Friday, March 27, 2009

Party Down, "California College Conservatives Union Caucus": The Cuban cigar crisis

Quick thoughts on the second episode of "Party Down" coming up just as soon as I think about Jim Abbott...

I liked this one even more than the pilot, in that it took a very broad target (Young Republicans) and managed to tell unexpected jokes about them. The running gag about the guests giving Henry a hard time about quitting was especially good, and not just because some of the lines were being delivered by Jason Dohring (here working alongside fellow "Veronica Mars" alum Alona Tal).

I like the way that Henry, because he's the one member of the team who has no real plan in life, winds up envying the lifestyles of each week's guest. The others all want to be actors, or writers, or Super Crackers managers, but Henry can admire being a suburban family man, or even a passionate young conservative, because any of those seem better than being known only as the "Are we having fun yet?" guy.

I don't know that the payoff to the Schwarzenegger plot, with Ron having to burn a flag while all the guests watched, worked as well as last week's similar stain stick joke, probably because it was so similar. I don't want to see every episode end with Ken Marino violating (or appearing to violate) some great social taboo while a guest looks on in horror, as diminishing returns have already set in.

Still having a good time with this one. What about the rest of you?

12 comments:

Julia said...

I got to see this last week, thanks to Netflix Watch Instantly, and I'm now waiting for the third episode to show up.

I agree, the second episode was better than the first. Over all, the show is fun and something that I hope I will continue to enjoy. And while there were a bunch of laughs in the second episode, there's nothing that really makes it stand out as something I would put in my top ten list. At least so far. I'm hoping it continues to improve.

Anonymous said...

I liked it a lot more than the first episode (which I also enjoyed). Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan have pretty excellent chemistry together, and I was reminded that Jason Dohring ought to have more work.

Oddly, the level of desperation in Ken Marino's character gets on my nerves (more than he's supposed to, I think), but otherwise I'm enjoying it quite a bit. When does Kristin Bell show up?

clarked2 said...

You know what my father always told me? It was television columns like this that make this country great. And freedom. Freedom makes this country great. Freedom, and television columns.

dez said...

Fave lines:

Henry: "Jim Abbott!"
YRs: "Exactly!"

Roman about the YRs: "When I'm huge, I'm gonna really enjoy fucking with these perverts!"

Yeah, I'll be sticking with this for awhile. Also agree that Ron shouldn't be violating taboos at the end of every ep, too, although this one made me laugh harder than last week's (plus, he bleached the flag!).

baxter said...

I thought the over-the-top Marino gag fit better here than last week, since this week it emerged naturally from his character (a suck-up).

And Marino's dream business is Soup'r Crackers. Super Crackers? That's just silly.

LA said...

I liked it better than the pilot, too. I hope they continue to be available on Netflix because I don't get Starz.

belinda said...

I think this show still need a couple of episodes to really grow on me - like mentioned, the jokes aren't completely all there yet - but there is something inherently attractive and humorous about the tone of the show that I like and doesn't seem like every other show on TV that will keep me watching this. And, of course, the cameos of Colantoni, Dohring, and what I hope more of the cast members of VM as guest stars, as well as the regular casts are all actors I enjoy watching, so I'm hoping the show gets better as the season progresses. It's not a wow amazing! show yet, but it feels like it could be.

How many episodes does the show have for this season?

par3182 said...

I thought this episode was worse than the first (and I didn't like that one at all). I like most of these actors but none of the characters.

One more week, show.

amysusanne said...

Finally watched it this morning. I'm with everyone who liked this one better, though I did enjoy the pilot. I'm finding that even though i squee with glee whenever another VM alum shows up, it's not distracting me from the show. So, I can be super excited to see, for exampl, Jason and Alona but it doesn't take me out of the moment or the jokes.

I agree that I'd rather the end of each week not end with some broad moment of Marino pushing the envelope, but I really enjoyed the flag burning. Not only was his desperation funny, but Scott's sarcastic bystander/reluctant accomplice was hilarious. His reactions and comments were the best part to me.

Anonymous said...

So is this episode an exercise in Republican bashing? I plan to watch this show & am hoping to love it (so much of it seems right up my alley-- starting with my love for F & G and VM alumni)... but if it's, say, dripping with contempt for the Republican characters (something unfortunately all too common on TV shows & movies), I'm just going to skip it, go around it-- lest it sour me on the show (especially so early on). Don't want that to happen. NB, so you know where I'm coming from: 30 Rock is a beautiful example of Republican-mocking, equal-opportunity mocking, without Republican-bashing. In other words: are the "Young Republicans" presented as completely reductive 2-dimensional caricatures-- by the standards of a sitcom, of course? Are they "broad targets" in the way they were, for example, fictionally conjured by Stephen Glass? I'd be grateful for the heads up (if anyone happens to read this belated comment).

Alan Sepinwall said...

It's not bashing. It's very much in the 30 Rock vein.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Alan!