Try as they might, four women can’t all have the best wedding ever. So “Four Weddings” pits some pugnacious brides against each other in a challenge to have the perfect wedding day — or at least more perfect than anyone else.

“Four Weddings”

Fridays at 10 p.m.
TLC

A show based on four women competing for the best wedding is pretty much guaranteed to be uncomfortable to watch. The gaggle of women attend each other’s weddings in clumps, and give rankings afterward regarding one another’s venue, food, dress, general experience and originality. The grand prize is a vacation on an unknown exotic island.

The participants always have something negative to say. They snort at the construction of the programs or complain they didn’t have time to try all the desserts they wanted to. In the premiere, one woman described the wedding hotel as looking like a flying saucer. The Hindi woman who wanted a traditional Indian wedding received a lot of snide “What is that?” comments about the food, as well as criticism for the traditional nature of her vows.

But the Indian wedding was not the only one to get flack for its religious practices. The whining posse of predictably pissy prima donnas popped up again at the Catholic woman’s wedding to complain about all of the “getting up, sitting down, getting up” at a traditional Catholic service. Those poor little creatures had to exercise their calves on account of someone else’s beliefs. How they survived the experience is a question viewers are undoubtedly still dying to discover. Even when the competitors were forced to admit something was well done, it was always with a sheen of bitterness and an expression only a facial twitch away from a glare.

The name “Four Weddings” could be a reference to Hugh Grant’s (“Love Actually”) romantic comedy “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” which follows Grant’s character Charles as he attends wedding after wedding, bemoaning his inability to commit to a woman. Sadly, the TV show doesn’t live up to its namesake’s success, though there are moments when the voices of the competitors fade to the background and the weddings themselves become somewhat appealing to watch.

Take the instance when the clergyman at one wedding fails to show up on time, but a member of the bridal party swoops in and reveals himself as a priest. Moments such as these are mildly entertaining, and add to the beauty of the actual weddings.

If there’s one redeeming quality to “Four Weddings,” it’s that the show at least offers a kind of poetic justice. For once in reality TV, the least bitchy woman wins. Not the woman who gave up her honeymoon cash for a more expensive wedding, and not the woman who shrilly announced in a side interview that she wouldn’t have done anything differently after losing the competition. No, instead it’s the slightly overweight, motorcycle-riding woman who announced at the outset she wasn’t into mushy heart-shaped cakes. She was also the only individual to ask the rest of the women if they were nervous as they waited for the results of the competition, only to receive two “no”s and a “sorta.” Hubris doesn’t win out in the end, and that is, without question, a relief.

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