Why We’re Unashamedly Watching ‘Bad Bridesmaid’

can one rogue bridesmaid ruin the fun for the rest? Erm, yes.


by Daisy Buchanan |
Published on

The premise of Bad Bridesmaid is flawless. I can only assume its writers and storyline producers were visited by a telly angel in a work dream. The bride – in this case, a sweet 29-year-old lass called Nicola who is no stranger to straighteners and is Fake Baked to the colour of heavily caffeinated tea – is introducing a new rogue bridesmaid to the rest of her hens, and persuading them she’s a distant acquaintance, not a perfect stranger who is in cahoots with the bride to convince the other bridesmaids that she’s legit – winning a luxe honeymoon for the bride and a spa break for the long-suffering bridesmaids.

Gemma is committed to the role, posing as a trainee beautician in her probationary period. She vomits when she’s nervous, and she vomits when she’s thinking about getting nervous, which is a bit of a distraction for the poor woman who’s being pedicured by Gemma in the VO.

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Gemma arrives, having apparently been shouting at her boyfriend in the car all the way from Whitley Bay, and proceeds to win the hearts and minds of the bridesmaids by telling them that, as a beautician, she’s been trained to spot the signs of ageing – devastating poor 25-year-old Emily by guessing that she’s 34. ‘But you’re a bonny lass!’ she cries, knowing full well that bonny means fat when you’re south of the Watford Gap. Gemma appeals to the northern members of the party, who have ‘well-hydrated skin because it rains so much up north. That’s why my skin is better than yours.’ Everyone is still reeling when she instigates a one-woman pillow fight.

To dinner, and Gemma announcing that she’s only brought ‘a couple of pairs of pants, so I’m going to have to borrow some of yours.’ The hens’ game faces are sliding off and dropping onto the carpeted floor of the minivan. At dinner, hens Nikki and Claire are disappointed by the naked butlers: ‘We thought they’d be celebrities!’ But of course, Gemma steals the show by crying, ‘The've got their doodies hanging out, they're touching the food and they've got their dingle dangles out!’ It’s a nice twist for the viewers at home – I was expecting Gemma to have an entirely positive reaction to bare cock. Gemma warms to the butlers after they rescue her from the locked toilet. ‘I want the butlers to serve cake at your wedding, Nicola! That is my gift to you!’ cries Gemma, who is threatening to blow Nicola’s cover as some of the girls have started whispering, ‘Is she for real?’ To be fair to Gemma, I would be as lairy as she is if I had to have dinner with a load of people I didn’t know and pay £16.95 for a main.

Gemma and Nicola manage to keep the secret, but the next day Gemma brings drama to the breakfast table: looking marvellously sad and sodden, she weeps that her long-suffering boyfriend has just left her. 'Feel like Adele – she got dumped, didn't she? She's always getting dumped, isn't she? And he never let us wax his back!’ The girls are dumbfounded. ‘Do we give her a cuddle? Is she that sort of person?’ muses Emily, who really wants to say, ‘I’m not touching her unless someone can prove she has pants on.’

Gemma recovers for long enough to attend a cheerleading class (I would start getting suspicious immediately when I discovered that the hens were expected to take part in so many hideous activities) Gemma is about as good at cheerleading as Stevie Wonder is at completing the charts you have to read in the opticians. She rolls around, she howls, she trips over her ridiculous high tops, she hurls abuse at the other hens while sat in a chair with a mouth full of jelly. To her credit, Nicola only starts to lose her cool when she discovers the cheer instructor isn’t in on the joke. Gemma makes it up to the girls with a makeover. ‘So, I’m going to do your eyes to match your lips,’ she explains, and I miss a bit because I have to screw my face up and scream into a cushion in order to release myself from a full-body cringe hold. Questionable slap on, the girls try their bridesmaid dresses. The love them, apart from Gemma, natch, who, to everyone’s horror, is ‘a bit clammy’ and tries to create her own air con with a pair of scissors. Most of the girls are motionless with horror. Edward Albee could have written this.

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The mood is a little sour the morning after, and the girls are off for another bloody activity. Crate Expectations. ‘It's a combination of agility, teamwork and stacking. And crates,’ explains Emily helpfully. ‘Is this 'cause youse didn’t have enough money to build an assault course?’ screams Gemma, swinging from her harness and complaining of a chafe. She’s irritating but brilliant value and one can see the hens warming to her. Nicola is struggling, though. ‘Gemma’s a knob,’ she tells the cameras, just before Gemma has to stumble out of the taxi for a nervy vom.

Now to Elements nightclub for neon drinks. Gemma is getting the girls onside, in silver lame shorts, her trucker cap, and a dance move that Psy could have signed off, if Psy had two quadruple espressos and then a massive, calming spliff. At the bar, Gemma announces she’s moving south from Whitley Bay and wonders if anyone has a spare room she could stay in ‘for three or four months’. Claire volunteers hers. What is in those woo woos?

The next day, Gemma finally confesses, and this is the bit that causes the girls the most distress. ‘But you’re still coming to the wedding, aren’t you? I was looking forward to seeing you dance!’ wails a distraught Emily. Nicola’s won her honeymoon, but I think her hens feel like they’ve lost a mate. Not sure the producers have prepared for this outcome, but hopefully Gemma is prepared to slip back into character and maintain some sort of fake Facebook friendship (if that’s not a tautology).

Bad Bridesmaid is on every Thursday at 9pm on ITV2.

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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