A Happy Sending
I hate weddings. I especially hate weddings where one of the people getting married is someone who I have lusted after for the better part of six years and was willing to leave my wife and children for to marry but doesn’t want me, instead he wants some girl who calls him 137 times when he stays out at a bar past 1 a.m. So, yeah, this episode sucks. It sucks hard. Thanks for ruining my fantasy life, Kyle J. Cooke, you complete asshole.
This is a weird episode because it makes so much of what came before this season absolutely moot. After starting the episode with Kyle and Amanda fighting about a prenup, we learn that they don’t end up getting one after all. After an entire season of trying to show Kymanda falling apart and like their wedding might not happen even though People already published the official wedding pictures, here we see the actual wedding actually happening in the actual world of actuality.
And it isn’t just the wedding that gets lost in the uncanny valley between filming and airing when social media already spoiler alerted all over our faces like an information bukkake. Lindsay spent from Memorial Day until Labor Day introducing every man she came across to her bed (and good for her). But we all knew it would end with her and Carl fumbling toward ecstasy in Frank and Donna’s backyard. Austen and Ciara were on a collision course from the get-go, but here they are completely avoiding each other in a New Jersey suburb. It is a little weird to keep seeing Ciara dangling off Craig’s arm like a man bracelet, and then it seems like Austen was the cheese standing all alone with his friend and Southern Charm costar completely ignoring him. Even Lindsay, who blew up the whole house just so she could canoodle with Austen at her birthday party, sends him away so that she can confess her true love to Carl.
The one shocking announcement is that Danielle says that she would move to Charleston, a place she’s never been, to keep her relationship with Robert strong. Do you think that her employer having another show in that city made that relationship any easier? Can we expect to see Danielle and Kathryn Dennis becoming besties? I don’t know if Danielle would even add any value to that show because most of what she brings to Summer House is being the Lindsay Whisperer.
Back to the wedding. There is plenty of drama about the setup, as there is with most weddings. The florist drops out, and then someone named Rachel drops into their laps at the last moment and rearranges her entire staff just so that she can be there on their big day. Hmm, I wonder where they found her? Could it be a little website called Producer Intervention dot com, orchestrating all of your wedding day desires for the small fee of just three appearances by the florist throughout the course of the episode and several mentions about how great she is and she’s a life safer? It’s been given five-star reviews by every reality television bride.
Then the happy couple both get COVID and have to quarantine in the two weeks leading up to the wedding, giving them just five days to finish everything in a suburban New Jersey home that looks like it could be next door to Teresa Giudice’s. Oh my god, do you think that Donna, Amanda’s mother, might be the person that Evan Goldschneider was supposedly hooking up with at his gym in Tenafly? It has to be, right?
As for the ceremony itself, it goes off without a hitch. Their vows are cute, and Carl’s officiating is flawless, even when he asks if anyone has any objections to this union. While no one at the venue says no, the editors give us clips of everyone on the show being like, “Yeah, I don’t think they should get married, but they went ahead and did it anyway, so I guess we’re stuck with them now. Whoo-hoo!” Really the only bad thing about the wedding is that they had to invite Alex. Just kidding. He was fine. The real worst thing about it is Andrea’s suit that makes him look like Grimace went Keto and now has abs that would rip the Fry Guys to absolute shreds.
This is why I hate weddings. What else is there to say? The patriarchy is upheld. A woman was given away like she was property. They danced the chicken dance, and everyone’s moms cried, and the cake wasn’t nearly as good as you expected it. That was true here, and it is true of every wedding. It’s all stupid, I hate it all, and a better reality show would have at least sent Kim Zolciak-Biermann’s mom so that they could get in a fight outside of a tent in the backyard and this thing would have a little bit of conflict to it.
Instead, we rifle through a montage of Kyle and Amanda’s relationship, from when she was a booty call to that one time that he might have made out with a girl while drunk at a nightclub to their super romantic engagement to, what, the marriage being on pause for multiple years because of COVID and life and Loverboy and prenups and being activated and someone not making sandwiches for someone else and a bunch of themed parties where Kyle never bought Amanda a gift and adopting like 17 million puppies, but you only see those on Instagram not even on the show. That’s it. That’s what this is. It’s an inevitable culmination and a bit of a letdown all at once. That’s life, kids. That’s what we’re all galloping towards, at breakneck speed, hoping that we get just a few good years of happiness before our backs get sour and our limbs give out and our minds deteriorate into gelatinous masses that look like something that would be served at a ‘70s dinner party.
I told you weddings are the worst. This is how they make me feel, like every day is the end of summer. Like every day is the kids packing up all of their dresses and party costumes into suitcases and trolling them back to the city. It’s like Ciara finally cleaning up her room and Paige realizing that she won’t get to lay in that bed for 97 hours at a clip anymore. It’s Andrea crying over a girl he’s lost and Mya pining after Oliver, a guy she likes so much that she can’t even talk about it. It’s Carl and Luke realizing that they added absolutely nothing to the season but stripping down to their underwear in those creepy bedroom shots that my husband loves so much that he makes me rewind them multiple times. It’s Alex just rinsing out his protein shake shaker and throwing it in a gym bag because that’s really all he had in the house this whole time.
Now I’m just feeling wistful, but I think it’s this episode’s fault. The real goodbye should always be the whole cast jumping in the pool at the end of the episode, a real moment of joy and togetherness that shows us that, no matter what might have happened, summer was fun. Summer should be fun. (Amanda? Not fun!) Yes, summer should be fun, and while everyone did jump in the pool, we had to sit through another 45 minutes of Kyle and Amanda cementing their love, and it was a little bit boring.
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