Bridalplasty Recap: “Falling to Pieces”
There are so many icky aspects to this show, that I don’t really know where to start. When I first heard about the premise of E Television’s latest attempt to scrape the bottom of the reality television barrel, I felt kind of sick. Seriously.
Twelve women compete for plastic surgery procedures on national television (well okay, it’s just cable) prior to their weddings. Their “new and improved self” is not revealed to their husband-to-be until they actually walk down the isle. The hapless dude is stuck with whatever monstrosity the show creates.
I am ill equipped to actually critique this show for all the societal wrongs it is inflicting on the audience, so let’s just all agree that this show ought not exist. But, because it does, I had to watch it, and here are my thoughts on the first episode.
It is every bit as horrible as I expected, but there were a few things that surprised me about the show. Nothing redeemable, I assure you, but every once and a while there was an unexpected moment of humanity on screen.
First off, I will say that this was what I was expecting of the contestants: I thought they would be very Jerry Springer-esque, with lots of trashy chicks with potty mouths, questionable wardrobe offerings, and embarrassing boyfriends. I also thought they would be so physically repulsive, and in need of drastic physical improvements.
I was wrong. To the shows credit, they cast women who were not trying to pull one another’s weaves out before the first commercial break. Careful there, that doesn’t mean that they swim in the same gene pool of women who possess actual class (which would preclude an appearance on said show), I was just pleasantly surprised there wasn’t a lot of gutter speak and such.
As for the actual physical appearance of the contestants, I was flabbergasted to find that they were all quite attractive. Sure, some were better looking than others, but no one is truly in need of drastic physical enhancement. In fact, several of the women are model perfect-it seems like we may have a bit of Heidi Montag syndrome wafting about the house.
We get the obligatory run down of the contestants.
- Cheyenne’s fiance helpfully points out that he can understand why she wants a nose job.
- Allyson is somewhat overweight and uses humor as a coping mechanism. She also wears an unfortunate wedding veil to the house. She is a victim of the bad economy; she and her fiance have both lost jobs recently, and they want to win the wedding that they can’t afford.
- Lisa Marie has acne scars (that are absolutely invisible to me, did anyone else see them) that make her insecure. She is sad to leave her fiance for four whole months, but it is “for a good deed.” No, sweetheart, it is not. Working in a soup kitchen is a good deed. Going on television to win plastic surgery procedures is narcissistic and sad.
- Kristen is an ex-pageant gal, and she is quite cute.
- Dominique is traumatized because her parents spent all their money on her sister’s wedding, and didn’t have the foresight to mortgage the house for her wedding. This is her biggest problem in life, and we are supposed to feel sorry for her? Um, no.
- Jenessa is immediately painted as the house bitch. She is very attractive.
- Jamie is a mom of two who got married in the courthouse because her mom was dying of cancer. She would like a real wedding, her mom has since passed.
- Netty lives in a special alternative universe where she believes that other women find her intimidating. Newsflash: you are the least intimidating of the group.
- Alexandra lost 91 pounds after appearing on The Biggest Loser. Her boyfriend (also a contestant on The Biggest Loser) proposed to her on the season finale of the show. She has lots of sagging skin from her weight loss. She is probably the one I feel has a legitimate reason for wanting a procedure. I can’t imagine the frustration of losing all that weight, then dealing with the excess skin.
- Melissa’s husband has been serving in Iraq. Her story arc is the most emotional.
- Jessica is far too perfect looking to be here. She sites breast scar tissue from cysts as her motive for wanting breast augmentation.
- Ashley is a very pretty, voluptuous black woman. Despite having enormous breasts, she wants ‘em bigger.
Amazingly, I don’t have an immediate dislike for any of these women (besides the fact that they are appearing on the show in the first place). But I do have a long-standing dislike of Shanna Moakler, the garishly made up host of this trainwreck of a reality show. She makes an appearance and the women are positively giddy.
She announces that soon they will be participating in their first “bridal party” featuring injectables and face masks. The show’s plastic surgeon is introduced, Dr. Dubrow. I can’t help but be skeptical of any surgeon who would stoop to the level of this show. Dr. Dubrow tells the women that he is surprised at how nice looking they are, too.
Dr. Dubrow goes through each contestants wish list of procedures, making sure to use his marker as much as possible to point out every flaw on every woman. Totally humiliating. Also, quite horrifying that some of these extremely thin women want liposuction (on what?!) and Dubrow is happy to comply.
It’s an excellent example of how screwed up the plastic surgery industry has become. I think it is downright irresponsible of the “doctor” to go right along with some of the delusional requests of the women. It feeds the sickness, so to speak.
Later, at a cocktail mixer, Shanna is checking out all the women’s engagement rings. Superficiality at its finest. The women are all horrified when Ashley admits she hawked her ring to pay for her car. I found it amusing that the other women found that to be superficial. Guess there is honor amongst reality fame whores.
Melissa’s husband (just in from Iraq) makes a carefully manipulated appearance at the mixer. Tears flow. I know it is all for tv, but damn if I wasn’t a little touched by their brief but heartfelt reunion.
Next up, the girls receive their first challenge. They go into a room where each of them has a blown up full body shot on a wall in front of them. Even a bikini model would find the set-up intimidating. I feel genuinely horrified for the women, who have to confront a giant wall hanging of themselves at their absolute low point. No makeup, bodies on full display for the world to see.
The women are told that there are magnetic puzzle pieces in front of them that, when assembled, will show them how they could look if they get all their procedures done. I think it seems ridiculously simple, but the women seem to have trouble putting the puzzles together (aren’t there only like 20 pieces there?).
Alexandra and Ashley are the last two to finish. The rest of the women have completed the task, picked up a syringe filled with God knows what, and ran downstairs to get their faces injected.
Alexandra and Ashley have to plead their cases to the rest of the girls, who vote via hand count in order to maximize the cruelty and humiliation. Ashley is sent packing. Too bad, I actually liked her. She called it like she saw it.
Alexandra, ever the gracious winner, immediately starts talking smack about the girls who didn’t vote for her.
Despite the sleaze factor, I know I will watch the rest of the season. How can I not? Did you watch the show? What did you think?