RV: For a time in college, I worked in the food service industry. I hated every minute of it, except for the irrelevant conversations I had with my friends/coworkers. Party Down is an over the top workplace comedy (See The Office, Parks and Rec, etc.), but Party Down also feels very real. Each character successfully toes the line between reality and absurdity without ever becoming one of those over the top caricatures that infest network sitcoms. Perhaps, that’s mostly a credit to the incredible stable of uniquely comical characters that never seem to run out even with what felt like a weekly stream of arrivals and departures from the stellar cast, but I think even more credit is due to the clever settings of each episode that feel like characters themselves. Hidden away from network censorship, Party Down doesn’t have to shy away from drugs, boobs (lots and lots of boobs), or even Ron’s enormous penis. The show takes a very avant-garde approach to what is typically not shown in sitcoms and doesn’t hesitate to show characters scrambling to buy ecstasy at a porn party, snorting cocaine off of a woman’s chest, or (my personal favorite) catering an orgy where the guests don’t realize it’s an orgy. Nothing in this show can be predicted, and just when you feel like you see a pattern, the show will flip itself upside down, creating a surprising amount of investment that will make you binge this entire series in a week. The only real problem with this catering show’s service is the length of its run. Two seasons is just not enough to sate any appetite for outstanding comedy, and you will leave this show happy but craving much, much more of it’s deliciously absurd brand of humor.
T: As I have come to discover, most men (my partner included) will probably leave this series with a kind of boob-induced, sexual innuendo-laced hypnosis, but beyond all the the obvious gags, this show is brilliant in its ability to capture the hilarity in the mundane. Although, unlike my comrade, I have never had the experience of working in the food industry, I (like most adult humans) have worked at a job that I found utterly boring and unfulfilling. Like Henry, played by the swoon-worthy Adam Scott, I too have questioned the pathway of my life and if it is leading to my chosen dreams. And like Henry, I too have questioned whether or not those dreams are truly attainable. And with that said, I do believe Party Down is a unique comedy because it is able to address fairly heavy adult themes while integrating the strange circumstances of parties that need catered. The chemistry is on point, the writing clever, and although each character seems to be serving its own trope, it never feels over the top or cliche’. And although it didn’t last as long as it should, it ended in a way that feels satisfying and complete, a rarity among nearly all shows – regardless of length – these days.
4.5 Red Vines – To quote the character of Henry, “Are you ready to Party?”
3.5 Twizzlers: Gotta love workplace comedies, especially those with Adam Scott #adamscottismyboyfriend