Bride Shows Blitzkrieg: My Big Friggin’ Wedding and Bridezillas

Ah, a typical weekend at the TVGA HQ (located in a secret bunker 20 miles below sea level), where upon I found myself feasting on a pair of bride- and wedding-centric shows: VH1’s My Big Friggin’ Wedding and We’s Bridezillas.

johnny meatballs

The theme and focus of the two shows is slightly different, but the main concept is exactly the same: following increasingly freaked out and overwhelmed people as they prepare for weddings. My Big Friggin’ Wedding undoubtedly seeks to do this while hoping at the same time to ride the coattail’s of MTV’s massively successful Jersey Shore. That is, the five couples that the show trails live in Jersey and are no strangers to the fist pumping + Sunday dinners culture that Jersey Shore lives in as well. Meanwhile, Bridezillas focuses mostly on the bride and the drama that develops with relation to her bridesmaids.

Of the two, My Big Friggin’ Wedding is the more polished and entertaining show. In part it may simply be because it has the look and feel of your typical VH1/MTV reality show, with lively pacing, music, and sharp editing. It also sets things up for the audience very well: there are five couples, all from Jersey, and each with a particular quirk (Johnny Meatballs, Jersey girl marrying a Haitian, couple with the crazy drunken mom, etc.). In a way, the wedding angle is an excuse for My Big Friggin’ Wedding to follow a bunch of quirky people (many of whom are prone to train wreck moments) who happen to be from New Jersey and happen to be getting married.

In my view, the breakout “star” is Johnny Meatballs, who is planning to marry the 24-year old Megin, a woman five years younger than him. The important thing to remember about Johnny is that, well, he’s all about his meatballs. Or better yet, he’s always planning the Johnny Meatballs Franchise or plotting the Johnny Meatballs Empire. One might note there’s a lot of potential when it comes to the Johnny Meatballs Franchise/Empire, and that that potential is discussed ceaselessly by Johnny himself. One of my favorite scenes involves Megin, at home, and Johnny, who is out drinking a bunch of wine with his friends. Johnny tells his wife on the phone and afterwards that he was talking business, that an Italian Village is being planned in which a Johnny Meatballs Franchise (singular) will be its crown jewel. Megin isn’t having any of it – she’s home planning the reality of wedding expenses and suspects (correctly) that Johnny is simply boozing with the boys. I love most that her most probing question and damning evidence of Johnny’s lies are with regard to the cost of renting space in the Italian Village. Johnny, now in way over his head, can’t come up with an answer and therefore Megin knows she is correct in her suspicions. What can she do about it though, she’s marrying a guy named Johnny Meatballs, am I right or am I wrong or what? (Side note: after listening to Johnny Meatballs for about five minutes, it becomes increasingly difficult to not attempt to talk, write, act, or live the Johnny Meatballs Lifestyle. You have been warned, kids.)

Bridezillas meanwhile isn’t a bad show at all, and in fact has its compelling moments. However, it feels like a lower budget production (and to be fair, We is a bit further out on the fringes of the cable television landscape than VH1). I can live with that, but I do find its pace and editing to be somewhat odd. For example, we’re never told how many brides that we’re following at any given time. And in fact, during the first episode that I watched, I thought that the show was about one bride as the show followed her for several segments. Then, when the focus shifted to another bride, I was thrown off. Additionally, the time table is uneven, with some brides earlier in their process than others, and with a few in the couple of episodes I sampled marching all the way to the point of walking down the aisle. Again, My Big Friggin’ Wedding is smart to have everyone more or less in the same category of being somewhere close to the wedding instead of Bridezillas’ more staggered approach. Bridezillas also loses a little something by tightly focusing on the bride (and the potential that she will Bridezilla out, or freak out and bitch out those around her) and her circle of bridesmaids.

Still, we do get some good stuff, such as the tension that forms with Tasha and her “Male of Honor” Travis. The flamboyantly gay Travis can’t help but mug for attention (and for the cameras, perhaps) which ticks off Tasha and her It’s All About Me Now brides-y attitude (which seems to be prevalent with many of the brides across the two shows) to no end. The best scene comes at the bridal dress shop, where Travis upstages the bride by parading around in a gown himself. Eventually, things devolve to the point where Tasha ends up kicking Travis out of her house.

To wrap, the great casting and expert editing/storytelling of My Big Friggin’ Wedding will have me coming back for more whereas Bridezillas is much more in the take it or leave it department.

Check out this sneak peek from Episode Four of My Big Friggin’ Wedding:


By Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader"

About the author

Eric is the publisher and revered leader of TV Geek Army… at least in his own mind. TV Geek Army is a place for serious TV reviews and news for serious fans of great television. Contact: eric-[at] 

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On: Monday, November 22, 2010
gino said:

Great compare and contrast! I friggin' love the friggin' wedding show, too!

On: Monday, November 22, 2010
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

Thanks Gino! I was seriously ready to lock in for a full weekend of Friggin' Wedding :-) 


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