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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Once you hit middle age, the milestones start piling up: your first kid out of the army, your second going in, your first kid coming back to live at home, you rediscovering what it means to never be alone.
Yes, milestones are a wonderful thing for a family, but one we see down life's highway has us particularly worried: planning a wedding - a trauma underscored by a look at YES Plus's Bridezillas.
We were lucky. Having gotten engaged here some 25 years ago, we sent the bride-to-be on ahead, arriving at Wedding Central only a week before the big event. Sure there was a flash of color-combination decisions on napkins and the like, but we persevered and made it to the altar still relatively calm, even after one of our ushers lost his tux shirt the morning of the ceremony.
Not on Bridezillas, where beautiful brides turn into fire-breathing monsters. The basic premise of the reality show is a visit with a bride-to-be and her family beginning about a month before the big event. The meltdown develops as we watch.
The episode we saw featured Bitch on Wheels Christina, a Latin spitfire marrying the very laid back, good ol' former Marine Rob. Christina at least was up front as we met her and her mom about a month before the wedding.
"I want 110% attention on me," she explained to the camera. But as the show's entertaining narrator noted: "Her domineering mother has a different plan in mind." Says Mama Julie of her plan to walk into the reception wearing the sexiest outfit she can find: "I'm going to walk in and everyone's going to say: 'Wooooo, look at Julie!'"
Yes, it's a train wreck just waiting to happen, and we're along for the ride. As the narrator intones, WWE-style, "In this corner: She's the overbearing, totally controlling Momzilla from Hell. And in this corner - she's overstressed, an emotional mess, Bridezilla!"
With both women totally out of control, it takes Christina's sister, who's taking endless abuse from her sibling, to call it like it is: "She's more of a beast than ever."
"Round 1 begins with the seating chart," explains the narrator with a devilish grin, as befits a program with a graphic depicting fire and a pitchfork as each segment begins. Noting that they're two tables over thanks to Mom's inviting practically all her work friends, Mom and Christina discuss how to cut back, leading the mother of the bride to ask: "Why do you think it's your wedding?"
It's no wonder Christina is a mess, but that's no reason to tell her sister at the local nail salon: "Your feet are ugly - they're like Flintstone feet." Oooh. Good thing she can't see Mom trying on an orange, low-cut, high-slit dress.
Her sister's hyperventilating. The big moment's moments away when... Christina discovers she's forgotten Rob's ring at home. But the totally calm groom simply sends a friend to retrieve a temporary replacement from his car. Crying all the way to the altar, Christina triumphs in the end, even over Mom, who decides not to change dresses at the reception after all, but ruminates later: "Christina took my thunder because she cried all the way down the aisle..."
Yes, folks, weddings aren't pretty, and Bridezillas lets you see all the warts. It also provides periodic Factzillas, like "it is estimated that only 1% of brides do the proposing." Most episodes include two brides-to-be, the other here being Kalist, a young black woman described as a "fire-breathing, ass-kicking, name-taking, out of control Bridezilla." OK, you've been warned. And true to form, there's Kalist, who proposed to her fianc Diandre, explaining that when it comes to planning her wedding, "I RUN THIS SHOW! I RUN THIS SHOW!"
The focus here is almost totally on discord, because hey - that's where the fun is. But there are genuinely sweet moments as well, although it's absolutely shocking to see the expense to which some couples are going. Truth be told, 25 years later, we can't remember the names of 60% of the guests at our wedding.
Bridezillas makes you cringe, wondering why such people are allowed to marry, let alone procreate, as our oldest and closest to this milestone stated while watching the show. Uh huh. Our advice to prospective mothers and fathers of the bride: Watch this show to see just what not to argue about when your daughter's most important day looms.
And to Christina and Kalist: Mazal tov!
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