The first four episodes of the Mindy Kaling / Matt Warburton co-created ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ streaming series landed on Hulu Wed. 31 July 2019. ‘Kash with a K,’ ‘Hounslow,’ ‘We Broke’ and ‘The Winner Takes It All,’ evenly directed by Charles McDougall and Tristram Shapeero, respectively, introduces subscribers to characters fitting of the age in which we now live.
While the series does not reflect an authentic remake of Mike Newell’s 1994 ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ film, there is enough similarity between the film and the series to keep fans happy for at least the first for episodes. The direction the production goes after the closing scene of ‘The Winner Takes It All’ is anyone’s guess.
Mostly set in London, the Hulu original series revolves around a closely-knit group of friends and their complex romantic entanglements which get increasingly problematic as the series progresses.
With a version of ‘Love is All Around’ playing, not the one from the film, the first character we see Maya (Emmanuel). Maya, the series’ protagonist, is the communications director for Congressman Ted Spencer (Tommy Dewey). Ted, if people will vote for him, is hoping to make the transition from the U.S. House of Representatives to the U.S. Senate. Ted keeps telling Maya he is going to leave his wife for her, but when he does, a breaking news report shows Maya was not the only person the politician was cheating on this wife with.
The first episode finds the protagonist taking a red-eye flight from New York to London. On arriving at Heathrow, Maya loses her suitcase because she apparently picks the wrong one up from the baggage area. After making a bit of a scene at the airport with one of its employees, Kash (Patel) assists her with finding her luggage but that’s only because his father talks him into assisting her. His father is the airport employee. Maya does not realise Kash is Ainsley’s (Rittenhouse) Kash until the party.
Craig (Smith), apparently happy with his relationship with Zara (La Porta), finds the past never really stays in the past when a former fling of his sends him a Facebook message informing him of his fatherhood to her child. Molly is Craig’s daughter.
Duffy (Reynolds), a teacher that hopes to have a book accepted by a publishing house, only has eyes from Maya. The teacher hopes to profess his love to Maya at the rom-com character themed-party, but it doesn’t go according to plan because Maya is waylaid by Kash and his girlfriend. At the party, Duffy takes on the persona of Lloyd Dobler, the character John Cusack plays in the 1989 romantic comedy ‘Say Anything.’ Dressing exactly like the character Duffy even has a boom box to complete the effect.
Last but not least is Ainsley’s neighbour Gemma (Boyle). Gemma initially personifies the up tightness of Britons perfectly. This characteristic becomes less of a thing when Gemma suffers a sudden loss in the third and fourth episodes. With the sudden death of Gemma’s husband, Quentin (Tom Mison), the funeral comes in the fourth episode.
In a complete departure from the film, not that that isn’t welcome, the series doesn’t have a whitewash cast. The series creators have taken the film narrative and transformed it into a tale featuring a diverse cast. Consequently, no one should be looking for a production which matches the film word for word, because this series is anything but a carbon copy. It stands on its own.
In the third episode, playing Ainsley’s mother, is Andie MacDowell. MacDowell played Carrie in the 1994 ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral.’ With it being a nice nod to the source material, it makes one wonder which other actors from the film will make appearances.