I am not—by any stretch of the imagination—a fan of reality television. I’m sorry, Ryan.
CBS’s Survivor? Ugh. FOX’s American Idol? Bleck. ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor/Bachelorette? Double—make that triple—gag. CW’s America’s Next Top Model? Ick. MTV’s Jersey Shore? Come on, now. Talk about mindless—heavy emphasis on “less”—entertainment. I’d be OK if (a) I could pass a celebrity rag in the grocery store without wondering who the heck is on the cover and (b) if it took someone more than 5 seconds of saying/doing something really dumb to be considered a celebrity.
Come on, America. Have some pride in choosing your celebrities!
Anyway, while I’m not a fan of reality TV, I confess that I do watch TLC’s Say Yes To The Dress (SYTTD), which, technically, falls under pseudo reality television. Sigh. Gone are the days of TLC’s The Baby Story, The Dating Story, The Wedding Story, The Makeover Story, etc. They’ve been replaced or surpassed with SYTTD, Police Women of Memphis, LA Ink, The Little Couple, Cake Boss and every show about multiples imaginable—18 19 Kids and Counting, Jon and Kate Plus 8, etc.
Sigh. I miss the good ol’ days. And, I miss learning.
If you’re not already aware, SYTTD showcases Kleinfeld Bridal in NYC, “the world’s premier bridal salon” (so says TLC’s website) and explores the inner workings of the salon, the hurdles staff members face in attempting to find a dream dress for each client and, most importantly, the bizarre relationships had between women searching for their dresses and the entourages they bring with them “to help.”
For the record, I don’t care how much you want your mom/best friend/future mother-in-law to be involved in your big day; if your mom/best friend/future mother-in-law hates your sense of style (and, possibly, you), you may want to rethink having her help you select the perfect dress for your perfect day.
Oh, but that’s what makes this reality show tick. Forget the gorgeous gowns. This show is all about relationships and their quirks.
Consider the bride who brings her twin sister who hates everything about her sister. Or, the bride who brings her mom who hates shopping and can’t fathom spending more than $20 on a dress that will be worn once. Or, the bride who brings her five best friends, her mom, her dad, her brother, her mother-in-law, her godmother and her beloved aunt, all of whom have VERY strong opinions that do not mirror the bride’s. How about the bride who brings her fiancé’s children, ages 6 and 8, and wants them to help select the dress. Oh wait, the two children hate everything about every dress the bride tries on.
Why is there never a bride who brings one or two or three friends/family members who understand her fashion taste? Why do none of the brides have mothers who recognize the bride’s wedding day as the bride’s day? Because, those brides are boring. And, apparently, not normal. Successful reality shows call for conflict and quirks and relationships. Preferably conflicting, quirky relationships. Because, that’s what keeps the viewer coming back for more. And, SYTTD has its fill of conflicting, quirky relationships. In fact, the conflict and quirks typically escalate and become more and more ridiculous. As do the brides’ budgets.
How can you not like a show about women who are willing to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on their wedding dress? Two days ago, I watched an episode where a bride couldn’t find anything to suit her tastes within her $5,000 budget. So, her father agreed to sell his motorcycle and upped the ante to $11,000. And, just like that, she found a dress. Amazing! Or, how about the episode where a young Greek woman fell in love with a couture gown priced at $27,000. $27,000.
$27,000! For $27,000 that dress had better do tricks and provide a roof over her head. Not to mention food on her table. Talk about a show that resonates with viewers and the current economy.
And, how does one even start that conversation? “Hey, honey, I was just wondering. Would you be OK if I spent the down payment for our house or savings for our next car(s) on my wedding dress? You are? Fabulous!” Granted, that particular woman’s father bought her dress. But, seriously. “Hey, Dad. Can I have $27,000? Please? Pretty please?”
I can’t help but watch the show and ask/say out loud “What? Are you kidding me? Does her mom even know her? That’s the ugliest dress ever. Why would she like that? Who spends that amount of money on a gown?” Husband laughs, because he knows how I feel about reality shows. But, he also knows I’m a sucker for all things wedding-related.
Which is why I watch SYTTD. And, as of recent, Say Yes To The Dress: Atlanta.
Bring on the conflicting, quirky relationships and loose purse strings. Oh, and the fabulous gowns. Because, that’s why I really watch. To see the fabulous gowns.