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Here comes the wedding post

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Here comes the wedding post

After I spent last week ranting about lovelorn romantics on television, this week, I thought about another of my favourite television staples: the big wedding. Oh what fresh hell is this one going to bring? Ruined gown, groom getting cold feet, father of the bride drunk and boisterous? Television’s approach to weddings is usually pretty damn predictable, whether it’s Full House where Jessie lands in jail or Carrie from Sex and the City who puts a bird on her head only to be abandoned at the alter. But there are some, of course, that make me cock my head to one side and go “Aww, I also want.”

This week, I watched a lot of wedding scenes, some because they restore my faith in love and unicorns and some because they remind me of a car crash where I just can’t stop looking.

My viewing started off with one of my favourites; Lily and Marshall on How I met your mother. What makes this wedding so utterly believable is that I can totally imagine this happening to me. Getting carried away by the grandeur of that perfect wedding and then just going for an ‘intimate outdoor wedding; just close friends and an acoustic guitar’. In the follow up to the big day, they make a list of wedding clichés to avoid (slideshow of pictures set to Green Day’s Time of your life, Conga line, the Corinthians) and decide to spend nights away and fail, which of course introduces us to the super cute Night night Lily. Everything goes wrong, Marshall shaves his head, the harpist goes into labour but true love and champagne trumps everything.

The next one is the real life wedding on Keeping up with the Kardashians. There is a perverse joy in watching this episode because listening to them talk about how much they love each other makes me giggle and scream “72 days you guys!” at the TV screen. You just have to register the epic size of this wedding (and Kim’s chest in that wedding gown!) and it’s easy to see why preparations make the bride insane. I mean more insane than usual, of course. Our diva turns so super controlling that Kris starts feeling left out and has to remind himself that he IS on a show where the spotlight will always be on her. It always amazes me that weddings are a license for women to go nuts and men are supposed to be the cool ones. They don’t care about the details; the most they can do is show up. I call bullshit.

Next up; Turk and Carla from Scrubs. The wedding that gets delayed because the groom is stuck in surgery which he opted for so he could get two extra days off for his honeymoon. Though the wedding episode was funny, the dress rehearsal was where it all went down. Turk can’t seem to write his vows and ends up reading the speech from when Harry met Sally (Carla’s evil brother tricks him into it). He saves the day, of course by delivering a beautiful love speech in the end, JD tells Elliot he doesn’t love her any more and all hell breaks loose. Of course, the highlight of the episode (apart from all the love and Kelso calling him Turk Turkelton) is Scott Foley’s entrance.

Of all the things to go wrong and turn your wedding into the most awkward one, nothing beats Margaret Sterling’s wedding in Mad Men. It is absolutely the worst thing for a wedding to be cancelled after all that preparation (like Phoebe and Mike’s almost does in Friends) but to go ahead with it on the day President John F. Kennedy is assassinated? Terrible, terrible move, Margaret. Your dad’s new young wife getting wobble-on-your-high-heels-drunk at the wedding is just a speck of the awfully embarrassing things to happen to you on that day.

I am not the biggest fan of Monica or Courtney Cox but I have such immense love for Matthew Perry and his character Chandler on Friends, that I have watched this wedding episode more times than any couple has had to change their seating arrangements. Predictably of course, Chandler takes off, Rachel lets everyone believe Monica is the one pregnant and Joey shows up late to officiate. I always hope that if this happens to any of my friends, I’d be able to lie better than Rachel’s “ooops, I’ve fallen down” delaying tactic. Of course, they do end up married and in a super follow up episode Chandler loses all the pictures and creates new one’s at a stranger’s wedding. A classic wedding episode, if there ever was one.

The best wedding episode I have seen on television so far, is April and Andy’s on Parks and Rec. A party-turned-wedding with absolutely no thought whatsoever (“I can’t emphasize how little we thought about this.”), this wedding is part hilarious and part super-duper-makes-you-want-to-dance cute. Andy makes everyone his best man and the soundtrack is Simon and Garfunkel. Andy’s speech is beautiful (April you are the most awesome person I have ever known in my entire life. I vow to protect you. From danger. And I don’t care if I have to fight an ultimate fighter, or a bear, or him. Your mom. I would take them down. I’m getting mad right now even telling you) and April is unabashedly sentimental (I guess I kinda hate most things. But I never really seemed to hate you.” So I wanna spend the rest of my life with you, is that cool?). There are dead pigeons, a creepy goth wedding guest that everyone avoids and Jean Ralphio. April’s sister gives an emotional speech, which ends with “Has anyone seen my grey hoodie?” Everything about this episode is so unexpected and not dramatic like you would expect a wedding episode to be; it stays true to the characters and it is the most sweetest and coolest wedding.

