ever, we have to believe that it’s not only the best we can do, it’s the Best Wedding Ever Created in the History of the World. I mean, come on. The dress alone is probably more expensive than our first car. And the only way to ensure that said ceremony is The Best Ever is to scrutinize other weddings and sigh with relief that we didn’t have a bridal party that was attacked by fire ants, gnats and possibly the buzzing locusts of the Apocalypse like some other poor couple’s.
But the truth is, as long as you get married during the proceedings, whatever you do is probably a pretty successful wedding. Even if your caterer had a nervous breakdown and you had to order KFC for 100 people, your dress was accidentally died neon green at the dry cleaners and your adorable ring bearer threw up on your rose-petaled aisle, it got the job done. Shows like this one just reinforce the age-old stereotype of women as snippy combatants and of weddings as our (very well-dressed) battlegrounds. And it shouldn’t be about competition, should it? Because really, we should just save that for who has the biggest rock in their engagement ring. Kidding.