'Shedding for the Wedding' on The CW

Pictured: Marc with Trainer Nicky Holender in " Pictured: Marc with Trainer Nicky Holender in " Shedding for the Wedding ", episode: "Dearly Beloved, We Are Gathered Here..." Photo Credit: Patrick Wymore/The CW Photo Credit: Patrick Wymore/The CW/Patrick Wymore

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REVIEW

REASON TO WATCH: Hope-filled competition with likable couples, pushing themselves hard to make their lives together better.

WHEN/WHERE: Wednesday at 9 on CW/11

Something. It's about something real - which is more than most scheming "reality" contests can say.

So ignore that cutesy rhyming title and meet some people you'd actually want to spend time with. They're overweight to-be-marrieds, competing at a California cliffside resort to win the wedding of their dreams. All the winners have to do is lose the most weight. And when fiancé and fiancée combined can top 600 pounds, that's saying something BIG.

But "Shedding" plays it straight, and so do these everyday couples, who couldn't be more sincerely engaging. Their wedding themes provide tonight's premiere hour with its easy intros.

There's even a local angle: Marc Lund, owner of Levittown's Governor's comedy club and his Babylon fiancée, Ginny, are planning a romantic beach wedding, while also trying to quit smoking. (Good luck with weight loss there.) Among the other pairs are gamers, football fans, eco- "greens" and a couple of fun lovers whose wedding simply must include beer pong.

Two trainers are in residence to kick their butts, with a nutritionist to reprogram their palates (one guy won't eat anything green) and a wedding planner to induce swooning over princess gowns. Host Sara Rue, a weight-loss story herself, sympathetically oversees challenges like tonight's dance contest to hit the highest combined heart rate or next week's obstacle course race carrying tiered cakes. Weekly prizes include wedding attire and other accoutrements, while eliminations follow weekly weigh-ins.

MY SAY There's enough warmth and optimism here to soften the heart of even a reality grinch like me. Already after the premiere's first few minutes, I felt incensed that only one of these authentic couples could win the posh wedding. Producers clearly encourage some to-the-camera carping, but the overriding emotional tone is one of bonding and growth. And respect. In a reality competition!

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BOTTOM LINE Life-affirming revelations with real people.

GRADE B

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