Road to the Altar

Sometime during your twenties, you’ll become aware that you’ve been asked to plan or attend more bridal showers and bachelor/ette parties than you ever thought possible. Who among us has not participated in group bitching sessions about the costs, hangovers, and time eating responsibilities involved in supporting friends during the precious days leading up their betrothal?

If you’re unmarried and watching Road To The Altar, you may also realize that if you’ve only planned a pre-wedding bash, you never knew how easy you had it.

Road To The Altar, which cleverly satarizes wedding fever and the overblown industry surrounding it, is MWG Entertainment‘s newest web series (earlier this year they brought us My Two Fans, an inventive series about dating in Los Angeles).

Co-stars Jaleel White (Urkel lives!!) and Leyna Juliet Webber (Six Feet Under) play an engaged couple embarking on the stressful journey that is modern wedding planning. Simon is black, Rochelle is a Jewish American Princess, he’s deadpan, she’s rapidly morphing into Bride-zilla, and a reality show crew is documenting the whole shebang. Produced in homage to The Office’s mockumentary style, the series gives us four minute peeks into the trials and triumphs of one couple’s wedding planning experience, or rather one man’s horror in watching his beloved delve into wedding induced insanity.

The punch lines emerge rapid fire and thankfully there are many layers of absurdity to take in. The bride’s terrible attempts at speaking Spanish (a running joke in The Florist, Episode 2), military-like planning skills, overly excited nature, and utter failure at not becoming Bride-zilla combine to make her a rich character for Webber to sink her teeth in to. White has the tougher job. He’s the straight man, the ever patient loving fiance/wedding cop who is forced to put his foot down more often than he’d like. He has an everyman appeal as the voice of reason, but gets to sneak in a few jabs here and there.

The supporting characters are fleeting but colorful, and include a few overwhelmed wedding planners the couple alienates, a jaded camera crew, and bitchy, fame hungry floral dealers. Stereotypes abound, but they’re disturbingly accurate. Judging by the first two episodes (the first season will have 10 in all), the series could benefit from White and Webber enjoying a little more restraint. The beauty of the humor in The Office is the long silences and discomfort than can never fully be expressed to colleagues, but which bubbles over at inopportune times.

Experienced web director Annie Lukowski keeps the visual pace quick, with the camera sometimes jumping around in a frenzy, particularly when the bride is excited or demanding.

Somehow, throughout the roller coaster of wedding planning, the young couple remains likeable enough. The typical “every couple” we see on these types of reality shows, with equal moments of “OMG!!! I can’t believe she just did that!” and the relatable “Oh…I know where he’s coming from.” Check it out at RoadToTheAltar.com.

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