The fourth episode of 'Wedding Band' is quite a departure from last weeks, which focused heavily on the character of Eddie, his wife Ingrid and their adorable children. This week, "Time of My Life" features some development and backstory for Melora Hardin's hilarious overbearing boss character Roxie, whereas Eddie and his clan are barely featured. This is smart booking on the part of the 'Wedding Band' writing staff, showing the value of a true ensemble comedy and letting each character pull their weight at different times.
"Time of My Life" opens with our heroes playing a wedding that has a "white trash" theme, despite the fact that all of the attendees are actually wealthy socialites from the City of Flowers who are there to poke fun at the less fortunate. One of the more obnoxious and outspoken of the guests is this week's guest star, Molly Sims ('Yes Man,' 'Fired Up!') as the loud-mouthed Vanessa Brotman. Vanessa went to school with Roxie (Hardin) and the pair have no love lost for one another. When the opportunity arises, Vanessa jumps at the chance to employ Roxie to plan her party, an Adult Prom, that will recapture her 1990s glory days.
Sims plays her role well, as detestable as necessary, but the real shining gem of this week's guest stars is Joe Lo Truglio as Vanessa's husband Bobby. You may recall Truglio as Lonnie (the guy with the comically high voice) in 'I Love You Man.' Truglio steals the show here in "Time of My Life," pulling the strings to please his wife and give her the 'Dirty Dancing' style dance performance she's always wanted.
Eddie: "Are you gonna go full-Swayze?"
Bobby: "Is there any other way?"
Eddie: "Because you can't half-ass Swayze."
Bobby: "Of course not."
The Full Swayze is the mission and our caring band members do whatever they can to make it happen.
Unfortunately, that plotline is the strongest of this week's episode, which falls short of the high standard set by the three preceding. There is a side-plot with Stevie and a woman he's seeing, who enjoys giving "handys" to the guys she dates so much, she repeatedly injures her elbow in medias. The scenes became more sad than funny, although a brief scene where the band mates discuss Tommy John surgery and liken her "handys" to a major league pitcher hurling fastballs did manage to deliver some laughs.
Barry's plot this week is the pursuit of his old Prom date from years gone by, in an effort to prove to his doubting and mocking buddies that she actually exists. This storyline feels tacked-on and the strange conclusion of the episode supports the feeling that the writers just plugged it into the scritpt in order to find something for Barry to do.
Tommy's storyline works, once again. Needing a female vocalist for the duets at the Prom, the band auditions for a singer and they end up hiring a woman who works as the "Snippet Girl" for iTunes, meaning she is in charge of selecting which brief snippets of songs are offered on the media site. As Tommy learns, it isn't just music that she enjoys cutting down to the "best parts;" her lifestyle is geared towards only the best parts, from sports highlights to impromptu quickie sex. It's a funny idea and it actually throws Tommy off-balance, showing another side of the strongest character in the 'Wedding Band' arsenal.
Overall, "Time of My Life" manages to further the relationship between Tommy and Rachel, however suddenly the scenes of understanding between Tommy and Roxie seem to be far more interesting than demure Rachel's interactions. We were offered a glimpse of Ingrid's job (detective) for the first time, which seems like a very rich well to draw upon in future episodes. But the laughs were not as rapid-fire in "Time of My Life" compared to "Don't Forget About Me" or "I Love College," making this episode the first mis-step of the season.
FINAL GRADE: B-