By George Bate
A bride and her groom are about to be married when a man runs in, interrupts the ceremony, and professes his love for the bride. It’s the sort of scene featured in countless romantic comedies and the scene that opens Hulu’s new series Wedding Season. Where the story goes from there, however, is markedly different.
Wedding Season is a new romantic comedy / murder mystery series starring Rose Salazar and Gavin Drea. The new series wastes no time plummeting viewers into the plot. Soon after Drea’s character Stefan interrupts the wedding of Salazar’s character Katie, the groom and his family are suddenly poisoned and die at the wedding reception. Stefan and Katie become prime suspects, but there’s much more to the story than initially meets the eye. The narrative that proceeds is delightfully chaotic, switching back and forth timelines to chronicle the beginnings of Stefan and Katie’s wild relationship all the way to the present day unfolding of the mystery.
Wedding Season is the sort of light-hearted, clever, witty, genre-transcending entertainment viewers will undoubtedly fall in love with. At the heart of this story are the two star-crossed lovers, who couldn’t be better cast and matched. As shown in flashbacks, Stefan meets Katie under dubious circumstances to say the least at one of many, many weddings featured in the series. From their very first meeting, the chemistry between Stefan and Katie, brought to life by Drea and Salazar, is so dynamic and palpable. The twists and turns the story takes are certainly interesting, but it’s this charismatic duo that makes you really care about the events that unfold. Drea plays the perfect hopeless romantic, while Salazar is the mysterious center of this romantic mystery. Casting directors for future romantic comedies efforts need to look no further as Drea and Salazar are excellent here.
The chaotic energy of Stefan and Katie’s relationship is matched by the chaotic energy of the sprawling, intercontinental murder mystery narrative. From Manchester to Glasgow to Las Vegas to Texas, the series never ceases to surprise as to where it will go next (literally and figuratively). The flashbacks are largely structured around a series of weddings Stefan and his (hilarious) friend group attend and offer insight into the events that lead up to the murders at Katie’s weddings, while also providing ample opportunities for the audience to fall in love with the two leads more and more. Each episode’s flashbacks and present day plot lines reveal new, interesting layers to this story and pack an incredible amount of narrative (and humor) into tight 30 minute installments. As secrets and motivations are unveiled in the show’s final two or three episodes, the story admittedly becomes less interesting, although the core romance carries the show to the end. But, ultimately, it’s the journey (which is exciting, romantic, and unpredictable), rather than the destination (which is somewhat underwhelming), that’s important here.
Wedding Season has the potential to be this year’s surprise television hit. Wonderfully packaging murder mystery and romantic comedy nicely together in delightfully chaotic 30 minute episodes, the new Hulu series excels as the sort of light-hearted, clever, and wholesome television audiences will become obsessed by. Rose Salazar and Gavin Drea are perfectly cast as the two star-crossed lovers at the heart of this story, and keep the momentum going even when the narrative falls somewhat flat in the last few episodes. Nonetheless, Wedding Season is a wildly entertaining adventure from start to finish and somehow excels as the near-perfect romantic comedy and murder mystery.
All eight episodes of Wedding Season premiere September 8 on Hulu.