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Harold Perrineau is Lost no more; now everyone knows his songs in Wedding Band

- October 31st, 2012

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Everybody always knows all the songs you’re playing. There’s never that awkward moment when you announce, “And now here’s something from our latest album,” and everyone groans.

That’s the up-side of being in a wedding band according to Harold Perrineau, one of the stars of the new comedy series Wedding Band.

“Everybody knows the words and nobody is going anywhere,” said Perrineau, who is pictured above in full rock ‘n’ roll pose. “They’re all screaming and they all want to have a good time.

“And yet if you’re observant, there is hilarity to be found all around.”

Wedding Band, which debuts Saturday, Nov. 10 on MuchMore in Canada and on TBS in the U.S., stars Perrineau, Brian Austin Green, Derek Miller and Peter Cambor as four dudes in a wedding band called Mother of the Bride.

The foursome is intent on moving up the chain of command in the wedding-band world. And yes, there is a chain of command.

“It’s a whole sub-genre in the music business,” said Perrineau, who is best known for his roles on Lost and Sons of Anarchy.

“You can be really popular as a wedding band, people request you. There’s a hierarchy, you can move up the ladder.”

There are rivalries, too. One of the funniest scenes in the first episode of Wedding Band is when Mother of the Bride gets into a physical fight with a Def Leppard cover band called Armageddon It.

Perrineau’s character, Stevie, is an “African-Canadian” – it’s a one-off joke early in the first episode – who is both the newest member of the band and its most seasoned member.

Stevie is an accomplished studio musician who has played bass with the biggest acts in the world, but his face never has been on an album cover because he hasn’t been an official member of any band – until now. He relishes playing live and being in the spotlight, even one as narrow as the spotlight into which Mother of the Bride crowds.

Stevie quickly is schooled by the veteran Mother of the Bride members on how to suss out the ceremony attendees.

“That whole Derek thing makes me laugh more than almost anything in the pilot,” said Perrineau, referring to the stereotypical guy at a wedding who just never is going to hook up with anyone. But the band still has to make sure every single person has a good time, because that leads to more bookings.

“At every wedding there’s a Derek, and as his tie gets a little lower and a little looser, that’s when he needs to be made an honorary band member,” Perrineau said. “And if you do that, he’ll also sneak you booze all night.

“Now, you can go with the tragedy that often happens at weddings. But if you focus on the funny stuff, that’s why I think this genre works, with films like The Wedding Singer or Wedding Crashers, any of those.”

Perrineau was a musical theatre major in college so he has some skills in this world. But training aside, Wedding Band showcases a very unique aspect of the music biz.

“You really get to be the rock star you’ve always wanted to be,” Perrineau said.

Rock star, mock star, same dif.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Amy Poehler on series-changing Parks and Recreation scene: “I cried.”

- October 26th, 2012

Adam Scott, Amy Poehler

So just how series-changing is the series-changing moment that we just saw on Parks and Recreation going to be?

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know what happened in the Parks and Recreation episode titled Halloween Surprise, which aired Thursday on NBC and Citytv, now’s the time to bail.

We all know of sitcoms that changed forever after a hookup or a proposal or an engagement or a wedding. Well, Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler, above right) and Ben Wyatt (played by Adam Scott, above left) now are engaged after a simple but emotional proposal scene.

“Well, starting next week it’s an hour-long medical drama,” joked Parks and Recreation co-creator and executive producer Mike Schur in a conference call with TV reporters on Friday. “So it definitely is a before-and-after kind of a situation.”

Poehler and Scott were asked for their thoughts on the big moment.

“When I read that scene, I cried,” Poehler said. “Because I was so happy that I had my job at Parks, and I got to do that scene with Adam, and that Mike Schur wrote it, because I knew it would be great. I was really happy for Leslie.”

Added Scott, “I felt like this was a really big deal for all of us. We, of course, are well aware that these are fictional characters that we are playing on television, but we all care about them. Speaking for myself, I care about them quite deeply. There was a feeling that this was very special, and we wanted it to be special for the fans and for the characters.”

Just a reminder, don’t forget to tune in next time for the debut episode of Leslie Knope, M.D.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Dick Wolf stalks himself as Law and Order: SVU hits 300 episodes

- October 23rd, 2012

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When you’ve had shows on TV for as long as Dick Wolf has, eventually you can’t help but compete with yourself.

Wolf is the creator and executive producer of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which airs its landmark 300th episode Wednesday, Oct. 24 on NBC and CTV Two. Law & Order: SVU currently is the longest running drama on U.S. network television.

So does the series have anything left to accomplish?

“Well, if I say it, you’ll say I’m insane, but the next goal would be to go 21 years and beat Law & Order,” Wolf told TV reporters in a conference call. “Another six additional years, you never know.

“I don’t think the show has ever been better. It’s something that is a very dependable player and continues to be for the network. If you ask what my final goal for SVU is, that would be it.”

The 300th episode of Law & Order: SVU is titled Manhattan Vigil. A young boy is kidnapped while in the care of his father and the investigation reminds Captain Cragen (Dann Florek), Sergeant Munch (Richard Belzer) and Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) of an unsolved case that occurred in the same neighbourhood 13 years earlier.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Mauled by dinosaurs? Miranda Frigon stays safe on Primeval: New World

- October 22nd, 2012

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Miranda Frigon’s character is the voice of reason and the face of authority on Primeval: New World.

