Monday, October 29, 2012
Brides Of Beverly Hills Is Back
I've got to get over my strange fascination with Storage Wars and Pawn Stars.
My bizarre need for some Reality TV in my viewing life needs a fix, I'm telling you.
And I think I've found the answer with the second season of Brides Of Beverly Hills.
Would you be surprised to learn it's from a Canadian company, Planetworks Inc. , which has been around since 2003 and makes Arresting Design, Style By Jury and Chef Off.
Look, I know there are a whole lot of bridal shows out there. I've had to review them all but Brides Of Beverly Hills is different --it has its own fun sense of style.
Part of the reason is Renee Strauss who owns the boutique --in Episode One she vacates her salon of 30 years which was becoming dated and movies to La Cienega and Melrose --is that still Beverly Hills I'm asking.
Strauss knows where to crack the jokes and when to be sympathetic. But the whole show depends on the bizarre roundup of very strange guests.
Episode One features Linda Hogan who is not getting married but wants to try on gowns anyway --there's a back story to all this which I'm not going to reveal here.
The second prospective bride is simply called "Tati" and it's this difference in the two women that makes the show zing. Every moment of her wedding experience is being recorded for posterity by her fiancee who Strauss promptly dubs "Baby James".
The prospective brides in Episode 2 star first of all a Lady Gaga look alike, an Italian named Sabrini and her strange request --she needs an unique dress because she'll ride a camel to her affair and then sprint across the sand.
The look on Strauss's face is wonderful.
And there's a "cougar-in-law" to be dressed --she's 48 and wants to out dazzle her daughter at the wedding.
Episode 3 has the craziest request of all --Carla comes with husband number three and her present, a number four and an octogenarian to boot who is pleasingly described as looking like Clint Eastwood.
Carla sports a red scream wig and enough cosmetics to look like a clown and her segment is simply the best.
And matched with her story there's the saga of Ilnaz whose father wants to spurge $10,000 on a wedding gown.
Here's the big point: her divorced parents who rarely speak are both there staring daggers at each other.
But ilnaz remains calm and poised. It's Strauss who gets the laugh lines.
Produced by Toronto's Romano D'Andrea, Carolyn Meland and Jeff Preyra, Planetworks's Brides Of Beverly Hills just might wean me off Storage Wars for good.
THE PREMIERE OF BRIDES OF BEVERLY HILLS IS ON TLC AND SLICE FRIDAY NOV. 2 AT 9 P.M.
MY RATING: ***.