Friday, April 23, 2010
The very amusing, amazingly dry, and frequently profane half-hour comedy Party Down returns for its Season 2 opening episode tonight at 10pm on Starz. If you haven't caught up with this one -- and that's certainly possible, I'm a relative latecomer to its delights, too -- you ought to give it a try. A cadre of talented performers really brings this one to life, so much so that some of the players are getting poached by other series, namely Jane Lynch, who's very much a part of the super-success of Glee these days and so isn't back with Party Down this time around. (Read this recent article from The Hollywood Reporter on the show's success for more info about this situation.)
Party Down's premise is simple -- it's all about the folks who work for a Hollywood-based catering service, and their dissatisfaction with their day jobs versus their dream gigs in the entertainment industry. You've got underemployed actors and frustrated writers with plenty of attitude, but you'll end up (mostly) sympathizing with them. Not that it's important that you do, but I'm not sure I want to watch a show with nothing but snarky assholes -- or maybe you're okay with that -- and a few positive vibes are not an unwelcome note in the show. I like that Adam Scott (the depressed sexually unresponsive architect from HBO's Tell Me You Love Me) and the wonderful Lizzy Caplan (above left, TrueBlood, Cloverfield) are sort of an item; they're cute and sexy together.
Not-so-successful talkshow host and Will & Grace veteran Megan Mullaly steps in to fill the departing Lynch's shoes as the one grown-up on the staff this time around, and she should be good. The rest of the excellent cast -- Ken Marino as Ron, the ex-manager who wants his old job back, Ryan Hansen as Kyle the handsome model/actor, and Martin Starr as Roman the scifi writer who's as bitter as they come -- is something to relish, and their chemistry together is what makes this show so appealing.
You might have to watch a few shows before you get caught by the charm of Party Down, and you can seek out episodes online or on the Starz website. A lot of people are saying that Party Down is the best comedy you're probably not watching, and it's true. It's not slick like Entourage with its ribald tales of Hollywood angst -- Party Down's posse is struggling and on the wannabe side of the street -- but they've got it all down where the laughs are concerned.
Visit the Starz Party Down website for more information and other goodies that will add to your appreciation of the show.