Bridezillas - Season 1
The Weinstein Company // Unrated // $29.99 // July 11, 2006
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted June 28, 2006
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
The Movie:

I can't claim to completely understand the phenomenon of "Bridezillas" (women who undergo a major personality change for the worse during the planning of their wedding.) Instances of "Bridezillas" have become so widespread apparently, that the WE decided to devote a series to following a series of women who suddenly turn into divas prior to their wedding.

I'm not intending to come off as being sexist or demeaning in this review. I realize that most women aren't like the women portrayed in this series. There's also a difference between someone who rightly points out that something or someone they are paying for their wedding isn't right and someone who puts the concept of "their" wedding day above all else - including the feelings of people who they know and love. In the cases seen here, it often seems to be more about making as big a party as possible and not a celebration of the actual wedding event.

All that said, "Bridezillas" shows a dismaying amount of bad behavior and a lot of people surprisingly willing to put up with it. While editing no doubt plays a role in creating some of these situations, a lot of moments here are what they are, as the women do not take anyone else's (including their future husbands', one of whom admits that he simply gave up on trying to offer any ideas or participation after his ideas are all shot down) feelings into account in their attempt for wedding day perfection.

As for the incidents, they are startling at times, especially one moment in the second episode where a bride starts an argument with her husband about how she's going to be spending the night at a $1,400-a-night suite at the W Hotel while she plans and he stays home. He says she can stay at the house while he stays at a $75-a-night hotel room. Nope, she says. The whole discussion ends with her wondering (out loud to him) why she's even going through with it: "Most of these appointments I've gone out for, I was like, I hate him...what am I doing? I don't even need to buy a dress - I don't even like him." Strangely, the show doesn't really offer his reaction to a comment that most people would find pretty devastating.

"Me me me"-ness runs throughout the episodes, as the special day seems to be all-important, with one couple talking about how it was either buying a house or their wedding. The husband talks about this decision and writing the biggest check he's ever written with a smile on his face and genuine sadness in his eyes. You can tell he'd have rather had the home long-term than a day of exceptional expense. There's bizarre moments, as well, including a videographer flown in from Paris (apparently there were no videographers in the US?) who misses guests coming in because he seems more concerned with talking to the documentary crew.

"Bridezillas" never really stops very long to analyze what causes these incidents, but some ideas are certainly offered (stress, stress of balancing professional life with planning, life-long expectations of the perfect wedding day they've always imagined, being just plain spoiled or self-centered, relationship issues to begin with, etc.) The result is a series that works as "train wreck television", yet is presented in a way that's surprisingly subdued for this sort of thing (not at all what I'd expected), which actually ends up giving some scenes a bit more impact than they would have had otherwise. Also, I was surprised at how the show wasn't constantly jumping around between the different couples, instead spending some time with each before moving to another of the main couples.

Additionally, the fact that the show actually also spends a lot of time with the planners (some of whom are as bad as the Bridezillas, while some of whom seem tired of dealing with their clients) and other staff also gives the viewer an interesting look at aspects of the industry. It has its ups and downs, but "Bridezillas" wasn't exactly what I expected: it's not as over-the-top as I'd expected from reality fare and one can spend a day trying to figure out what brought some of these couples together, as some of them seem like they'd rather be anywhere but with their significant others.

The DVD

VIDEO: "Bridezillas" is presented by Genius Home Entertainment/Weinstein Company in 1.33:1 full-frame. The series was obviously filmed on-the-go with a fairly minimal budget, but it still looked good here. Sharpness and detail were a bit mixed: some brighter outdoor scenes looked fairly crisp, but some indoor scenes were a little lacking in detail. However, I'm guessing that this is how the show has always looked, and it still remains quite watchable.

Aside from a couple of light instances of shimmer and a few minor instances of artifacting, the picture looked clean and clear. Colors appeared natural and looked quite fine, with no smearing or other issues.

SOUND: The show's stereo soundtrack sounded perfectly fine, with clear dialogue and background sound.

EXTRAS: Sneak peek at Season 3, "Real Brides Cake Dive Event" feature and WE "Have More Fun" spot.

Final Thoughts: It's "train wreck" reality TV, but it's curiously not as in-your-face as I'd expected, which actually worked in its favor. The DVD edition provides fine audio/video and a couple of minor extras. Recommended for fans of the series or fans of reality TV in general.


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