In 10 Words or Less
More of the bridal bitches
Dislikes: Crazy women
Hates: Wedding madness
The Story So Far...
"Bridezillas" started as a documentary series on the New York regional cable network MetroTV, showing how brides from New York City lose their minds while planning their weddings. When the network was shut down, the series made the move to sister network WE, the Women's Entertainment network. The first season is being released on DVD at the same time as this set. DVDTalk has a review of the first season here.
The first season of "Bridezillas" laid out the madness of the NYC brides in a matter-of-fact manner, punctuating the insanity with low-key narration. But with the move from the NY-centric MetroTV to WE, the series broadened its scope, going national. The appeal certainly was expanded, and the range of wedding styles help give the show some new life. It's been said that New York weddings are bigger and crazier than any other, so to see some different approaches is appreciated. What's not appreciated is the other ways the show changed.
The narration, which was quiet and pointed in its criticisms in the MetroTV version, has been replaced with the bubbly voice of a woman who is amused with the antics of these bridal psychopaths. The change affects the tone of the entire series, making the series less entertaining, and more like every other E!/Lifetime show. For anyone annoyed by the bridezillas, you no longer have the show on your side, as the series makes it feel like its excusing the brides' behavior as reasonable or even expected. Thus, you don't get those moments of schadenfreude, as the subjects are portrayed as targets for sympathy instead of laughter.
Though the move to WE resulted in decrease in the show's sense of humor, the series did improve in other ways. One of the major ways is the format. Whereas the first season stretched some of the brides' stories over the entire eight episodes, a bride gets an average of three appearances this time around. Episodes two through eight introduce a new bride each time, and wrap up the story of another. By doing this, the show remains fresh, moving out brides who are either less interesting or more annoying.
Another big change is the way the show is put together, with more of a graphic-intensive presentation. These additions show the timeframe of the scene and the cost of various elements, like dresses and decorations. These graphics, along with "Factzilla" screens showing wedding trivia and traditions, are a nice addition to the show, giving it another layer of info-tainment.
The brides in this run come from a variety of types, from Thuy, a Vietnamese girl marrying a Korean guy, to Antonella, a Chicago guidette marrying her mirror image, to Magdalena, a modeling agent whose life is all about perfection. It's a good mix of subjects, each with her own problems, though they are much more intense than the ladies profiled in the first season, and they wear the title of "bridezilla" like a badge of honor instead of an insult.
The winner of the bunch is Adrianna, a trashy 19-year-old bride who looks like a Britney Spears (circa child number two) wannabe. After getting engaged on her fourth date, she set a date three weeks later and set up a marathon of tearful fits and stupidity. A drama queen from start to finish, she is as big a mess as you'll see on this series. The only woman who even comes close to Gretchen, who brings a lethal combination of a filthy mouth and a short temper to the table, producing a legendary verbal assault on an unsuspecting car-rental worker.
The package is amost identical to the first-season release, with a two-disc set, which is packaged in a standard-width keepcase with a second tray. The discs, which hold the eight 42-minute second-season episodes, have static full-frame main menus, with options to play all episodes, select individual shows and check out special features. There are no audio options, and though the box lists English subtitles and closed captioning, the subtitles weren't there to be found.
The full-frame video on these DVDs is better than it was on the previous set, looking like a better than average basic-cable documentary series. The image is pretty good overall, with a solid level of detail and very nice color, though it can get a bit soft in places and the lighting is at the mercy of the settings. The only real downside, an expected one, is that interior and evening scenes suffer from added grain.
The audio is presented as a Dolby Digital 2.0 track with quality dialogue that's primarily center channel. The mix is a bit more powerful than the previous season's, but isn't any more dynamic or aggressive.
Most of the extras are basically the same as the ones on the first-season DVDs, with the 1:30 "Real Brides Cake Dive Event," where 20 brides scramble through a giant wedding cake in the middle of Times Square in New York, and a pair of promo spots for the upcoming third season of "Bridezillas" and WE TV. This set does add 15 minutes of additional scenes, which are inconsequential, but at least they added something new.
The Bottom Line
In moving from the gender-neutral MetroTV to the womyn-first WE TV, the series underwent a bit of a change, and no longer has the same enjoyable point of view. Instead, the show seems to side with the bridezillas, something the first season episodes would never do. As a result, the show has lost a bit of its zing, and much of the reason for watching. It still has its status in documenting the downward slide of civilization, but it's making excuses for bitches instead of spotlighting freaks. The DVD set is essentially the same as the previous season, which makes for a decent, but not impressive collection, one that will draw only a rental from most viewers.