I don’t know if any of you have ever seen ‘Brides of Franc’ (RTE1 Tuesdays) but if you haven’t you should gouge out your eyes right now to save you from ever watching it. If you have seen it, and haven’t got around to removing your eyeballs just yet, you’re probably standing on the edge of a cliff replaying some final happy memories. A lack of eyes would also help at this juncture, as hurling yourself into the Atlantic at a horrifying speed will probably remind you so much of Franc and his assorted newly weds that it will ruin the sense of relief as you go one on one with the jagged rocks. Yes, ‘Brides of Franc’ is like the worst kind of suicide. One that lasts 30 painful minutes, is followed by Fair City and on again next week.
Franc is a ‘wedding designer’. He’s a camp, puffed up happy sort of chap who creates high profile, fun, couture and exclusive events. He’s internationally known, but so was Harold Shipman and the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. He will turn your perfectly normal happy day into a seedy orgy of excess and sparkling things. And he’ll do it for less than treble the amount of money you actually have. Franc is sort of like a shirt-lifting Celtic Tiger. Even the name suggests horror. But, for all his flaws, Franc is not the worst thing about this show.
D&G are Dee and Graham. Their friends like to call them ‘Dolce and Gabana’ which Dee seems to wear as a badge of honour and not as a sandwich board of utter contempt and disrespect that their friends obviously meant. She says ‘Bling’ a lot and instructs Franc to make it ‘Razzle dazzle sparkle shiny glittery wow factor glamour’. She’s like a fucking Magpie, except she’s an orange. She’s a terrorist attack. Graham looks like an Aldi Simon Pegg and hasn’t seen his balls since their second date.
The theme is ‘Nightclub’. They’ve picked the venue, the Westin in Dublin. It has wonderful chandeliers apparently so Franc suggests mirrored tables, incredibly with a straight face, so the guests don’t have to bend their necks looking at the ceiling. Venue chosen, Graham then stars in an advert for Louis Copeland but Dee doesn’t think the chosen suit is bling enough. She stalls just short of asking if they have anything in solid gold. It’s heartfelt stuff, for a moment she almost weakens and acts like it’s not just her getting married.
“How’s the crotch G?” asks Louis
“A bit loose, but there's a good reason for that ”
Despite everything, the show actually plays out like a government warning advertisement. It’s a drink driving ad for obscene spending. They should have shown this show on repeat every hour on the hour every day for the last ten years. I swear, if they had, we’d all be doing fine now. We’d all have an economy and places to live. We’d still have our eyes.
It continues. Graham, possibly undergoing a nervous breakdown the day before the wedding, sends Franc out to buy him some shoes, under the flimsy pretence of being ‘busy’ at work.
“Preferably Runners Franc”, he should have said.
Dee is getting her digits hacked at and indulges in some pained cross-class conversation with her naildresser (or whatever they’re called), whilst Grahams friends hide all the cutlery and cordon off the balcony and settle down to some cigars and cards. Franc arrives at the hotel brandishing an ice sculpture with the iconic D&G carved into it. Despite admitting that the room is going to be ‘on fire’ with candles, the idea of something made of ice melting doesn’t seem to have registered with him. Until it melts that is.
Then Francs big surprise, a comedian. Not just any comedian, in fact not even a comedian. He’s wheels out Dave Young, a guy that is to comedy, what a terrifying sexual assault is to your communion day. Another reason to say goodbye to your sight.
And that's it. They get married. D&G become D&G and the economy lies in ruins. And seeing the icy D&G, which Franc probably carved with his money fuelled erection, turn to mush and drip all over the specially laid carpet, is simply a metaphor too far for this blogger.