Review: ‘The Wedding Band’

"The Wedding Band"

Television yields relatively few pleasant surprises, and "The Wedding Band" falls squarely into that camp.

Television yields relatively few pleasant surprises, and “The Wedding Band” falls squarely into that camp. What appears to be another one of those tiresome hybrids — something like “Wedding Crashers” meets the short-lived “Party Down” — turns out to be breezy and at times quite funny, focusing on a slightly daft quartet that plays such events, occupying the strange middle-realm on the fringe of an actual entertainment career. TBS has somewhat inexplicably sentenced the one-hour series to Saturdays at 10 p.m., where, alas, prospects for living happily ever after seem limited.

Perhaps the most promising aspect of the show is that those who get through the first episode — which must do the business of introducing the group, using the familiar technique of a wedding in which lead singer Tommy (Brian Austin Green) has a personal connection — will be rewarded with hours that get progressively better. The third previewed, in fact, is easily the funniest, with the group playing a sci-fi wedding, and Tommy becoming an instant hero/villain of geeks everywhere by bedding the lead of a “Battlestar Galactica”-like series (guest Megan Fox, the real-life Mrs. Green).

Nothing in “Wedding Band” is especially fresh, but like a good cover of an old standard, it’s put together in a pleasing way. Beyond Green’s ladies man, there’s the married guy, Eddie (Peter Cambor), who keeps running into scenarios that risk having his wife (Kathryn Fiore) kill him; Eddie’s brother Barry (Derek Miller), the drummer/resident goofball; and new-guy Stevie (Harold Perrineau, whose affiliation with “Lost” is wryly put to good use in the aforementioned third hour).

The female contingent, meanwhile, includes not just the irritated wife but also the booking company that secures their gigs, headed by Roxie (“The Office’s” Melora Hardin), who walks into a strip club and, oddly, seems to know the place like the back of her hand; and Rachel (Jenny Wade), her harried associate.

The program was created by a pair of “South Park” scribes, Josh Lobis and Darin Moiselle, who capture some of that irreverent sensibility while maintaining an element of sweetness and conjuring situations that never push too hard. In an age where a lot of half-hours on cable feel like dramas, this is a rare hour that genuinely plays like a comedy.

Admittedly, the show isn’t an obvious fit for TBS, whose sister channel TNT also appeared a bit flummoxed over what to do with “Men of a Certain Age.” Oddly, “Wedding Band” represents the lighter-hearted companion that show needed — and is probably more accessible, since the performing-at-big-life-events backdrop, coupled with the catchy music, is so relatable.

As is, the show’s best hope is being afforded enough time for a modest core audience to find it on a night broadcasters have turned into sports and rerun-amortization theater.

Consigned as it is to TV’s equivalent of off-Broadway, the show’s odds probably aren’t great. Still, “The Wedding Band” delivers a good time, even if — sort of like an actual wedding band — nobody remembers much the morning after.

The Wedding Band

TBS, Sat. Nov. 10, 10 p.m.

Production

Filmed in Los Angeles by Mike Tollin Prods. and FremantleMedia. Executive producers, Tollin, Josh Lobis, Darin Moiselle, Matt Pyken; co-executive producers, Bryan Gordon, Ben Spector; producer, Tim Marx; director, Gordon; writers, Lobis, Moiselle.

Crew

Camera, Giovani Lampassi; production designer, Mayling Cheng; editor Rob Seidenglanz; music, Adam Schlesinger, Blake Neely; music producers, Schlesinger, Steven M. Gold; casting, Lisa Miller Katz, Joseph Wisniewski. 60 MIN.

Cast

Tommy - Brian Austin Green
Stevie - Harold Perrineau
Eddie - Peter Cambor
Barry - Derek Miller
Roxie Rutherford - Melora Hardin
Rachel - Jenny Wade
Ingrid - Kathryn Fiore

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