TBS's Wedding Band has been as much fun as front-row seats to an awesome concert. The TV season's best new comedy has packed in plenty of laughs, covered a list of catchy songs from KISS to Jay-Z, and even induced a heartwarming moment or two. Tonight, Wedding Band celebrates its first-season finale, and it's sure to go out on a high note.
To mark the occasion, actor Peter Cambor, who plays family man and weekend rock star Eddie, recently talked with me about all the things that are awesome about this show.
"First and foremost, the first thing you do is you read the script, and the writing was great," he explained of his initial reaction to the material. "It just really sort of came off the page well. It wasn't too jokey. It was more sort of situational and sort of character-driven."
Once he got into the audition process, there was another plus: the people he'd end up working with. "I think kind of getting the vibe of [co-creators] Darin [Moiselle] and Josh [Lobis], and also the kind of the whole core that was going to be producing it, it was so sort of collaborative. They were really open to your input and feedback," Peter explained.
While he and his Mother of the Bride bandmates - Brian Austin Green, Harold Perrineau and Derek Miller - might not look like the foursome you'd expect to headline this kind of show, they're pretty much perfect, and according to Peter, they knew they were right for the gig once they'd auditioned together. "We just kind of went in and did this group scene and it was so much fun," he explained, going on to compliment the show's entire ensemble, which also includes actresses Melora Hardin, Jenny Wade and Kathryn Fiore. "They did a great job casting this. It's just a really great cast."
Wedding Band requires the four actors to perform several songs each week, and Cambor came to the show with his own musical background. "I started playing guitar when I was in sixth grade. I've sort of played my whole life," he said. "I sort of had enough to ease me into it." His character has since wielded everything from his usual guitar to a sitar, and played songs ranging from classic rock to the Backstreet Boys. Even if they are made for TV, no one can call this band a one-hit wonder.
And yes, those performances are just as exciting as you think they are. "The musical numbers are incredibly fun," explained Peter. "You're up on the stage, there's 150 extras sitting there screaming. It's everything great about being a musician and nothing bad."
Is there anything he's hoping never to see on a Mother of the Bride set list? "I'm a big believer in never covering The Beatles," he confided.
Past the music, however, is a group of well-drawn characters who feel like real people, not sitcom templates. On paper, husband and father Eddie could have been the 'boring married guy' that gets all of the headaches and none of the fun - but Peter credits Wedding Band's co-creators for the development of his character. "Darin and Josh are great writers for the part in the sense that they are 'boring married guys' but they're not boring guys," he said. "They struggle with that identity. They're pursuing their dream and managing that with a family life.
"People see [Eddie] as sort of likeable, especially juxtaposed to Tommy, but it makes him three-dimensional," he continued, adding that "I will inevitably participate in the hijinks, because there was a period of time where I engaged in that wholeheartedly."
Another highlight for Peter is working with the show's gifted ensemble cast. "It's a real treat going into Rutherford's office, those big scenes when everyone's kind of there," he said. "The one person I kind of never have scenes with is Jenny Wade. The Rachel character just absolutely cracks me up [with] her willingness in the most extreme way to go along with everything."
And when it comes to his badass TV wife, Kathryn Fiore: "She's the best. She's just fantastic," he added. "I love that side of the show [with] Eddie reconciling his dream."
In addition to rocking out on Saturday nights, Peter also continues in his recurring role as psychologist Nate Getz on CBS's NCIS: Los Angeles. He most recently appeared in this week's episode, 'Paper Soldiers,' with Nate forced to ask tough questions of one-time love interest Rose (Kathleen Rose Perkins). "I love working on that show and I love those guys," he said. "It's a real treat to come back and do that."
With Wedding Band, he may have found his perfect role. The infinitely likeable actor is one of those folks you just enjoy seeing on television, like an old friend that's come back for a visit. He has a comedic ability that allows Eddie to be believable both admonishing his bandmates when necessary (if you'd only valet-parked the minivan, Barry!), and when his long-frustrated inner rock god comes out, even if it means initially embarrassing himself in front of his boss. He's able to bring to life both sides of Eddie - and show the audience how one really couldn't exist without the other.
As much as we've enjoyed watching it, Peter's truly enjoyed his gig on Wedding Band, and hopes the show earns a second season. "We all had a really positive experience with a great crew and a great group of actors. This big group of humble people," he said. "It's been a great ride so far. It's one of the things I'm most proud of that I've done." Hopefully he and his bandmates will continue to rock out well into the future. World tour, anyone?
You can keep up with Peter on Twitter (@PeterCambor). Don't miss the season finale of Wedding Band - tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on TBS.
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.