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Primetime Picks… 7/31/19

Jul 31 Posted by in Features | Comments

Early this morning, Hulu released the first four episodes of the new series Four Weddings and a Funeral. The ten-episode series comes from creator/executive producer Mindy Kaling, and is a re-imagining of the 1994 romantic comedy of the same name. However, the only thing it really shares in common with its namesake is that over the course of the season there will be four weddings and a funeral. Andie MacDowell also makes a guest appearance, though not reprising her film role.

The series centers around the lives of four American friends who went to college with one another and spent a semester abroad in London. After college, three of the friends moved to London, while Maya (Nathalie Emmanuel, Game of Thrones) stayed back. Maya had fallen in love with married Congressman Ted Spencer (Tommy Dewey, Casual) while working on his campaign, and now she is helping him run for the Senate. As all romantic stories like this go, Ted says that he loves Maya and will be leaving his wife any day now.

In the opener, Maya takes a trip to London to see her friends for a costume party. During a bag mix-up at the airport, she meets the charming Kash (Nikesh Patel, Indian Summers), who says that he is an actor. She later discovers that Kash is the boyfriend of her best friend, designer Ainsley (Rebecca Rittenhouse, The Mindy Project, Red Band Society). Ainsley lives across the hall from the posh Gemma (Zoe Boyle, Frontier, Witless) and her husband and son. Gemma is a bit jealous to see that Ainsley has another friend. It turns out that Kash isn’t actually an actor, but rather co-workers with investment banker Craig (Brandon Mychal Smith, You’re the Worst), who has just asked girlfriend Zara (Sophia La Porta, The Five) to move in with him. And rounding out the American crew is Duffy (John Reynolds, Stranger Things, Search Party), a dorky, awkward teacher at an all-boys school where he also lives in the dorm. He has had a secret crush on Maya for the past decade, but has never been able to get up the courage to tell her how he feels.

The series feels more like an extended feature film than a traditional TV series, with each episode flowing nicely right into the next, plus it has a very British aesthetic to it. The episodes are filled with all those delightful tropes you expect to see in any classic romantic comedy, with the characters going through ups and downs, and lots of plot twists and turns. There are also fun callbacks to iconic scenes from classic romantic comedy films. The show has a nice mix of drama and humor, and many of the comedic moments had me laughing out loud as I checked out the first two episodes. The series also has a wonderful soundtrack, and it didn’t even bother me that all the songs were covers.

One of the fun things about the show is that we know there will be four weddings and a funeral, and so there is this constant mystery of who will be a part of those five events (well, not that it’s fun to imagine who is going to die). The first couple of episodes do a nice job of setting up various possible love pairings and triangles, and you don’t necessarily know who is going to end up with whom. I fell in love with the show from episode one—these characters are so much fun and really feel like they could be longtime friends. I look forward to seeing how their intertwining stories all play out over the course of the season…I just hope I don’t have to watch one their funerals!

Tonight I’ll also be watching/recording Archer, Krypton, Younger, Match Game, Big Brother and MasterChef.

For additional suggestions on what to check out tonight, including the season finale of Archer, check out the If We Controlled Your Remote… 7/31/19 post at TVisMyPacifier.com.