Email Roundtable #20 – “I Take Thee, Rachel”: Our Favorite TV Weddings

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Our wonderful friends (and blog superstars) Jane and Ivan are getting married. In their honour we attempt to discuss our favorite television weddings. Congrats you crazy kids!

Kerri: This question was really tricky for me because I mostly hate weddings on TV shows (please note that I love weddings in real life because dancing and booze!). They usually serve to end whatever was interesting about a romantic relationship on a show, which is almost always the “getting there” part. There is no more will they/won’t they because the answer is “they will”. The two weddings that somewhat recently happened on Parks and Recreation are exceptions to this rule (see Katie’s post below for more on this). I found them charming and sweet and in keeping with the characters on the show without ruining any of the charm of the characters themselves. Because guess what, I love Leslie Knope without Ben. It’s kinda like that horrible saying about loving yourself before other people can love you. A fully realized character is and should be interesting in or out of a relationship.

I think, however, one of my favorite episodes about a wedding is the “I Married Marge” episode of season 3 of The Simpsons. It’s a lesser episode in the grand scheme of The Simpsons and not one of my favorite episodes of the series as a whole but it serves a very important purpose in the history of the show and an equally important purpose in the history of the characters. Marge and Homer think they might be pregnant again and while at Dr. Hibbert’s office Homer tells the kids the story of how he married their mom. The story goes back to the days when Homer worked at a miniature golf course and was dating Marge. When Marge and Homer find out that they are pregnant (with Bart), Homer decides he needs marry Marge and to get a better job to support a family. He finds a job at the now infamous nuclear power plant. It’s a shotgun wedding for sure with none of the grandeur of a soap opera wedding. There is tension from the family (Patty and Selma do not like Homer and they voice their displeasure and Homer counters with a memorable takedown) but it’s a simple affair. The best part of this episode is how it makes the characters richer and more distinct through back story. Young Homer was even more of a fuck up than the Homer we know but he was always sweet and his heart was in the right place.

Raph: If you’d like to check out a rundown of the best wrestling wedding ever, you can visit my first post. In terms of non-sports entertainment nuptials I have two that immediately come to mind. Coach is a much underrated sitcom. It was a big deal when I was a youngster because it was my mom’s favorite sitcom, despite her not being into football. I wrote words to the instrumental theme song and everything. The Hayden/Christine wedding was great because it was an arc of a whole season, with a wedding happening during sweeps and then just falling short and having to reschedule to the next ratings period. The episode is my favorite  ol’ sitcom staple of the Las Vegas wedding. This wedding was one of the failed ones. They go to a drive through chapel – the car stalls, Coach goes out to push – it starts raining…and of course Luther and Dauber are being chased by casino security which ruins the whole thing. This was in ’93 but the whole thing is very 1930’s screwball stuff.

My favorite reality show wedding was the Heidi/Spencer The Hills matrimonial spectacular. This episode had a lot to accomplish. This was Lauren Conrad’s (LC) last ride. They had to bring in Kristin Cavalari into the LC top spot as anchor of the show. In addition to the wedding stuff. I loved The Hills. It was vapid and phony, but it did have certain elegance to it. The Jersey Shore/Buckwild crew that followed was just a sex and violence onslaught. The Hills had grace. Spencer was LC’s arch enemy. He’s an awful person, not good enough for Heidi – the comely blonde socialite. Everyone knew it but just looked the other way as Heidi loved him. I thought they’d go with LC no-showing the wedding; have her seem petty as she was never to be seen again. But in the final act she comes through, LC and Heidi had a meet. Heidi – looking resplendent in her wedding gown and LC offering friendship. I wept. It was beautiful. I was a Spencer hater too so the wedding itself was more of a tragedy than a celebration in my eyes. A very nice yet perhaps ostentatious church service. The LC and Heidi pre-wedding segment where they discussed previous good times and great memories was the highlight. Its small moments like this that make real weddings as well as real weddings with fake people special.

Katie: Before I talk about my favourite TV wedding ever, I would like to give a holler to the most memorable TV wedding of my teenage years: The Ross and Emily and Rachel debacle from Friends. Ross saying “I take thee, Rachel” was a great moment, no? So awful, but so truthful. I can see that scene clearly in my mind still (maybe because it was so memorable, but maybe because it ran so many times in syndication.)

“What if we got married tomorrow?”
“Fine.”

Now, my favourite TV wedding has to be April and Andy’s from Parks and Recreation. It was surprising (“We’ve been dating for just about a month now.” – Andy) and so full of love (“I hate everything but I never seem to hate you.” – April.) It’s the love thing that gets me. Those two kids just really loved each other and they wanted to share their love with all their friends with a fun, fancy party. The wedding is lovely, but the episode as a whole is one of Parks’ best. It deftly handles the wedding, but also advances the flirtation between Leslie and Ben. Leslie tells Ben that he should stay in Pawnee instead of moving back to Indianapolis, to which Ben replies, “I already took the job here.” The episode is all about taking risks in the name of love. Ben chooses to stay in Pawnee. April and Andy get married after dating for a month. Ron Swanson sums it up nicely:

“You find somebody you like and roll the dice. That’s all anybody can do.”

One thought on “Email Roundtable #20 – “I Take Thee, Rachel”: Our Favorite TV Weddings

  1. Pingback: Reading Digest: President Wolfcastle Edition | Dead Homer Society

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