Masters of Reception

TV review by
Anne Louise Bannon, Common Sense Media
Masters of Reception TV Poster Image
Wedding reality show reinforces "perfect day" ideal.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

While the show ostensibly focuses on love and beauty, there's some serious conspicuous consumption going on here, and the whole "bride as Queen for a Day" theme is very strong -- emphasizing the idea of the wedding over the concept of the marriage.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The role models are very mixed. Some of the brides get very demanding -- the fact that the planning staff gives them everything they ask for without letting them see how much trouble it causes them doesn't help -- while others are very easygoing and flexible.

Violence
Sex

There's the occasional racy reference, but it's remarkably tame, all things considered.

Language

Words like "crappy" are audible, though used infrqeuently. Stronger swearing is muted.

Consumerism

While there aren't any mentions of specific brands or products, the show does "sell" the concept of the dream wedding.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Champagne, hard liquor, and other alcoholic beverages are served at weddings (usually in glasses, though sometimes in more creative ways like a fancy ice sculpture), though no one is seen over-indulging.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality show about a veteran wedding-planning business fosters the myth of the "dream wedding" as a major production -- focusing all of the attention on the big day rather than on the life-long relationship that comes afterward. And while the costs of such an event are never mentioned, they have to be astronomical. The brides (and to a lesser degree, the grooms) are catered to and pampered at every turn, which sometimes reinforces their tendencies to be demanding. That said, there are defintely some anti-Bridezillas in the mix, too.

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What's the story?

The Frungillo Brothers wedding company has been in business for over 30 years and is still a family business. Each episode of MASTERS OF RECEPTION follows the company's staff in a basic "day in the life" way, showing how they go to extraordinary lengths to make sure each of their brides has exactly (and we mean exactly) what she wants for her dream wedding.

Is it any good?

As shows like this go, it's good without being exceptional. The weddings are fun, and you can't help get a little teary-eyed watching the couples recite their vows.

That said, the receptions are so over the top that it's hard not to marvel and yet wince at the same time. Bottom line? Wedding-TV junkies will probably enjoy it, but it might not send the best message to tweens and teens about the importance of a wedding vs. a marriage.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the messages the show sends about weddings. Why are weddings such a big deal in general? What

  • role does the media play in making us think that the wedding is as

  • important as the marriage?

  • How does the way the show is edited affect your perception of events? Do you think all of the things you see happening really happened that way? Why do producers take liberty with the facts?

TV details

  • Premiere date: June 12, 2009
  • Network: TLC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG

For kids who love reality TV

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