This Week We’re Obsessed With…”Say Yes to the Dress”

Avi Small

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In the name of journalism, I’m prepared to reveal an incredibly embarrassing (and emasculating) secret: this past weekend, I watched 15 episodes of the delightful TLC series “Say Yes To The Dress,” and I’m obsessed. Yeah, I know. That’s really tacky. I’m a bit ashamed I had enough time to do this and that it came at the expense of my upcoming sociology paper, but I have no regrets. “Say Yes to the Dress” (or the commonly used, hashtag-friendly abbreviation, SYTTD) indulges my crudest and most ridiculous needs for a TV show. It presents a look into the world of the employees and customers of Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City, which claims to sell more bridal dresses than any other store on planet Earth. For the uninitiated, imagine if all the challenges on “Project Runway” were being controlled by “Bridezillas” from the casting couch of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” It’s that much crazy in each perfectly outrageous episode. If I wanted to sound smart about this, I could claim SYTTD is an informative sociological look into the nouveau riche culture of the New York-New Jersey area, with special emphasis on the Italian and Jewish communities. Brides come into Kleinfeld with extensive familial entourages, and the dresses they select say a lot about their heritage. From the Jewish bride who tailors her dress to have sleeves below the elbow to the strange complex wherein every Italian father on the show insists his daughter is his “princess,” these conversations about weddings emphasize their status as what the sociologist Matthijs Kalmijn calls the “reinforcer of role transition.” Thanks, Google Scholar. Really, I’m simply trying to justify this embarrassing habit. I just watch this show for the crazy personalities. SYTTD focuses on the employees of Kleinfeld, each with their own large, abrasive personalities and gloriously exaggerated New York accents. The show follows a ridiculous cast of consultants, from sales director Elise who makes it her job to get into everyone’s business, to bridal consultant Keasha whose generous and (comparatively) quiet demeanor endear her to stressful brides, to my personal favorite, Nicole Sacco who is what I imagine Meadow Soprano to turn into at age 30 if her career in law doesn’t work out. “Say Yes to the Dress” is the worst show on television. For that very reason, it’s also the best show on television. Available in bite-sized 22-minute episodes, this show is the best way to procrastinate or waste time while stuck at home in the fall after your friends have gone to school. The show is stupid and provides no cultural benefit to the world. I’m obsessed. Avi Small

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