Wedding Day -- TV Review

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Divorce stats be damned: Americans continue to devoutly, enthusiastically, believe in weddings. So when Mark Burnett -- the man who made TV stars out of island starvelings, fifth grade smarty-pants and Donald Trump's hair -- steps up into the wedding fray, stand back.

With TNT's "Wedding Day," he has fashioned a match made in heaven: a well-plotted "Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition" for one lucky couple, who each week receive the wedding of their dreams.

Not everybody's eligible; the couple has to have an emotional backstory, and the pilot's is a lulu: Four days before Holli and Steve were to have been married last year, she was in a horrific car accident. Celebrity event planners and "Wedding Day" hosts swoop in like fairy godparents to make everything shiny, and then the show really takes off. Holli gets her dream wedding -- a "Sex and the City"-themed reception where she gets to walk down the aisle in Manolos (pathos alert: they're flats thanks to her accident-related hip injury).

It's all very pretty. But "Wedding Day" works best with its attention to unexpected details -- Holli and Steve's church gets a refurbished floor and new stained-glass window and local artisans are used for both projects (as well as family and friends), which turns their celebration into a communal, it-takes-a-village production. On top of everything, the couple's in-progress home is finished and furnished for them. It's hard not to imagine Burnett tipping his chin at "Makeover": "Fix a house? Feh! We'll marry them and fix their house!"

"Wedding" has uneven moments; its early scenes are a soft-focus, talking-heads, "Dateline"-inspired snoozefest, but fortunately the pace picks up once the couple is in on the surprise. Holli's emotion, conveyed moistly through her eyeliner, can even get a jaded old TV reviewer choked up more than once.

So yes, "Wedding" is conventional. But so are weddings themselves, for the most part. Devotees will be delighted by the new series, and party planners should bring their notepad. It's a gentle, pleasant walk down the aisle.

Airdate: 8-9 p.m. Tuesday, June 16 (TNT)
Production: Mark Burnett Prods. and DreamWorks Television
Hosts: Alan Dunn, Diann Valentine
Executive producers: Mark Burnett, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, Janelle Fiorito
Supervising producers: Roberta Christensen
Producer: Alan Blassberg
Director of photography: Michael Dean
Casting: Kris Canning
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