I've Got the 'Wedding Bell' Blues

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I'm a big David Kelley fan. so much so that I don't even begrudge him his riches and his talent and his gorgeous wife. OK, maybe a little. L.A. Law and Ally McBeal and Picket Fences and Northern Exposure and The Practice and Boston Legal all had either a wonderful quirkiness or social relevance or great acting or all three.

But Kelley's latest, The Wedding Bells, which debuted in the American Idol lead-out spot on Fox Wednesday night, didn't ring true or make me want to look up the cast bios. I'm sure it will get stellar ratings as long as it has Idol to deliver all those wedding guests.

I realize that the first episode has to get exposition out of the way and establish character, but the characters being established seem to me a mix of sterotypes and people I don't have much rooting interest in. Again, I am old and a man, so maybe I'm only crashing this wedding.

I had read a glowing review of the show from someone I usually agree with, so I came in predisposed to like it. I wound up disappointed in a pair of stereotypical blonde bimbos, a charicature of a chef with a bad accent, the randy, gorgeous younger sister, and a handful of lead characters who left no lasting impression except of vagues stereotypes–the photographer who beds a bevy of babes, a rich airhead bride who, sadly, appears to be joining the cast as a regular.

The show wasn't exactly bad, but it seemed more like a one-shot Lifetime special than a David Kelley drama, which usually has an undercurrent of the imminently unexpected, someone dropping down an elevator shaft or chopping off a priest's finger or growing human emryos in cows.

"I'm just a wedding singer," says one of the members of the wedding-planning troupe around which the show is based.

So far, this is just a show.

By John Eggerton