Nov 8 - 14, 2012 
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Idiot Box

“Glee” for Straight Dudes

“Wedding Band” on TBS

By Devin D. O’Leary

TBS’ new hour-long comedy doesn’t spotlight the most creative idea on basic cable. “Wedding Band” is more or less Wedding Crashers and The Wedding Singer crudely sewn onto an episode of “Glee” with those big, Frankenstein-style stitches. Ignore the scars, though, and you might discover an amiably raunchy musical comedy with which to while away a boring Saturday night.

“Wedding Band” centers on a bromantic quartet of dudes in a rock band whose sole gigs seem to be weddings. That’s not as bad as it seems, really, because our boys have come up with an ironclad set of rules to make this career path pleasant. Take, for example, the commandment that Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” be performed at every reception. Why? Because the lady who sings along the loudest is guaranteed to be a recent divorcée ready, willing and able to sleep with any guy carrying a guitar.

Former “Beverly Hills, 90210” alum Brian Austin Green brings some shaggy charm as the group’s lead singer and confirmed “perma-bachelor” Tommy. Harold Perrineau (“Lost”) is the longtime studio musician tagging along for bridesmaids and free booze. Peter Cambor (“NCIS: Los Angeles”) is the terminally married guy who must sneak out from under his wife’s iron thumb in order to perform. And Derek Miller (“Secret Girlfriend”) is the chubby party animal who wishes he was Jack Black.

Each week, they attend a different public event. (They also do birthday parties, bar mitzvahs and high school reunions). The boys dispense a few crude-enough-for-basic-cable-jokes and kick out a handful of cover tunes. The music is familiar and occasionally fun (“West End Girls” performed on cello and glockenspiel?), but it’s not likely to send anyone rushing to iTunes for the soundtrack. The show’s 60-minute run time allows writers breathing room to construct the occasional well-built punchline. (The bit about Gloria Gaynor is pretty clever. And the show gets bonus points for dropping the phrase “Jamiroquai hat.”) On the other hand, an hour seems kinda long for a sitcom.

Melora Hardin (who played Jan in “The Office” and Baby in a “Dirty Dancing” TV series I don’t remember happening) pops by occasionally as the president of a fancy wedding planning company. The role—man-hungry cougar—is a cliché, but Hardin seems to be having fun with it. There are hints of brewing romance between Tommy and the wedding planner’s engaged assistant (Jenny Wade from “Reaper”). But mostly the show’s an open bar of PG-13 sex jokes, fully clothed strippers and Def Leppard insults. Perhaps primetime TV is missing a certain crotch-grabbing, cleavage-ogling, Judd Apatow-esque vibe. If so, “Wedding Band” seems eager to fill the void.

“Wedding Band” premieres Saturday, Nov. 10, at 8 p.m. on TBS.
 
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