I don’t know of anyone, except for mebbe the stray 13 year old, who had anything positive to say about last season’s Wedding Finale. Well, I know, we rarely have anything positive to say about the show anyway, but still, even Danny Drennan in his Wrap-Up noted that the non-wedding wedding was a nothing but “slap in the face” for “the viewers of this show who've waited EIGHT LONG YEARS FOR THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT WITH EVERY ASPECT OF KELLY AND BRANDON'S RELATIONSHIP HINGING ON THE EVENTUAL LOGICAL CONCLUSION THAT THEY WOULD AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE GET MARRIED” (xix, please, please forgive me for having to insert your prose into such a shameful and wretched format.) There were so many things wrong with that stupid so-called Season Finale that it ain’t even worth re-hashing. Nope, it’s only worth re-writing. Thus, I give you:
“Bells will be Ringin’,” a Gratuitous Dwanollah Episode.
WARNING: The opinions re: weddings, wedding planning, wedding ceremonies and the Wedding Industry included here are solely that of Dwanollah [circa 1999 -ed]. They are meant to amuse, not offend. At least, not offend too much. And I’d like to dedicate it to my dear dear friend O Nancy My Nancy who just announced her upcoming Nuptials to That Semi-Cute Guy Chris mere hours ago.... Nancy, remember, you’re a BRIDE! You’re BEAUTIFUL!
So the opening montage, instead of being the early-morning-around-LA/Beverly Hills shots, instead are early-day-before-the-wedding-morning-at-Casa-Walsh shots: Mexican gardeners putting the finishing touches on the newly-splendorous Casa Walsh flowerbeds... a couple buff dudes from a rental company unloading scads of round tables and white folding chairs... a woman in the black pants/white shirt ensemble that mark her as a Hired Person festooning the revamped back patio with wire contraptions that will soon hold bountiful floral arrangements, two women, obviously florists, setting up a huge latticework arch in a cool corner in the back yard, a non-Jesse helping to set up a bar and lining up dozens of bottles of champagne... inside the house, in the Casa Walsh Kitchen, a caterer putting the finishing Ultra Mrrtha Stywrrt Soft-Focus Color fondant flowers onto a towering eight-tier wedding cake (because the bigger the cake, the better the wedding, remember) that looks more like an sculpture than anything even remotely palatable. [That was one of the things neither I nor The Husband-Type Man could fathom spending hundreds and hundres of dollars on: a cake. In fact, I couldn’t believe the magazine articles and high-pressured sales pitches trying to convince us that we *needed* to “impress our guests” with a “couture cake”... weirdly pastel creations... a “triumph of craftsmanship” with custom designed frou-frou shaped like the scrollwork on our wedding rings or the lace on my gown or every flower in my bouquet to “set the tone for the entire event.” Good grief...! It’s just a CAKE! Whilst wedding-planning, I asked several friends/acquaintances/family members who had recently been married about their cakes. A cousin gushed about the fondant made to look just like the daisies and sunflowers in her bouquet. But… I couldn’t remember what her cake looked like. THTM couldn’t remember what her cake looked like. Out of the two-dozen other guests at her wedding that I asked, no one remembered what her cake looked like. Many claimed they’d never seen it. And, after a third-cousin’s over-the-top-pretentious wedding which will always be remembered to me as The Cherries Jubilee Wedding, despite her mother’s prattling for months about that fabulous and expensive and extraordinary cake they were going to have at the reception, no one could remember what it looked like two months after the wedding. (Note: that marriage lasted a whopping two years.) And last, if what people remember (or what a you want people to remember) most about you wedding is the custom-designed “couture” cake encrusted with gum-paste blossoms in monochromatic whites or made to resemble wrapped pastel packages or antique hatboxes or whatever, then, like, I think that reflects pretty badly on your focus re: a relationship and marriage. But again, that’s Just My Opinion.]
So, anyway, it’s the morning before the wedding at Casa Walsh, and while various minions scurry around trying to get things set up, there’s Kelly “Blush and Bashful” Taylor, Ally McBealed to the hilt in a daffodil-yellow Training Matron ensemble, perfectly appropriate for any young bride to be. Armed with her big checklist, she maneuvers through the crowded kitchen, asking questions about Brandon’s “groom’s cake... the one made to look like a Minnesota Twins jersey” and “the candleholders for the tables... have they arrived yet?” even though it’s only, like, seven in the morning. No matter! Kelly’s the Bride, and she’s all but foaming at the mouth in ecstasy at being able to combine her Ultimate Hedonistic Domesticate (or Domestic Hedonist?) passions with her passion for Brandon Walsh all in one huge big glorious self-serving theatrical ego-stroking overwrought event! Hallelujah!
So while Kelly makes another check on her to-do list, into all this confusion shuffle Steve, and then Valerie, both bleary-eyed and cranky, and wordlessly head for the coffee pot.
“Good morning!” chirps Kelly. Val and Steve both look at her.
“We didn’t wake you?” Kelly coos with sweet fake concern, and both Val and Steve groan.
“I’m just glad than I’m moving into my new apartment today,” grumbles Stevie, looking around the Kitchen of Chaos at the towering cake, the piles of food, the people scurrying in and out.
Kelly suddenly looks up from her checklist. “What about you, Valerie? Shouldn’t you be moving out of here soon too?”
“Don’t worry, Kel,” snips Val. “I’ll be long gone by tomorrow.”
Kelly purses her lips. “Is Brandon awake yet?”
“Does it look like it?” snips Val some more.
