Sunday, April 12, 2009

Party Down, "Investor's Dinner": Whose number one? Whose number two?

Quick spoilers for Friday night's "Party Down" coming up just as soon as I request another pancake...
"Well, you know what they say about a gun in the first act, Ron." -Casey
"First act of what?" -Kyle
Another solid, funny outing, and a particularly strong showcase for Ken Marino. Even though Ron's actually not in that much trouble if Tony(*) walks out the door -- all he has to do is put a stop payment order on the check, right? -- his transition from righteous anger and bravado to literally pissing himself was beautifully played, and perfectly set up with the earlier scene where Ron saw Tony get a look at the prop gun.

(*) Played by our latest "Veronica Mars" alum, Daran Norris.

Meanwhile, I like how the writers are handling both the Ryan Hansen and Martin Starr characters. It would be so easy to make Ryan be a complete jerk, and Roman be the sympathetic one, but instead Ryan's oblivious but ultimately a decent guy (as he bails on his rich new buddy after the guy makes fun of an oblivious Constance), while Roman's the ass who's looking up the guest's skirts.

And I continue to be glad the show went the "NewsRadio" route with Henry and Casey, as it's more amusing to see her try to distance herself from him, and him try to reel her in by calling the sex "adequate," than it would be to watch one pining for the other. Lizzy Caplan was also involved in that delightfully underplayed moment where Casey takes the incriminating camera-pic of Ron scraping off the dog poop, and Ron very quietly whimpers, "No," and Casey almost as quietly says, "Yes."

Really digging this show -- quite a bit more, so far, than Rob Thomas' other new project.

What did everybody else think?

17 comments:

Julia said...

Enjoying this more and more each week. Definitely better than Cupid. I really hope Starz plans to keep it around.

Elizabeth said...

Alan, what's the backstory on why this show is on Starz (no offense to the Starz folks) and not on network TV? It's great. And you would think that the idiotic Ben Silverman at NBC would have jumped at this show as a perfect companion (in tone at least) to The Office.

I am digging this show. Lizzie Caplan did not impress me (as an actor) in True Blood, but she's great in this comedic role.

Andrew said...

Very much enjoying this show and also very much appreciating that it's available on Netflix Instant viewing for those of us who subscribe to Netflix, but not Starz.

Julia said...

Elizabeth, I actually interviewed Rob Thomas back when he was shopping Party Down around, and he was hoping it would be on a premium network. He said he wouldn't object to it being sandwiched between The Office and 30 Rock, but that he felt it was really meant for premium cable.

Anonymous said...

I like this show. Eastbound and Down now PArty Down 2 hilarious shows this year

Steve said...

This show is great. It's easy to watch, and it's very funny. I like all of the actors on the show. It won't win any awards, but it has a very casual feel.

Plus, Martin Starr is on Twitter and responds to all his fans and will talk about the show.

Surprisingly, the show is much more scripted than improv.

Hatfield said...

Ok, so now I'm sold, having read good review after good review...and of course I don't have Starz. Is there any way I can watch this online? I feel like I need a good comedy to supplement the drama I tend towards...

Hatfield said...

Uh, other than the Netflix route mentioned above, that is

Oaktown Girl said...

I like the show well enough but am disappointed by the all-White cast. C'mon, this is 2009 already. And with so many real life struggling actors and writers of Color in Hollywood, it's not like it would be some big reality stretch.

dez said...

What is Martin Starr's Twitter name?

This was my fave ep of the series so far. Everything worked together so well and the payoff was hilarious. I do hope that Ron knows about stop payments on checks. I wasn't really sure he did.

(*) Played by our latest "Veronica Mars" alum, Daran Norris.

I recognize him more from "Ned's Declassified" from Nickelodeon, eep!

Justin said...

@Hatfield

Starz has the 1st and 3rd episodes streaming at http://www.starz.com/originals/PartyDown/ScreeningRoom

Steve said...

Martin Starr's name on twitter is "MartinStarr"

Anonymous said...

I just read that Adam Scott was cast in an HBO pilot. What exactly does that mean for the future of this show?

Anthony Foglia said...

Alan wrote, Ryan's oblivious but ultimately a decent guy (as he bails on his rich new buddy after the guy makes fun of an oblivious Constance)

And the rich new buddy was played by another Veronica Mars alum, Ryan Devlin (who played the college DJ/casino owner, Mercer).

I think this was my favorite of the four so far. May not be the funniest, but the character stuff was working very well.

JenJen said...

First half-hour cable comedy I've looked forward to every week since "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Really loving it, and it gets better each week!

Kenrick said...

I am liking this show A LOT. Possibly my favorite new show in the past couple years. It has a lot of subtle humor that rewards multiple viewings.

This should really go in the post about the first episode, but I recently rewatched the first episode and some examples of subtlety (IMO) I liked were:
-The numerous shirt switching.
-Constance repeatedly being shown eating cheese.
-Ron passing out $14 because they couldn't get enough tips to even match the guaranteed $20.

They do a good job setting up jokes so that there would be some good payoffs later on without requiring a lot of time. Ron talks about his racial sensitivity class early in the first episode, but later he makes a racist remark about Mexicans and then Henry says "Jegro" to "correct" Ron's "Jigger."

Steve said...

The expression on Martin Starr's face after he had been looking up the women's skirts was 100% Bill!