After covering pawn shows and fat shows, it is now time for "Cable Showdown" to tackle two of our favorite wedding shows in all of cable: TLC's Say Yes to the Dress and WEtv's My Fair Wedding with David Tutera. Both are great shows about adults believing in fairy tales, but which is the superior effort? We break down each series to its fundamentals and make our case below.
Say Yes to the Dress's Kleinfeld has a sizable team of bridal consultants, but Dianna (the older, skinny blonde with a severe haircut) and Sarah (the young one) are our faves. There is also Randy, the New York show's big gay closer, who comes in to force a decision on brides who are wasting the store's time. My Fair Wedding has David Tutera, who doesn't even bother with what these fashion-challenged brides want because he's giving these dresses away for free.
Winner Say Yes to the Dress. David Tutera throws a lavish party, but the Kleinfeld crew are stone-cold hustlers.
For as many different women as Say Yes to the Dress features, the vast majority of them are your garden variety "I wanna look like a princess!" brides, no matter their age, income bracket, size or seeming maturity level. Yep, Disney really did a number on these ladies. My Fair Wedding's brides, on the other hand, are all working a gimmick. They want theme weddings, many of which are questionable at best. We've seen David Tutera put together Phantom of the Opera weddings, pirate weddings, mini-truck weddings, swamp weddings -- basically anything that shouldn't be a wedding, these crazy women demand he make happen.
Winner My Fair Wedding. Make us a blog-themed wedding, David!
My Fair Wedding's David Tutera talks brides out of their tacky choices in favor of something more tasteful of his choosing. Say Yes to the Dress is all about turning these women's often tacky choices into a sale at any cost, preferably one at a higher price point than the women initially insisted on. Sometimes they'll put a veil and jewelry on a bride in hopes that she'll be so enamored of the image of herself as a fully decked out bride (the Atlanta show calls this tactic "jacking up" a bride, which just made Liz Lemon barf) that she'll buy, and sometimes they simply just start pulling more expensive dresses for the bride to try on if they think she'll just fall in love with one of them and fork over the price difference when she can't let it go.
Winner My Fair Wedding. They know what they're doing over there at Kleinfeld, but it's still dirty a lot of the time.
The Supporting Players:
Say Yes to the Dress spends a lot of time dealing with each bride's entourage. Sometimes it's a controlling mother-in-law, sometimes it's a bitchy sister and sometimes it's an oddly sartorially opinionated father or fiancé, but someone always overshadows the bride and screws up the whole process, which is when Randy comes in to close. My Fair Wedding downplays everybody but the bride and punishes the wedding party with ugly accessories if they're insolent.
Winner Say Yes to the Dress. We love hating other people's family members.
Say Yes to the Dress carries high-end designer gowns at ludicrous prices. With such a breadth of variety, some are gorgeous and some are lace-corseted monstrosities by Pnina Tornai. My Fair Wedding uses smaller, local designers near the bride's location (this stuff is free, after all), but sometimes David Tutera makes them wear his own gowns, which are always "inspired by" actual couture dresses.
Winner Say Yes to the Dress. Don't put us in a knock-off that was "inspired by" Carrie Bradshaw's wedding dress and tell us it's raining, Tutera.
The Sappy Bits:
Say Yes to the Dress frequently has brides whose fiancés are deploying for Afghanistan right after the wedding, or brides who recently overcame a long struggle with obesity and are searching for something to make them feel beautiful. When they finally find the perfect dress, the scene is often quite tear-jerking in nature. On My Fair Wedding, everyone is always crying, all the time, usually over all the free stuff they're getting.
Winner My Fair Wedding. If we saw someone pull off a mini-truck wedding, we'd be moved to tears too.
Say Yes to the Dress has taught us that people spend a lot of money on wedding dresses. My Fair Wedding has taught us that people spend a lot of time thinking up absurd wedding themes to get a free wedding.
Winner Say Yes to the Dress. Our minds are still blown every episode at how much these things cost.
My Fair Wedding has a big, glittery, hilarious theme wedding tacked on to the end of each episode, but it's almost an afterthought, and the rest of the show is pretty devoid of drama or serious conflict. Say Yes to the Dress has huffy cat fights and familial spats pretty much every time.
Winner Say Yes to the Dress. I mean, obviously.
We love David Tutera's sweet, nurturing Henry Higgins (even if he is pretty much a sham as a designer), but Say Yes to the Dress doesn't even bother playing nice -- and it's a lot more addictive for it.
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