Don’t Tell the Bride Review: Series 5, Episode 9: Andrew, Amanda and, erm… Neil

Hello Don’t Tell The Bride groupies! (I’m determined to make that a “thing”). You may have noticed that there are three names in this review title. This is because the whole episode is pretty much about the best man’s desperate love for the groom. So much so that when I woke up this morning all ready to review the episode, that was all I could remember.

This week, I’m not going to say anything mean about the bride. Because she’s a martial art expert. And I’m really, really not.

The beginning of the episode is effectively about how Andrew used to be fun and now he’s just another house husband. So, pretty much a typical late 20s, early 30s bloke then… At this point I have to ask, when they’re introducing the couple, why on earth do they put them in these ridiculously contrived scenarios? For example, frolicking in a playground. Without a child in tow. Adults don’t do that! Show them arguing over leaving toenail clippings in the bed or something – I’d buy into that.

For another reason I can’t explain, rather than just introduce the bride and groom’s relationship, the BBC go into the whole back story of how the best man met the groom… Apparently Neil (the best man) was “sanding down his guitar”. Is that what the kids are calling it these days? Mind you, that sounds rather painful. Neil’s borderline psychotic crush on Andrew is immediately apparent “We started talking about guitars, he told me how good he was and… yeah he was REALLY good…” these statements sound quite innocent really, but couple them with the pantomimesque (that’s a word… sort of), suggestive facial expressions (watch it back – go on!) and you have yourself a little bunny boiler.

Neil is upset that he’s no longer Andrew’s “pride and joy”. Nuff said really.

Andrew rocks up at Neil’s after an emotional farewell with Amanda. Neil greets him by poking him in the stomach with a broom. He poked his groom with a broom (har har har – geddit?). I notice that Neil’s hair is annoying and wonder why it didn’t occur to me before… He then basically smashes an egg in Andrew’s face… oh so much I could say… but this is a family blog!

Neil wastes no time in launching into a whingey diatribe about how he’s losing his mate. Literally takes him about two minutes (at least that’s the way it’s edited). Instead of… I don’t know… helping Andrew plan the wedding, Neil decides to try to “make him laugh”*cough*lurehimintobed*cough* by asking him to wear a baby suit and dance with him. Each to their own, although at this point I am wondering why a grown man owns a pink / leopard print giant baby suit…

Ha! This gets better and better – Neil’s whining gets to the point where Andrew sits him down and APOLOGISES for being in love with his future wife… there’s something a little dysfunctional going on here. Neil looks like a kicked puppy. With terrible hair.

They finally start planning – Neil puts on a little puppet show about Amanda and Andrew. He’s clearly pissing Andrew off.

They then go to look at venues and Neil tries to persuade Andrew to hold his hand at the altar… the venue owner looks confused. Neil then, I kid you not, goes in for a kiss. I reckon it’s one of those things where if he gets pushed away he can just laugh it off as if it was a joke… oh, no, he gets pushed away and tries AGAIN. Doesn’t this constitute some form of harrassment?

Every now and then, by the way, they throw in a scene with Amanda to remind us she exists and it isn’t ALL ABOUT NEIL!

This is interesting, Neil goes home to his mum’s to look for wedding venues… in a phonebook! Who looks anything up in a phonebook anymore? Get thee to a wedding blog! He’s not having much luck, by the way, probably because he’s using a phonebook instead of, you know, the Internet! Oh, no wait. The Internet is down. He then says “my training does not train me for the Internet being down”. I look at J who’s frantically trying to find out if this guy is an officer, because if so, that would be terrifying.

Andrew chooses a couple of venues. They’re OK. Very nautical. One has terrible carpet. To celebrate, Neil gropes Andrew’s ass.

Andrew meets up with his mum and whinges about Neil’s unrequited love for him. He then refers to himself consecutively as “mummy’s little sailor” and then “mummy’s big sailor”. This explains a great deal.

To buy the dress, Neil brings Andrew to Barnados. I think there’s nothing wrong with that… if the bride (who has a good eye) is choosing. Vintage / 2nd hand is awesome – but some hideous throwback from the 80s… nichty, nichty. Finally, after Neil’s finished pretending to be Amanda (he’s not THAT stupid, Neil), Andrew convinces Neil to go to a dress shop.

Andrew chooses a dress without a model trying it on because he wants Amanda to be the only woman to wear it… apart from all the other women who probably came into the shop and tried it on. Another thing I don’t get about this show – since when can you just walk into a dress shop, buy a dress and take it home? Surely you have to order it and stuff and it takes weeks to arrive no?

Anyway, moving on and it’s Andrew’s birthday. Neil tries to pretend the present Amanda got is from him. Smooth. He’s really starting to get my goat. Andrew cries. Neil tells him to man up and uses it as an excuse to touch him. Then Andrew says something about sticking his tongue down Neil’s throat. Keep it PG-rated, boys. Neil dances around the living room for him. It all looks a bit uncomfortable…

It’s the stag do. Neil’s finally got Andrew in the babygro… and has bought some giant balls… They spend most of the stag rolling around on top of each other. They fall in the river and roll around together, all wet… Neil spanks Andrew. Again. Come on, Andrew, let me get you out of those wet jeans… Then they have a heart to heart where Andrew tries to make it clear to Neil that he’s getting married, who still doesn’t seem to get it. In the evening, he desperately buys him drink after drink. Again, Neil – he’s not THAT stupid. Having failed to impair Andrew’s judgement with alcohol, he has a bit of a strop. It’s funny.

Then comes the best moment in DTTB history! Andrew sends the girls, all dressed up for a traditional tacky hen do, on a treasure hunt in the woods! You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a bunch of peroxide blondes tottering around the forest in skyscraper heels and bunny ears, cursing resentfully and looking for lame party treat prizes. Epic. It’s like that terrible show Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie did. You know, the one where they had to do crappy jobs for a day in their finery! Yeah, like that. Amanda then goes out and dances on a table with her dress hitched up around her waist. Sexy. Oh wait, she’s a martial arts buff – that “sexy” wasn’t at all sarcastic.

Andrew goes flower girl dress shopping with Amanda’s daughter. Kid is cute. We warm to Andrew. Etcetera.

Andrew meets his parents to talk about the wedding. They start sniping and taking over. He sticks up for himself. For the first second or two, I’m quite glad, then he starts swearing at his mother! Not cool… she ought to give him a proper slap *disclaimer, this is ironic and in no way incitement to violence.

Anyway Amanda hates her dress, then she likes her dress, so it’s OK. Amanda doesn’t have her veil or tiara on the morning of the wedding but copes quite well and remains calm. She’s an hour late which leads a hopeful Neil to ask if she’s has second thoughts – well don’t look so happy about it, Neil! Can’t be bothered with full sentences anymore: bride likes wedding. All OK. Best man makes uncomfortable speech. Asks to come on the honeymoon. Sings a corny love song to him. Tries to kiss Andrew (desperate last-ditch attempt). Again. The end.

Join me again on Tuesday evening, BBC3, 9pm for more fun! Follow me on Twitter @shabbychicbride to join in the live chat!

Also once this series is over, is there anything you lot would like me to review? Suggestions in the comments box please!





1 Comment on Don’t Tell the Bride Review: Series 5, Episode 9: Andrew, Amanda and, erm… Neil

  1. Elisa :)
    February 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm (5 years ago)

    NEIL is amazing!!


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