Party Down is a tv series that existed for two seasons on the Starz premium cable channel. It is the creation of Rob Thomas*, John Enbom, Dan Etheridge and Paul Rudd. If you are familiar with the tv series, Veronica Mars, then then you might recognize those names. Rob Thomas was the creator/showrunner of Veronica Mars, John Enbom and Dan Etheridge were staff writers and Paul Rudd guest starred on the series, though I’m sure you know Rudd from plenty of movies. The show follows a group of people, mostly made up of aspiring actors, some failed, as they work for the Party Down catering company garnering tips while they figure their lives out. I recently started rewatching the series after seeing a really brief, but funny cast reunion bit on an episode of Childrens Hospital. I just wanted to share a few things about the show and recommend it to you if you have not seen it yet.
The show is one of my favorite recent half-hour comedies. It is really well written and the comedy comes from the character’s personalities and situations they find themselves in. It doesn’t ever fall into the (painfully) standard sitcom comedy formula like Two and A Half Men or The Big Bang Theory do. It all feels very naturalistic and there is a bit of drama to follow as well. The characters progress and you become more intertwined with their lives and outcomes. I’d say it’s more in the vein of a show like Arrested Development. Additionally, another similarity it shares with Arrested Development is that it took me a few episodes to get on board with the show but once I was, each episode was like comedy gold.
The cast on the show really adds so much to the writing. They all have really great comedic timing and are all pretty good actors in their own right. The regulars include Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan, Ken Marino, Ryan Hansen, Martin Starr, Jane Lynch and Megan Mullaly (who replaced Lynch’s slot during the second season). Again, there is a connection to Veronica Mars as Scott, Marino, Hansen and Lynch all either had guest spots or were regulars on the show. Even the guest star cast for Party Down has a lot of Veronica Mars alums, such as, Kristen Bell, Enrico Colantoni, Jason Dohring, Alona Tal, Ed Begley, Jr. and Steve Guttenberg. Since I’m a big fan of Veronica Mars, it is really nice to see all these guys pop up in Party Down, not to mention they all add to the hilarity of the show.
Below I’ve provided a few clips just to give you a little taste of the show. Enjoy them and go seek out the series!
*This is not the singer from Matchbox 20.