'112 Weddings' on HBO, 'Under the Dome' on CBS

Posted: July 01, 2014

* 112 WEDDINGS. 9 tonight, HBO.

* UNDER THE DOME. 10 tonight, CBS3.

DOCUMENTARY filmmakers tend not to make Michael Bay money, so for years Doug Block ("51 Birch Street," "The Kids Grow Up") supplemented his income by producing cinema verite-style videos for couples getting married.

"It's hard to resist getting swept up in it all," Block says in "112 Weddings," which premieres tonight on HBO. "A few weeks later, I send out their videos and I never see them again."

Well, that was the plan, anyway.

At some point, the documentarian in Block got curious to see how the happily-ever-after part was going. And as the month that Americans associate with weddings comes to a close, he takes us back up the aisle and into the later lives of 10 of the 112 couples whose weddings he'd recorded.

The results, mixed though they are, won't be Earth-shattering to anyone who's been married more than a half-hour or so. Children change things. So can illness or other hardships.

But every marriage remains a bit of a mystery, sometimes even to the people within it, and there's more than a voyeuristic satisfaction in seeing people talk about what they've learned in the years since they first said "I do."

Including the ones who've figured out that they don't belong together.

Maybe it's because a man was asking the questions, but I was struck by how emotional some of the men were and how willing to talk about the tougher aspects of love.

One, married nine years and the father of a daughter who's spent much of her young life fighting to stay alive, seems more eager than his wife to explain what that's like.

"There's no real book on how to care for a child who may be taken from you at any moment," he says. "You have no control. Zero control."

Yet amid what he calls "a living nightmare," they both speak of happiness in a way that suggests more understanding than any ceremony could possibly confer.

Back 'Under the Dome'

Last summer's most-watched show returns tonight with Chester's Mill still "Under the Dome."

Not that anyone seriously thought that the Stephen King-generated biosphere would have disappeared over the winter.

King wrote the season premiere, in which he also has a cameo, and it picks up where it left off, with James "Big Jim" Rennie (Dean Norris) getting ready to hang Dale "Barbie" Barbara (Warminster's Mike Vogel) for crimes we all know he didn't commit.


Phone: 215-854-5950

On Twitter: @elgray

Blog: ph.ly/EllenGray

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