Disney Plus release a British series that manages to poke fun at the traditional romantic comedy without forgoing what we’ve always expected from the genre
It’s becoming increasingly more common that the unmissable series you just have to watch the week it premieres, monopolizes all the media attention which is then coupled with a widespread feeling of letdown and disappointment, with the result that the hype and marketing campaign often far outshines their lifespan on whatever platform they’re released by. Meanwhile, many other shows go entirely unnoticed by the general public simply because they have had the misfortune of being overshadowed by a far bigger budget production or one that has sparked unanimous hype status among the public. But if you keep your eye on all the latest updates to platform catalogs and feeling frisky enough to take a few risks with some of their silent novelties, you’ll discover that many are far more interesting than the week’s hit show. Wedding Season, released without much ado on Disney Plus, is good and recent example of a show that almost no one is watching but which deserves greater attention. Because, although it might not be an entirely well-rounded show that sets out to reinvent the wheel, at least it strives to deliver something different, something to surprise audiences while endeavoring to torpedo a few clichés along the way. And in light of the current outlook, this is no mean feat.
Created by Oliver Lyttelton, who in his previous series, Cheaters, already denoted a certain taste for dynamiting the conventions of the rom-com, Wedding Season begins like so many romantic anthologies of recent decades, with a boy madly in love bursting into the church, interrupting the wedding ceremony at that “…or forever hold your peace” moment, proclaiming his love for the bride. It doesn’t go well. Quickly the plot spirals as we find ourselves inside a police interrogation room as the series begins to show signs that we’re not dealing with just any old conventional love story. It turns out that the boy, Stefan, had first met the girl, Katie, at a friend’s wedding some time ago. He fell in love at first sight and then their relationship became an enigmatic succession of comings and goings. Nothing exceptional if it weren’t for the fact that the police explain why he is being held for questioning: the girl is suspected of poisoning the guests at her wedding. Then, and for a series of circumstances that it would be better not to reveal, Katie reenters Stefan’s life and transforms his existence into a string of persecutions, panic attacks and unexpected plot twists. Wedding Season does have issues around reconciling the numerous tones, and leaps from parody of the traditional romantic comedy to an actual fully fledged rom-com; then, as it appears to slant towards preserving the heritage of vaudeville classics like What’s Up, Doc?, it suddenly and completely overshoots the mark with its airs of a Robert Rodríguez comic strip. But this erratic fluctuation between genres is exactly why it’s such a recommendable series, because at the very least it has no intention of conforming, of being one amongst the many and the journey we embark upon ticks quite a few, if not many boxes that make it a success, including its portrait of the man who falls so deeply in love that he becomes toxic, the razor-sharp dialogues (with several memorable situations at the expense of the collective tendency to want to live a fairy tale) and, above all, the stellar coupling of Rosa Salazar and Gavin Drea, is sufficient justification for watching the series alone. By the way, having seen the finale of this first season, they’d just better have a second one in the pipeline. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more abrupt and delirious conclusion to any modern series in my lifetime.