And Kelly heaves a big sigh. “I better go get him. We’re meeting the minister for breakfast to go over our vows.” And she stomps off.
“I hate that girl. She’s a total control freak,” Val says, watching her.
“You know Val, I love that girl... but I have to agree with you,” says Stevie, taking a big gulp of his coffee as if it’s a medicinal shot of whisky or something and making the Hard Liquor Grimace, ‘cos that’s, like, supposed to be funny.
So Kelly bursts into Brandon’s room, singing “ Brandon! Time to get up!” and she yanks one of the pillows out from under his head, because that’s totally cute. “We’re meeting the minister in less than an hour!” And Brandon, of course, moans and rolls over, hiding his head under another pillow, because all boys hate wedding stuff and find it a big, fat, hairy chore. “ Brandon!” coos Kelly some more, grabbing the other pillow off his face. “Come on. Have you finished writing your wedding vows yet?”
“Aw, Kel,” mumbles Brandon, opening one eye. “Don’t worry about that.” The he looks at her skeevily. “Why don’t you just come back to bed-”
“ Brandon!” squeals Kelly, slapping at his roving hand. “I’m serious! This is important! Have you written your vows like I asked you to?”
And Brando heaves a macho sigh and sits up in his t-shirt and boxers and Big Honkin’ Watch (TM xix) with his shelf-o’-hair stuck firmly in place. “No, Kel, I haven’t,” he says. And, uh-oh, look out, it’s his Über-Patronizing Voice. “And do you know why I haven’t? Because I’ve been busy working, I’ve been busy preparing for this custody hearing, and I’ve been busy doing the half-dozen other wedding things you wanted me to do.” And Brandon’s getting out of bed and stalking around and tearing off his t-shirt so that the sight of his richly defined musculature will add power to his p(a)unch.
So, because it’s a cute thing to do and we all know that all couples do it, Brandon and Kelly get into a tiff the day before their wedding about writing the vows because, hey, sexist stereotypes and dysfunction are really really rilly adorable.
Kelly: “You’re the writer! I think this should be easy for you!”
Brandon : “I told you, I haven’t had time! Why do you always have to nag me?”
Kelly: “I’m not nagging! I just would think that writing our wedding vows would be important to you!”
Brandon : “It IS important to me, but so is my work and custody of Brinda’s baby and...”
And so it goes. But sadly, this reminds me of my 19-year-old cousin’s fight w/her soon-to-be husband two days before their wedding for the same reason. He claimed “he wasn’t good at that sort of thing”... I’m not sure if he meant writing or expressing one’s self or making vows or what. She, pissed off, ended up writing his vows for him. Charming. I suppose everyone has their Particulars and not everyone feels the same as me, but if THTM hadn’t cared about our *wedding vows* f’Gawd’s sake, warning bells, not wedding bells, shoulda been ringing in my head. I mean, you don’t have to be Robert Browning, but at least make an effort for your wedding ceremony. *sigh* Okay, I’m dismounting the soap box. Onward....
The front porch of Casa Walsh. Morning sun streams golden through the patio arches, gleaming on the white stucco and red tiles. A taxicab is pulling away from the curb and, looking bright and fresh, not haggard and jet-lagged even though they’ve had a half-way-‘round-the-world flight, are Jim and Cindy Walsh. They pause to look up at the splendid facade of Casa Walsh, unspoken memories of shared times both good and bad bringing moisture to both of their eyes. “Oh, Jim,” sighs Cindy “Hippychick” Walsh in one of her autumn-toned ethnic-print gypsy dress outfits from Nordstrom’s.
“I know, honey. I know,” says Jim “Five O’Clock Shadow” Walsh, and we are now re-reminded where Brandon got his Über-Patronizing Voice. And holding hands, they make their way up the front steps. [How could Jim and Cindy show up with absolutely no fanfare last season? How?!]
And, upon opening the door, they encounter Wedding Madness and Mayhem at its finest.
First, two people moving huge floral arrangements past the Earthquake! pinball machine into the Living Room of Horrors, then two more people are moving furniture out of the Living Room of Horrors, and while Jim&Cindy gape at all the Upheaval, Brandon and Kelly descend the tile-and-wrought-iron staircase, still squabbling.
“-and we still have to-”
“-I told you I’d-”
And comically, Brandon’nKelly spy Jim’nCindy and, after an embarrassed split-second to cease and desist their quarrel, Brandon blurts “Mom! Dad!” and Kelly coos “Jim! Cindy!” and they all dash together for a big Group Hug in the foyer with Jim and Cindy making exclamations of “Oh Brandon, son!” and “My little boy’s getting married!” and “You’ve just grown up so fast” and that mushy nonsense.
And then Stevie and Val wander in, and they get the Big Hug treatment too before Valerie dashes off to run errands (or escape the Brandon-and-Kelly-centric Love Fest) and Stevie runs yelling at someone who’s moving his pinball machine.
Finally, in the midst of all this hubbub, Cindy queries “Have you heard from Brinda? Is she coming? Is she here yet?”
And Kelly and Brandon exchange Looks of Heavy Significance. “Uh, yeah, she’s here,” says Brandon, Furrowed to the max.
“Well how is she?” asks Cindy. “She hasn’t returned my phone calls or e-mails in almost a month!”
“Well, she’s moving back here. She already has an apartment-” Kelly starts, but Brandon cuts her off. “Actually, Mom, Dad... you probably ought to see for yourself.”
And Jim and Cindy exchange Big Puzzled and Concerned Looks.
Cut to commercials. Dun dun DUN!