“Comedy is more my thing, but I have a blast playing the hardcore chick who’s just the straight guy telling everyone what to do,” said Frigon (picutred above, and second from left in the cast photo below). “I’m very good in the power positions on TV.

“Some of the other characters are out dinosaur-hunting, so I get envious a little bit. But I avoid getting eaten and things like that. It keeps me safe.”

It isn’t just dinosaurs that show up in Primeval: New World, which debuts Monday, Oct. 29 on Space. The setup of the series is that just about anything can get in and out of our world – and vice-versa – through these mysterious time anomalies in modern-day Vancouver.

Primeval: New World is a 13-episode spinoff of the original British series, focusing on animal experts and scientists investigating paranormal events while battling prehistoric and futuristic creatures.

Led by inventor Evan Cross (played by Niall Matter), the team is comprised of predator-attack expert Dylan Weir (Sara Canning), security specialist Mac Rendell (Danny Rahim) and physics prodigy Toby Nance (Crystal Lowe).

Ange Finch (Frigon) is Evan’s oldest friend and business partner, the woman through whom everything runs. Ange also is the key liaison to quirky Ken Leeds (Geoff Gustafson), the head of the government’s decommissioned department for investigating alien life.

“Nothing really happens without me,” Frigon said of her character. “I’m kind of holding the company together.”

Frigon has a diverse acting resume, including a recurring role on CBC’s Heartland, and episodic work on series ranging from Sanctuary to Dexter to Emily Owens, M.D. But getting this series-regular role on Primeval: New World was a long-delayed silver lining to a frustrating period of her life.

About five years ago, the Edmonton native made the mistake of traveling home to Canada while the renewal for her U.S. work visa was in process. When she tried to go back to L.A., where she was living full-time, she was stopped at the border.

“They locked me out of the U.S. for two months, they threw out my visa application, I had to re-apply, it was awful,” Frigon recalled. “I had, like, two days worth of clothes with me. I had to borrow clothes from friends.

“But during that time, I got the audition for Sanctuary (which was shot in Vancouver). That’s where I worked with (director and producer) Martin Wood, and we got along so well. Then all these years later, when I first got the breakdown for (Primeval: New World), I saw that the executive producer is Martin Wood.

“If I had never made that (visa) mistake, I never would have met Martin, we wouldn’t have hit it off, and I probably wouldn’t be here now. You make mistakes, but sometimes there’s a reason for everything.”

Thank goodness for that, because what would the other characters on Primeval: New World do without Miranda Frigon?

Even the dinosaurs know she’s in charge.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

cast of PNW

Lennon and Maisy (Jude) Stella on Nashville; they love you, yeah yeah yeah

- October 22nd, 2012

Lennon and Maisy Stella

Just call them the Fab Two.

Lennon Stella, 13, was named after John Lennon.

Maisy Stella, 8, has Jude for a middle name.

But despite those Beatles connections, it’s through country music – specifically the TV show Nashville, which airs Wednesdays on ABC and CTV Two – that the Canadian Stella sisters have increased their profile dramatically.

Lennon (above left) and Maisy (above right) are playing the daughters of Connie Britton’s character in Nashville. In the episode airing this week (Oct. 24), Lennon and Maisy will be performing on the show for the first time.

In real life, Lennon and Maisy are the daughters of Canadian country music duo the Stellas, a.k.a. dad Brad and mom Marylynne.

“Yes, we’re all still a little confused as to what’s going on, but it’s all so positive and so good,” said Lennon, when asked if her parents are freaking out a little bit about everything that has happened to the girls over the past few months.

“It’s the weirdest thing, but it’s so neat. It’s such a compliment. It’s so flattering.”

Added Maisy, “For me, like Lennon said, it’s people knowing me (that is the biggest difference). But all my friends are really happy.”

After the Nashville pilot was shot, the makers of the series fell in love with Lennon and Maisy and added them to the cast. And this was before a cool YouTube video of Lennon and Maisy singing Robyn’s Call Your Girlfriend went viral.

“I started playing guitar when I was about five, so I’ve sang sort of more seriously ever since then,” Lennon said. “But we’ve really sang together from like birth.”

“I actually started singing, because I remember, when I was like two,” Maisy said.

Don’t you suddenly feel very old?

So girls, what’s the best part about being on a big, high-profile TV show?

“The best part is probably just the makeup, because I love doing dress-up and the makeup is just so fun,” Maisy said. “We get to go to wardrobe and we just love dressing up.”

“Meeting all the new people, because everyone has been so supportive and so welcoming in all of this, so it has been such a fun place to be,” Lennon said. “So probably for me, it’s the people that we’ve been able to meet.”

Lennon and Maisy both indicated that, despite the show that they’re on and their parents’ career path, their personal musical tastes tend to drift away from country. Lennon leans more toward indie and alternative music, while Maisy likes indie, too, as well as a lot of mainstream stuff.

Getting started in show business so young, though, means they both have their whole lives ahead of them to do anything, either in entertainment or elsewhere.

“Like you were saying, our family is so musical in every way, so it always has been a dream of mine to become a performer,” Lennon said. “But I also always have wanted to be a teacher.”

“Like Lennon said, we’ve always wanted music and acting,” Maisy said. “But I’ve always wanted to be a doctor and a vet.”

The Stella sisters’ teaching and veterinary aspirations won’t be on display right away on Nashville. We’ll have to wait for a spinoff.

For now, Lennon and Maisy Stella will take a sad song and make it better. With musical parents and Beatle names, the audience can open their ears and let it be.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv