illustration of scene from wedding season
Illustration by Sarah Shin, George Washington University
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illustration of scene from wedding season
Illustration by Sarah Shin, George Washington University

The platform’s genre-defying show chaotically serves up entertainment.

Hulu’s latest series, “Wedding Season,” is a bold, genre-bending show that is not afraid to throw audiences for a loop in the name of fun. Right from the start, the rom-com, mystery and thriller show dives headfirst into an unexpected world of heartwarming romances, silly jokes, mind-boggling twists and electrifying mayhem — in other words, a fun mess.

Starring Rosa Salazar as the wild-eyed, mystifying fugitive, Katie, and Gavin Drea as the hopeless romantic doctor with big teddy-bear energy, Stefan, the series features a couple that is irresistibly magnetic even when all the odds are stacked against them. But it isn’t your typical love story. From the get-go, “Wedding Season” attempts to outwit audiences when a love-struck Stefan crashes Katie’s wedding ceremony in a rom-com moment that is meant to be heart-melting but, instead, is jaw-dropping. Not only that, but Katie gives “runaway bride” a whole new meaning after her affluent husband, Hugo Delaney (played by George Webster), and his entire family are mysteriously poisoned, pinning her and a broken-hearted Stefan as the prime suspects.

Unforgettable Wedding Anniversary G...
Unforgettable Wedding Anniversary Games To Play

After Katie breaks Stefan out of police custody, the Bonnie and Clyde-esque couple are forced to go on the run from dogged authorities — and later, a group of shady men disguised as pest control exterminators and a vengeful, crooked ex. An oblivious and highly infatuated Stefan takes the leap (literally) for Katie when he chooses to be right by her side despite his medical license and reputation hanging in the balance.

As to why Stefan would risk his life for a puzzling and dodgy woman, the show offers viewers context through flashbacks that depict their meet-cute and whirlwind love affair a few months before Katie’s wedding. However, even that won’t stop the urge to smack Stefan right in the head throughout the season for associating with such a woman, later dubbed “Killer Katie,” in the first place. She’s an enigma in every sense of the word, and just when you think you’ve got a handle on her, she throws you off once again.

Salazar nails Katie’s questionable sincerity and, like Stefan, has viewers going back and forth on whether her tears are real or not. In the first half of the eight-part series, Katie is the obvious suspect in the murder of the Delaneys — because, well, she’s nuts. But as the season further unfolds, Salazar knows just how to challenge audiences, her killer eyes slowly softening as questions get answered.

Her comfort with playing an equally cold-hearted and warm-hearted character complements Drea’s heart-on-sleeve performance. Drea’s natural, leading-man qualities and comedic chops clearly belong front and center in a cheesy rom-com; he somehow makes Stefan’s naivety seem endearing thanks to vulnerable, heartfelt moments that make it impossible not to root for the guy’s happiness. Stefan’s sincere hopes of getting married are infectious enough to captivate Katie throughout their hush-hush affair despite her actual fiancé waiting at their million-dollar abode.

Katie and Stefan’s fiery chemistry almost overshadows the acidic nature of their relationship. Although the two cannot be more different when it comes to what they want — Stefan, a real relationship, and Katie, revenge on the people who framed her and did her wrong in the past — their undeniable connection makes up for it. Despite the colossal mess they’ve found themselves in and their many near-death experiences while on the run, Katie and Stefan somehow grow closer together rather than farther apart.

Once the couple finds their footing on top of a shaky foundation and Stefan gets past Katie’s many flaws, particularly the one where she refers to him as her “side piece,” they eventually become each other’s home in the chaos. And they learn a thing or two from each other. Stefan realizes that it doesn’t matter if you’re married as long as you have a real relationship, while Katie realizes how much she wants marriage now that she’s finally found her person. Katie and Stefan make each other better and prove to audiences just how much romance can still blossom even when you are running for your lives.

“Wedding Season” also features a hilarious supporting cast that provides much of the lighthearted entertainment of the show. Stefan’s quirky inner circle of friends includes the polyamorous and free-spirited Jackson (Omar Baroud), the flirty, commitment-phobic Suji (Ioanna Kimbook), and the soon-to-be-married lovebirds, Anil and Leila (Bhav Joshi and Callie Cooke).

In every episode, the tight-knit group attends weddings together where they mingle, get drunk and try to knock some sense into a lovesick Stefan. They are loyal, caring and supportive friends who have Stefan’s back no matter what, even if that means doing their own little investigative work to help him. Although googling Stefan’s whereabouts when he goes missing and relying on a YouTube video to pick the lock to a detective’s apartment would perhaps be things less likely to happen in real life, what more can you expect from a millennial adult friend group? Like Stefan, the relatable, scene-stealing characters would shine in an actual rom-com.

“Wedding Season” is a hysterical, romantic-comedy mystery show that maintains an over-arching serious tone that naturally accompanies a “whodunnit” plot. The various pop-culture jokes, wholesome love confessions, and wacky wedding ceremonies in peculiar places provide plenty of relief from the unfortunate situations that unfold in each episode. What other show would have Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” playing in the background while a gun is pointed at someone’s head?

Given that this is also a thriller, the show also seems to thrive on unexpected twists and surprise reveals. By the time you get to the end of an episode, the story heads in an entirely different direction that you won’t see coming. Who you thought were the good guys turn out to be the bad guys and vice versa. Salazar and Drea deliver electric chemistry that makes Katie and Stefan’s romance feel earned and worthy of the viewers’ approval. For better or for worse, you are sure to fall head over heels for Hulu’s “Wedding Season.”

Writer Profile

Megan Garcia

Arizona State University
Film and Media Studies

Megan is a film and media studies major at Arizona State University. With a passion for storytelling, she hopes to reach others through her writing, and of course, have fun while doing so.

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