“Shedding for the Wedding” has everything it takes to become the tackiest show on TV. In the premiere of this new weight-loss/wedding reality show hybrid, nine couples compete to win their dream wedding. Each pair has a different party theme in mind, ranging from “beach romance” to “football.” One memorable couple decides on a “Greek week” wedding, complete with a monogrammed beer pong table to keep it “classy.”
Shedding for the Wedding
Wednesdays at 9 p.m.
Host Sara Rue, of recent Weight Watchers fame, guides the couples through each workout and challenge. The first workout introduces the audience to the two trainers: Nicky Holender, a former professional soccer player and trainer of “elite” celebrities like former Hefner girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson, and Jennifer Cohen, a personal trainer specializing in group fitness. After the “ass-kicking” workout, designed to “push their buttons and tick them off,” the nine couples are ready to try on their dream wedding dresses and tuxedos.
Things get emotional at the bridal boutique as the women express their anxiety to wedding planner Brian Worley. Watching the brides-to-be try on their future dream dresses is more than a little uncomfortable. The dresses can’t be zipped up and appear to be held together in the back by industrial clamps. Whether intentional or not, it feels as though the show is poking fun at the future brides. Even if the trip was meant to provide the women with a goal, it ultimately (and unnecessarily) reinforces their discomfort, while displaying it for the world.
Later, the couples engage in their first challenge. Each pair must dance continuously, while keeping their combined heart rate above 250. As time progresses, the combined heart rate the couples must maintain continues to increase. During the challenge, there are some unfortunate gagging noises from one couple, and one attempt at doing “the worm” that fails miserably.
At this point, it is crystal clear that “Shedding for the Wedding” is completely ridiculous. Though the desire to become healthier is valid, the only attempt the show makes at addressing healthy habits is to have Ashley Koff, a professional nutritionist, spend five minutes teaching the couples about healthy eating. The rest of the time, the show is merely reinforcing the ideal American body shape as the only way to achieve a sense of completeness. Though each couple is obviously already in a serious relationship, that isn’t enough. They must also literally “fit in” to the biased ideals of American society.
Though the show isn’t as horrifying as others in its league (like “Bridalplasty”), it’s still a problem. Despite what “Shedding for the Wedding” is leading the American viewing public to believe, a wedding isn’t about trying to squeeze into a size two dress. Wedding dresses come in all sizes, just like people do. Trying to be healthy is a noble goal, but these contestants should be doing it for the right reasons.
Despite the negative underlying message, “Shedding for the Wedding” — as a fluff show on a fluff network — delivers some laughs, if only out of disbelief.