Nora Denis has clearly watched the show closely and gave a great analysis of the characters and the story.
Huge thank you to TBB.
TBB’s Nora Denis Reflects on Web Series ‘Wedding Dates’ by Daniel Rusteau & BWNG TV
The web series, Wedding Dates, commissioned earlier this year by BWNG TV, is set to return for a second season. This upcoming instalment inspired us at TBB to refresh our memories and take look at back at season one.
Created by Daniel Rusteau, a familiar face on BWNG TV (Brothers With No Game [Season Two], Blighty: BFF), the series follows a young couple who have been together more than 10 years. We meet them as they’re wrapping up yet another lacklustre date. The recently engaged duo, Jamie (Chinwe A.Nwokolo) and Sean (Rusteau), both feel that their relationship has dulled over the years and with their oncoming wedding, the idea that they might have missed out on a vital adult experience becomes ever-more pervasive. That experience?… You ask… dating of course.
After an awkward but brief chat, Jamie and Sean come to an agreement: they are both allowed to go on dates ‘as long as they don’t break the rules and promise not to try and make one another jealous’.
Throughout the six episodes we watch as Jamie and Sean find themselves in all manner of outrageous, ridiculous and sometimes tense situations. In their quest to recreate the vitality and excitement of newfound love they unearth many difficult questions, including what does commitment really mean in the 21st century? And whether monogamy should continue to be upheld as the most desired relationship model.
‘Wedding Dates’ is unique in its approach to portraying the infamous “Black Love”. Taking the lesser-travelled path of casual, quirky with helping of geeky, viewers are treated to an ordinary couple that most of us can actually relate to and recognise. All too often hyper-masculinity is presented as the default representation for black men in relationships, in Wedding Dates the abandonment of this stereotype makes room for a more relaxed character who isn’t out to prove anything. The result is that the programme is able to trek uncharted territory and provide a fresh outlook of romantic and platonic relationships that is additionally not exclusive to a single ethnicity/culture.
Supporting actors Dawn Melissa Green, who plays Charlie, and Mark Ota (Wayne), do a wonderful job in adding a layer to the series that allows the audience to see an alternate perspective. Like the viewers, they are curious to find out if their friends experiment will turn out to be the disaster they’re anticipating, or the spark that will reignite the passion in their relationship.
Season one ending on an uneasy note has had the effect of making season two difficult to predict. We ask Rusteau what he has in store for the coming instalment, his response:
“In season 2 of ‘Wedding Dates’ we’re going to really push even further. For me ‘Wedding Dates’, outside of the pop culture references and the witty back and forth style, is a serious look at relationships in the 21st century and how they work and whether they can work. […] Without giving too much away, we really wanted to ask the question: could you let someone you’re seeing go on a date with someone else? Now we’re going to ask some deeper questions like: could you let them do other stuff? What does it mean if you love someone but you’re sexual attraction for them has diminished? How can you fix that? Does it mean you don’t love them any more? Does it mean you should try something new? So, we’re really going to start upping the levels on that front.”
The series itself is very in-tune with modern trends. Marriage/long-term commitment is a topic that is regularly debated and with good reason too. Who we love and how we love is evolving quickly and dramatically, so perhaps it is about time we challenged ourselves and thought a bit more profoundly about what relationship model (personally) presents the most promising outcome in this brave new world.
Catch up with the Wedding Dates series here
review of Wedding Dates by Nora Denis / @lifeandstuff for the british blacklist