An ode to bad TV

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An ode to bad TV

There are days when I question everything, berate myself for every bad decision and wonder despairingly where my life is going. Then I realise, wait a second, I’ve never pretended to be in love for money, fought a crocodile and spent millions on a marriage that lasted 72 days. I’m also fairly certain there isn’t a sex tape of me doing the rounds. So far, so good.

Television can be such a cesspool of the lowest, downright disgusting form of entertainment that I find myself hooked in spite of myself. I watch them all, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Teen Mom, 90210, the whole shebang. No matter how late I am, I try and catch the morning telecast of Kourtney and Khloe take Miami. Seeing Kourntney pregnant with her cheating boyfriend’s baby and watching Khloe’s drunken antics makes me feel so much better about everything I do. I made a story out of press release today? Hey, at least I didn’t make out with my sister’s classmate’s best friend’s boyfriend, twice removed.

When a woman appears on the Jerry Springer show, I place bets on what’s going to come off, those clothes or that wig. (Hint: It’s usually both). The Springer show has marvels like scrawny boys who get beaten up by their 1000-pound girlfriends and midget strippers with purple fur shorts. That’s some wholesome entertainment, right there.

No, I don’t just stick to the English trash, and yes, I did watch Bigg Boss. Hell, I even watched Khan Sisters. I pitied them as they tried to match up to the scandals of the Kardashian sisters and failed and I pitied myself because my box of Hide & Seek Milanos was over.

Reality TV in India manages to combine the perfect amount of drama, ridiculousness and cleavage to make for great TV. I laughed as Rakhi Sawant pretended to seek true love on her Swavayamvar and I made great jokes watching her attempt to raise a baby with her ‘fiancé’ Elesh.  But not once did I let go of the remote. Nope.

On to MTV’s best fare Roadies and Splitsvilla. There you go getting all judgemental. Let me just say this loud and clear. The first few seasons were highly entertaining. The Roadies are like our version of the Hunger Games except that every district is Chandigarh.  You all watched Palak fake fainting, right? And Bani losing her mind? You guys saw Sakshi and Joanna have a dance off, twice (once in slow motion), right? No? Ok, just me then.

I loved these shows. The fights, that moment when Nikhil Chinappa would announce gravely, “There is going to be a task today,” and all the contestants would look shocked. Almost like they had completely forgotten the format of the show. I lusted after the over dramatic vote-outs with the light from a blazing fire in the background, reflecting off Ranvijay’s many ornaments.  I watched with pride as all the contestants then moved on to being ‘tempters’ on Emotional Atyachar.

Bad reality TV is the perfect escape. You know it’s of no use to you but you watch it anyway. Like cat videos on the Internet, except imagine the cat’s purrs being beeped out.

Indian soaps are a whole different game. They are extremely unpredictable and I’m assuming written while on crack. If you look at the current lot on TV, it’s infuriating but extremely entertaining. A show called Kya hua tera vada has the hero leave his nice, homely wife for his smart and sexy boss. But soon enough, it dawns on him that she can never be the kind of wife he’s used to. You see, as a careerwoman, she has a very specific set of skills that do not include making tea, ironing clothes or raising children. Yep, none of those women who work all day, take a crowded train, make dinner and watch this show are offended. Another show, Na bole tum, na maine kuch kahaan (which I happen to like, by the way) has the hero falling in love with a widow. And I know this because every time he sees her, which is about 18 times in a twenty-minute show, the screen freezes. A romantic song plays in the background (dhire na, dhire na nananaaaaaaaaaaa) and he gazes at her with the love-light in his eyes as she slowly chops bhindi and holds her pallu in place while strands of hair fly around her face.

Bad TV has no boundaries. You can laugh at the characters, you can scoff at the story, but it requires exactly 0.000012% of your brain, and sometimes that’s all that’s available.  Bad TV, makes me appreciate my humdrum life. People’s awful choices make me feel ok about mine. And the clincher, Bad T.V gave us Ayushmann Khurrana.

P.s – Notice how I didn’t mention Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar’s kissing scene? Does nobody remember the show, Hubahu? That was the first Hindi show I saw that had a kissing scene. Way before Bade acche lagte hain.

– Sharanya

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