Shedding for the Wedding: Please Pass the Puke Bucket
I don't mind reality shows. I also don't mind weddings; my Grandma used to plan weddings and I have happy memories of helping her with little things while scouring the bridal magazines. I've been known to watch a few bridal reality shows, mainly because Grandma and I could call each other and dish. But Shedding for the Wedding? It's not my bridal shower tea party.
The premise of the CW reality show is that nine couples will compete to win their dream wedding. Along the way they will participate in challenges to win other things. As an example, in the first episode, one couple won their dream dress and tux that they get to keep whether they win the wedding at the end or not. The big challenge each week, as you might guess, is to see which couple loses the most combined weight. The two couples with the lowest percentage of weight loss then compete in a final challenge -- named "til death do us part" -- to see who gets the boot.
(See also: This video.)
Sound familiar? It does have some slight differences from The Biggest Loser, mainly in the challenge boot versus popular vote boot. But yes, it's basically a niche version of the original lose-lotsa-weight-in-front-of-America's-prying-eyes show.
The differences try to make it interesting. As an example, it didn't take long for the Bridezilla attitudes to come out, when they began dissing on each others' wedding themes. So one girl wants a monogrammed beer pong table. And another wants a gamer wedding. So? Really, it's perfect casting in that it will create drama as each of the couples have vastly different ideas for their dream wedding. I'm sure the series will have more, "I'm more deserving of a dream wedding because I like fancy pants centerpieces," and, "Your marriage is going to fail because you don't care enough about your wedding" malarkey.
The fact that they had them pick wedding dresses at the very beginning made me sad. These women were breaking down into tears because the dresses didn't fit. It was supposed to provide motivation. "I don't feel good about myself," one bride-to-be said as she stood in front of the mirrors -- and cameras. I wanted to hold each of those women in my arms and tell them that they were more than their mirror image, more than a puffy white dress. More over, their marriage is more than the perfect dress.
Unlike other wedding shows, this one attempts to bring the men into the fold as well as they are also working to lose the weight. However, the women got a bunch of screen time while picking their dresses. The men had a brief scene in which one guy was bummed that he had to get a larger sized tux.
The show sped by, an hour to The Biggest Loser's sometimes two hours. Even when The Biggest Loser is one hour, they do a much better job at keeping the workouts the focus of the show. There was no real focus on the workouts in Shedding for the Wedding. Viewers weren't treated to any tips on how to jumpstart weight loss, find and keep motivation or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Instead we were made to believe that working out so hard that you vomit is okay. (It's not.) The trainers were dull, trying too hard to be Bob and Jillian but not quite making it. It really played out as long commercial for Jenny Craig (one of which I saw as I fast-forwarded through breaks) with new spokeswoman Sarah Rue hosting -- in really, really short skirts.
I followed some tweets during the show. It got mixed results, as I expected it to.