The Wedding Bashers: No glitches in this show about hitches

2017-10-01 00:00
 


Johannesburg - Blame decades of SABC3’s Top Billing weddings for the booming interest in local wedding reality shows. Now M-Net has added another wonderful option to the bouquet, in the form of The Wedding Bashers.

Luckily, the answer to the question of whether this show is something I absolutely feel compelled to watch is an unequivocal I do!

It’s difficult to believe that during a time filled with a must-watch list including Our Perfect Wedding, Ons Sprokiesbruilof, Becoming Mrs Jones, Say Yes to the Dress, Married at First Sight SA, Four Weddings SA and everything else in between that there can be another wedding-telly iteration that manages to be original and compelling to watch.

It will be interesting to see if SABC3’s Married in a Flash (starting at the end of this month) can add something new to the mix.

The Wedding Bashers, with the team from Idols – Gavin Wratten and ProVerb as executive producers – is a delightful and utterly delicious wedding aisle gossip show.

There are two factors that make it a must-watch success. First is the wedding basher foursome of Cindy Nell-Roberts, Denise Zimba, Siba Mtongana and Zavion Kotze.

All have big and funny personalities, but they manage not to overshadow one another, which is good.

It would have been both easy and wrong for the focus to shift from the happy couples to the four celebrity wedding guests. Remarkably, the show straddles the fine line perfectly, just like an ideal bridesmaid not stealing the bride’s limelight.

It also achieves a South African television milestone: it’s the first local show in which, when the reality TV personalities speak – in the biz it’s known as an “interview to camera” – the show gets it absolutely right.

When American reality show stars do their “interview to camera”, it’s carefully constructed and edited to anchor, bridge and contextually enrich the story with exposition – and is done in a way to seem naturally snarky and deliver clever zingers.

South African reality TV so far has not quite managed to get this right, but this show absolutely shines.

While party girl Zimba provides actual on-location wedding day spectacle with unpredictable antics, it’s smartly balanced by the wonderful verbal put-downs, puns and observations of Nell-Roberts and Kotze.

Underscored by the fact that they clearly know what they’re talking about as veterans in the entertainment industry, their zippy utterances alone make the show superbly watchable. This is in addition to the incredibly varied and interesting local weddings the group manages to attend.

Instead of a rush job, the production took months to complete – only attending weddings when all four could go. The weddings were carefully selected.

The Wedding Bashers is a unique local show with a compelling new hook far enough removed from others in the genre to make it a real TV wedding date to attend.

Catch The Wedding Bashers Sundays at 17:00 on M-Net (DStv 101).

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