'The Bachelor: Jason & Molly's Wedding,' whatever the weather
Those of us in Los Angeles know that last weekend's weather was beyond volatile. Rain on your wedding day is supposedly good luck ... and nothing says "great TV" like watching Chris Harrison talk about the weather on and off for two hours. We get it. Rain happens.
Though ABC's "The Bachelor" franchise has been an undisputed ratings success, it has produced few successful romantic partnerships. "The Bachelor" and its sister show, "The Bachelorette," have resulted in proposals for 11 out of 19 seasons, but only two marriages have resulted so far. The first, of course, was Trista Rehn's marriage to Ryan Sutter, televised on ABC to more than 26-million viewers in 2003.
Tonight, "Bachelor" fans tuned in for the marriage of Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney, one of the most controversial couples in the franchise's history. Jaws dropped across the nation when Jason dumped chosen fiancée Melissa Rycroft and begged Molly for a second chance.
Of course, it wouldn't be "The Bachelor" without extensive recapping of what we've already seen. The flashback scenes remind us that, like the latest "Bachelor" couple, Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi, Jason and Molly also began their relationship with a bungee jump off of a bridge. Perhaps the key to true love is a shared near-death experience?
ABC's cameras followed Jason and Molly through the planning stages of their wedding. It was sweet ... even if it did seem like one endless commercial. Every element seemed to have a product placement -- the Neil Lane jewelry, the Vanilla Bake Shop cake, the Tiny Pine Press invitations. Good news, Los Angelenos: If you want a wedding exactly like Jason & Molly's, the show gave you a step-by-step road map.
The most painfully staged product placement occurred when Molly just happened across Jason's sister while she was browsing Macy's online fashion director tool. Not very subtle there, producers.
Despite all that, I was charmed to see the "(500) Days of Summer"-esque moment when Jason and Molly cuddled on the Macy's store display bed. It was a genuine moment in a sea of carefully shot brand-name logos.
Another one of my favorite parts of the wedding special was when Molly tried on dress after dress by Monique Lhullier. The girly side of me loved to see the parade of beautiful white dresses, and when Molly's mom said, "This is the same girl who used to come home with mud all over her," I couldn't help but smile. By the way, Molly looks beautiful with her darker hair. She looks years younger than she did during their season of "The Bachelor."
Jason and Molly enjoyed their bachelor and bachelorette parties in Vegas on the same night. It was nice to see Molly let loose a bit while she was with her friends. "Ready to get the party started? Well, the party has just arrived," she yelled, pointing to herself. Her bachelorette festivities involved some salon pampering, erotic dance lessons, and VIP treatment at a Vegas nightclub. Her friends gave her wedding-night advice to splurge on lingerie, to be careful not to drink too much and, helpfully, to "put out."
Meanwhile, Jason and his friends drank, gambled and then did some clubbing. Jason's friends gave him a good-natured hard time. "Of all the women Jason's proposed to," one said, "I think Molly's the best." Another brought out embarrassing childhood photos, and yet another demonstrated "the wet Mesnick" -- a spot-on impression of Jason's blubbering face after he dumped Molly.
At the end of the night, Jason and Molly met up in front of the Bellagio fountain to nuzzle each other adorably and reminisce about their reality-show courtship. Later, at the rehearsal dinner, Jason said to Molly, "How often in your life are you completely, just, like, happy?" Aww.
When the big day arrived, it wasn't lacking in dramatic tension. Yes, Chris Harrison, there's rain. However, there were also paparazzi, who caused a bit of a brawl as they tried to get their footage -- in fact, a security guard conducted a "citizen's arrest" that alarmed Jason as he stood taking pictures from a hotel window.
The paparazzi involved are, according to X17 Online, planning to sue the security guards.
Still, the reality show must go on. The weather actually held up at the beginning of the ceremony, which was attended by many former cast members from "The Bachelor" franchise. The wedding had a beautiful green-and-white theme. Jason Castro of "American Idol" fame sang "Over the Rainbow" as a rainbow appeared overhead. That was probably just clever editing, but let's pretend it was visible, OK?
Molly's uncle, a judge, conducted the ceremony, which included Molly and Jason reading short love poems to each other. Molly referred to their relationship as "reality, romance, and roses: a trifecta of happiness," and they released a flock of doves into the sky as well-wishers looked on.
In the middle of Molly's vows, the skies finally opened, and the rain began to pour down. In the audience, umbrellas blew inside out, Ty laughed delightedly, and raindrops splattered the camera lenses, but Molly and Jason took it in stride, barely taking their eyes off of each other. According to his vows, Jason thinks Molly's eyes are "star-gazing amazing," so that's not too surprising.
After the ceremony, Jason and Molly ran for cover while Jason Castro sang his song "That's What I'm Here For," which, incidentally, was released on iTunes today! At this point, the product placement almost seemed insulting to viewers. If I were Jason and Molly, I'd be glad that it rained, if only to add an unscripted, un-purchased element to their day. If there's one thing that ABC's influence can't reach, it's the weather.
OK, I'll admit it. When Jason and Molly danced to Gavin DeGraw's surprise performance of his song "Follow Through," I teared up a little bit. I couldn't help it! Gavin DeGraw isn't promoting a new record right now, either. I checked.
Don't forget to leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts on "The Bachelor: Jason & Molly's Wedding." Don't hold back: Weigh in on her dress, her hair, his poem, his creepy doll and especially those super-awkward clips of Jake and Vienna.
-- Carina MacKenzie (catch me on Twitter @cadlymack)
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