TV Review: 'Shedding for the Wedding'

Filed under: TV

Rated IFFY for Kids 13-14

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series features engaged couples participating in a weight-loss competition for a dream wedding. It sends positive messages about living a healthy lifestyle, but the extreme weight-loss workouts featured here and the lack of focus on inner-beauty send some mixed messages about what it takes to lose weight and what's really important in life. The show contains some brief sexual discussions, as well as lots of bleeped language (with mouths blurred). References are made to cigarette smoking and drinking (but these acts are not visible).

The good stuff

  • Messages: The series highlights the importance of living a fit and healthy lifestyle, but also sends questionable messages about losing weight and the importance of outer beauty.
  • Role models: The trainers and nutritionist genuinely want to help couples lose weight before their wedding. The couples appear committed to each other regardless of their weight.

What to watch out for

  • Violence: Trainers yell to motivate contestants to work harder. Some competitors gag and/or collapse during work out sessions. Arguments occasionally break out between contestants.
  • Sex: Contestants briefly talk about sex and sexual acts, as well as about feeling insecure about their bodies when intimate. Weigh-ins require the men to be bare-chested and the women in spandex and sports bras.
  • Language: Words like "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped with mouths blurred.
  • Consumerism: Not an issue.
  • Drinking, drugs, and smoking: References to drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages. One couple wants a beer pong table at their wedding. Some of the couples are cigarette smokers and must commit to quitting.
What's the Story?

"Shedding for the Wedding" is a reality competition series hosted by Sara Rue that features engaged couples trying to lose weight and win a dream wedding. The overweight pairs go to Los Angeles and submit to a rigorous weight-loss and fitness program that requires them to endure grueling workouts with trainers Nicky Holender and Jennifer Cohen and commit to learning healthy lifestyle and eating habits with the help of celebrity nutritionist Ashley Koff. The couples also get the chance to consult with renown wedding planner Brian Worley about their wedding plans, and to compete in fitness challenges for designer wedding items. At the weekly weigh in, the two couples with the lowest combined weight loss face each other in an elimination challenge. Those who lose big get to continue in the competition in hopes of winning a fantasy wedding.

Is It Any Good?

Like most weight-loss competitions, this reality show highlights the importance of exercising and eating right in order to lose weight and be healthy. But the show's motivational tactics, like stuffing the couples into wedding dresses and tuxedos that are clearly too small for them, are sometimes more humiliating than inspiring. Meanwhile, important information, like understanding the difference between gaining muscle weight vs. losing fat, and the benefits of losing weight slowly, are exchanged for oversimplified presentations of weight-loss successes and failures.

Nonetheless, the series does offer some limited long-term advice about the importance of making a lifetime commitment to living a healthy lifestyle after the wedding is over. It also offers viewers a chance to see couples attempt to empower themselves to make positive changes in their lives. It's not always comfortable to watch, but some folks may find themselves getting motivated to make better life choices, too.

This review of "Shedding for the Wedding" was written by Melissa Camacho.

Want to get the latest ParentDish news and advice? Sign up for our newsletter!

Get more information for parents on media and technology by checking out Common Sense Media.


Flickr RSS



AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.