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What’s with the rash of TV weddings in October?

Weddings? Got nothing against them. Been to a few and some of them were loads of fun. No brawling, in other words. Some bawling though, as tears were shed.

In my childhood, as my mother took me about on her shopping rounds in a small Irish town, sometimes she'd join a gaggle of women hanging around the church waiting for the bride and groom to emerge. Confetti thrown and smiles. The whispered assessments of frocks and muttered assertions that the groom might not be able keep "yer woman" in the style to which she is accustomed.

Ah yes, life as it is, wherever the grass grows. Traditionally, weddings on TV take place during the May sweeps period, at the end of the TV season, and usually on a comedy series. As I've noted before, Shakespeare would have understood the impulse to end the comedy with a wedding celebration in the spring. He did it himself, celebrating the ordered pattern of life that includes renewal every spring, after winter has been survived and the sap is newly rising.

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Lately there's been an outburst of weddings. Okay, two. And it's only October. Why, just the other day while watching The Mentalist (yes it's true, I don't only watch Golden Age of TV shows) a wedding broke out. Cops Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) and Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) tied the knot after an impromptu proposal by Wayne. Before you could say, "They're so totally right for each other," they were hitched and heading off in a carriage. Grace looked super-radiant. And presumably they'll be back next week to catch that Red John killer.

Tonight, there's another one. Much postponed, this one.

On Bones (Fox, Global, 8 p.m.), finally, after eight long seasons, Booth (David Boreanaz) and Brennan (Emily Deschanel) walk down the aisle. They hooked up a long time ago, but now it's getting official.

It's a fun episode, playing up the quirks of both characters and deftly blending the wedding scenario with the forensics work done by the characters. There's a wedding rehearsal in progress when things open and, as the whole world expects, things are interrupted by the discovery of a body. Immediately, people start taking bets on how soon the wedding will be called off.

Goofiness abounds as Dr. Brennan tries to go about her work without ruining her nails, newly spruced up for the wedding, and with her hair in curlers. Meanwhile there's the mystery of that dead body. In that regard, things are nicely intertwined with the love story and wedding of Booth and Bones. Things go awry again. This being network TV, obstacles to true love must be overcome. Someone says, "The details aren't important, the poetry is important." And the viewers are a little touched by that.

Eventually, of course, the wedding happens. It is presented in slow motion and Cyndi Lauper sings. Bones, being Bones, has something to say to the assembled guests after her dad gives her away: "This is not one man ceremonially handing over a woman to another man as though she's property. Okay?" The vows are wonderful. Things end happily, but you won't need a box of tissues handy for this particular wedding.

Now that the splendidly sarcastic and brisk Dr. Temperance Brennan of Bones has got hitched, and it's only October, whatever could happen next? Will the Headless Horseman on Sleepy Hollow (Fox, Global, 9 p.m.) get hitched to some lucky gal in the next episodes? Will the presumed-dead Irene Adler re-appear and get married to Sherlock Holmes on Elementary (CBS, Global, Thursday, 10 p.m.)?

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It's all very disorienting. It was easier when all weddings on TV show took place in May. That used to be one of the laws of television.

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About the Author
Television critic

John Doyle is The Globe and Mail's television critic. His column appears in the Review section Monday to Thursday and on Saturday. He has been the paper's critic since 2000. More


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