Review: Wedding Season

Wedding Season is an odd show to discuss. At its core it is a romantic comedy and follows the standard plot progression and arcs of a rom-com. It very much follows the love story of Stefan (Gavin Drea) and Katie (Rosa Salazar) from their seemingly fated initial meeting to their running from both authorities and a criminal organization. Yeah, that last bit was not a mistake. Which is where the difficulty in discussing the show comes from, it is a genre bending drama that mixes elements of romantic comedies with a revenge story and an underground criminal action thriller. This type of genre mixing can work but the core conceit of the story has to work and be the forefront of the narrative. And Wedding Season is primarily a rom-com, but it suffers from most, if not all, of the issues of modern rom-coms that are unfortunately heightened with the inclusion of other genre elements.

The main issue with the series is the central couple. They suffer from the standard problem of most modern couples: there really isn’t any reason why these two are together other than they are supposed to for the movie. Seriously, Stefan randomly meets Katie at a friend’s wedding that she crashes to steal sensitive information from someone at the wedding. (Yes, really). He just got dumped by his longtime girlfriend and is high on high grade rave drugs. And after a short conversation, Stefan just decides Katie is who he wants to pursue from that point on even after being rejected several times, learning she is engaged, and having all his friends tell him that he is messing up again as he has in all his past relationships.

Now, opposites attracting and developing a relationship through a series of mishaps and obstacles, even other relationships, is pretty part and parcel for romantic comedies and dramas. However, the characters should at least genuinely like each other or act in a manner that actual human beings would. There is no reason why Stefan would like Katie other than he thinks she is hot. Which yes, she is, and sure that is enough of a reason, but no man, regardless how horny, would go to the efforts Stefan does for a woman, particularly one who rejects him constantly and puts his life, and by association his friends, in real danger from actual killers. And Katie risking her entire multiyear plan of revenge and retribution for Stefan makes even less sense. The continuing relationship between the two characters makes no sense for the characters and story we are presented with.

I could forgive the utter nonsense of the relationship if the story made sense, but it kind of fails in that aspect as well. Again, Wedding Season is following the rom-com formula at its core, so if you have two polar opposite characters in conflict butting heads, the obvious narrative is them learning from one another and having a moment of growth that shows they have matured and are ready for a relationship. The way this is usually done in visual media is a moment of choice in which the character does the opposite of their characterization up to that point to show how they have learned from their love interest. Wedding Season has those moments except that the characters don’t make the right choice and continue on their paths.

Katie never turns back on her original plan of revenge and follows through. The show tries to give a half assed redemption in the final episodes but never really makes up for the initial failing of her choice. Furthermore, Stefan also fails with his choice as his issue was his clinginess and subservience to Katie regardless of the circumstances, yet never once decides and follows through on staying away from her. The basic conceit of this type of story is that moment of choice and the series fails to deliver on that necessary component. So, while the show may be well acted and even have a few intriguing plots points and possibilities (an underground international criminal organization known as the Order? Okay), the initial core story doesn’t work or deliver on its promise. This is particularly disappointing because I have seen Rosa Salazar excellently play this exact character before, just in a better script and framing.

So, yeah, Wedding Season is not a poorly produced or made film. It simply is just not a very well executed story and one that would have infinitely worked better as a film than a series.

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