Review: ‘Las Vegas Garden of Love’

Exhausting the "family with weird occupation" reality format in record time, ABC Family chimes in with this no-reason-to-exist concept about an extended clan that runs a Vegas wedding chapel. Attention, "Family Plots" and "Family Business": All is forgiven.

Exhausting the “family with weird occupation” reality format in record time, ABC Family chimes in with this no-reason-to-exist concept about an extended clan that runs a Vegas wedding chapel. The only wrinkle here is that the main character, as it were, is the wedding mill’s 15-year-old videographer, Johnny, and the premiere focuses on him going on a date in a limo, adding a creep factor to what would otherwise be merely annoying. Attention, “Family Plots” and “Family Business”: All is forgiven.

The big tension in the debut half-hour involves Johnny taking time off to go on his date, which is no doubt calculated to appeal to a teen audience. That demographic had better show up, since no one old enough to see an R-rated movie without mom is apt to care.

Cheryl, Johnny’s cousin, has custody of him and runs the chapel, which, we’re told, performs 1,500 weddings a month, with an Elvis impersonator available to officiate. Aside from assorted relatives who fail to register as more than a blip (Uncle Chuck? Aunt Barb?), there’s also a Capuchin monkey named Harley.

If that sounds a trifle dull, it’s meant to. Someone apparently forgot to watch other reality shows, which capitalize on editing to craft stories. None of that really happens here — a missed opportunity, perhaps, in terms of the chapel’s clientele.

Coming of age in Vegas, by itself, presents a potpourri of tawdry possibilities, though they lend themselves better to scripted drama than reality — especially with a transplanted teenager thrust into the show’s spotlight.

“Garden of Love” was simply an ill-conceived idea from the get-go, one of those projects that must have sounded good at some point but, like many a Vegas wedding, probably wouldn’t have happened if everyone had been sober enough to think things through.

Las Vegas Garden of Love

ABC Family, Mon. March 21, 9:30 p.m.

Production

Filmed in Las Vegas by Schmaguuli Prods. Executive producers, Stephen Hopkins, David Schermerhorn, Brent Travers; co-executive producers, Mark Angotti, Sandy Cohen; producers, Charles Kramer, Sarah Skibitzke; co-producers, Kate Garwood, Jennifer Anderson.

Crew

Senior story producer, Skibitzke; editor, Scott Evans; music, Tor Hyams. Running Time: Running Time: 30 MIN.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety

Loading