‘Something Borrowed,’ good fit for few
TLC series offer a slight twist on the bride-picks-a-gown theme
February 5, 2013
In all of the many reality shows about preparing for weddings — whether they’re about the most beautiful dress, the most extravagant reception or the most psychotic bride — one thing is usually missing: any sense that the most important thing in the whole process is the bond between the bride and the groom. Often the shows lack any real emotional connections at all.
TLC’s new series “Something Borrowed, Something New” somewhat makes up for this lack. In it, a bride-to-be is asked to choose between a wedding dress that has sentimental value and a brand-new one that may be more fashionable.
So the woman has at least some emotional stake in the process. This makes “Something Borrowed, Something New” a slightly fresh variation on the many other gown-shopping shows. But even with the novelty, the show’s appeal will likely be limited to those who already fans of the genre.
In the premiere episode, airing this Friday, Feb. 8, at 10 p.m., a 32-year-old professional opera singer named Maricela, who lives in Austin, Texas, consults the show’s two hosts with her mother, Diana. Diana wants Maricela to get married in Diana’s wedding gown, a subdued pastel dress with an empire waist. Maricela says she wants to be “a classic bride, but with Latina flair.”
One of the hosts, Kelly Nishimoto, a fashion designer, is in charge of making something new out of the something borrowed. She explains what parts of the dress she can use and then proceeds to rip it apart. Making her job harder is the fact that Diana’s dress is a size 2 and Maricela says it’s too small to fit around her thigh, never mind her torso.
Maricela nonetheless thanks her mother for her curves. When Diana puts up her hand for a high-five and Maricela ignores her, Diana says, “Don’t leave me hanging.” Further proof that even older people have learned how to be reality-TV jackasses.
The show’s other host, Sam Saboura, a stylist, has the easier job. He takes Maricela, her mother and her two bridesmaids to a shop, where he has the bride try on three different gowns. The only details Maricela stipulates is that she doesn’t want a strapless dress and she doesn’t want mermaid style. Sure enough, as Sam predicts will happen, she winds up raving about dresses with both.
The three looks are all quite glamorous. We’re prompted to guess which one she’ll pick to go up against Kelly’s creation. The suspense is minimal, but guessing is always fun.
The borrowed dress actually captures the feel of the original despite its nearly complete reconstruction. That is to say it’s a little dowdy. Arguing in favor of the dress is the fact that if Maricela turns it down, she’ll be rejecting not only her mother but also Kelly.
The narrator puts it differently, saying, “Will Maricela’s deep love of family and tradition win over the new vision she’s seen of herself?”
But we’re not talking nail-biting suspense here either. In order to remain involved, viewers will have to bring to the experience some interest in prices, styles and discussions of the relative aesthetic and practical merits of strapped and strapless.
Maricela repeatedly sings lines of dialogue. One hopes the producers encouraged her to do this, because it gets tiresome before the half hour is over. If she does it in real life, it’s surprising she can find two friends to be bridesmaids.
In one pre-commercial-break tease, we see Maricela singing, “Nooooo!” while modeling a gown. The moment turns out to have been taken completely out of context.
The producers needn’t have bothered trying to stir up drama. People who will like “Something Borrowed, Something New” are pre-sold.
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