television: From 90210 to Wedding Band
Brian Austin Green takes centre stage in an energetic comedy, writes Guy Davis
REMEMBER Brian Austin Green, the baby-faced member of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 cast? He’s nearly 40 – and he’s a father of two. So if you’d like to take a few moments to ponder the fleeting passage of the past 20 years, feel free.
Here’s the thing, though: having a few extra miles on the meter kind of suits Green. He looked a little geeky next to other 90210 heart-throbs such as Jason Priestley and Luke Perry back in the day, but carries himself well as a relatively fresh-faced 39-year-old.
Plus his partner is Transformers starlet Megan Fox, so he must have something going for him, right?
The stars of 90210 have sometimes struggled to find good roles since the teen soap’s 1990s heyday.
But Wedding Band might turn things around for Green, who plays the frontman of a Seattle wedding band called Mother of the Bride in the likeable, energetic musical comedy.
‘‘He never evolved. He’s a permanent 17-year-old. He’s the guy who will never stop, even though it hurts the next day,’’ Green says of his character.
Don’t be misled: Wedding Band doesn’t reinvent the wheel. In fact, some of it seems positively old hat (the women characters, in particular, come across as a little stereotypical).
But the cast has verve and talent, traits shared by the people behind the scenes. Among Wedding Band’s most valuable players is music producer Adam Schlesinger, formerly a member of indie band Fountains of Wayne. He’s a songwriter and arranger with a real knack for catchy tunes and his input makes Mother of the Bride an outfit worth catching.
Take the opening scene of the first episode, which has Green’s Tommy performing a cover of Gwen Stefani’s
Hollaback Girl while the show’s characters are introduced.
Co-leading the band is Eddie (Peter Cambor), who founded the outfit with dreams of rock’n’roll stardom. He’s since settled into suburban humdrum with his supportive wife and kids.
Eddie’s brother Barry (Derek Miller) is the band’s wild-man drummer, while
Lost star Harold Perrineau brings a sweet, soulful quality to veteran session muso Stevie, the new bass player enjoying the camaraderie that comes with a full-time gig.
When Mother of the Band is onstage, belting out offbeat arrangements of classics or sneaking a few alternative cuts into their sets, Wedding Band really finds its groove – the guys work well together and their performances are engaging and fun.
Offstage they have various troubles, ranging from a nagging dissatisfaction to ongoing immaturity – and that’s where Wedding Band hits its snags. It’s not that these scenes are bad, they simply lack the vitality of the musical sequences.
Don’t worry: There are plenty of weddings, stag nights, parties and even funerals to keep Mother of the Bride occupied for a while to come.
Though Tommy and his fellow musos never crack the big time, each gig is a blast in its own way. That’s the vibe of
Wedding Band and it comes through loud and clear.
Wedding Band: Wednesdays, 7.30pm, Ten, Ten SC
Wedding Band stars Harold Perrineau, Brian Austin Green and Derek Miller.