The premise is simple: follow a Los Angeles-based catering company - the titular Party Down company - as they provide food and beverage service to the wide variety of oddball individuals and groups in and around the L.A. area. The catering crew is made up of an aspiring but dim actor, an aspiring but aloof sci-fi writer, a long-since washed-up actor, a recently washed-up actor, and an aspiring comedian. They're headed up by a semi-pathetic crew leader whose big dream is to manage his own all-you-can-eat soup and salad franchise restaurant.
This was a great little sit-com that had all the right ingredients. Hilarious writing and comic actors all around, and a conceit that allowed every episode to feature different situations and characters. One episode, the crew is serving at a community theater, and the next they're at an ill-conceived orgy. Or they're catering a sweet sixteen on a yacht for the daughter of a big movie producer, then the next episode sees them in a bar with Russian gangsters. The set up provided such a great variety of setting for comedy, and the writers took full advantage.
|The know-it-all, aspiring sci-fi writer Roman (left) tries to|
help a host get his orgy off the ground. Of course, Roman's
knowledge of sex and orgies is laughably limited, but it
doesn't stop him from dishing out advice.
This show was consistently funny enough that I had to check and see why it didn't go beyond its two ten-episode seasons. Turns out that, being on Starz, it just didn't have a ton of exposure. It had also already lost Jane Lynch to the far bigger smash hit TV sit-com Glee after her first season on Party Down, which was a blow to the cast (the hilarious Megan Mullaly was brought in, but her character was a bit too straight-laced to fully allow Mullaly to flex her comic muscles). And apparently, the show was about to lose Adam Scott to soon-to-be new hit show Parks and Rec. So they pulled the plug, which I get.
Still, I recommend this one to anyone who likes some solid, R-rated humor and silliness. This is definitely a hidden gem that I was really glad to discover.