"You still like me, right?" -HenryAt the moment, "Party Down" is clicking so well that any analysis feels besides the point. This was just an extremely funny episode that made played to the strengths of the entire cast:
"I do... but, I probably would like you more if you were helping Edgar Allan Poe fight vampires." -Casey
• After weeks of playing Henry as a guy who has given up on his dream and is just waiting for a new one, Adam Scott got to play a slightly more hopeful Henry, only to have him crushed again when Leonard Stiltskin recognized him as the "Are we having fun yet?" guy.
• Ken Marino got to do a clever variation of Stoned Guy, as there was a dark and desperate undercurrent: having cleaned up his life for the sake of his career, Ron had to let himself get high to be close enough to pitch Soup R' Crackers to the rapper, and under the influence of pot his knack for saying the wrong thing became worse than ever.
• Lizzie Caplan and Jane Lynch got to play off each other as the most clued-in and most clueless members of the ensemble as Casey and Constance battled for young Taylor's soul, with Casey briefly appearing to win the John Hughes battle when Taylor re-embraced her old loser friends, but Constance ultimately triumphing when the popular kids came to take Taylor away from reality. A brutal, and brilliant, punchline.
• Ryan Hansen and Martin Starr didn't have quite as much to do, but Hansen got to play physical comedy as Kyle tried to score with Leonard's wife without actually kissing her, and Starr got to add new layers of creepy to Roman with the way he tried to hit on one of the 16-year-old party guests, and with the indignant tone to his voice as he said, "I have a prestigious blog, sir!"
Beyond that, we got some terrific guest performances. JK Simmons made Leonard's completely artless swearing sound pretty damned artful, Breckin Meyer did one of the better Matthew McConnaughey impressions I've heard, and Kevin Hart made something new out of the smarter-than-you-expect rapper archetype. Even Joey Adams was fine in the first role I've seen her in since the "Veronica Mars" guest appearance that no doubt led to this one.
Again, I don't have a lot to say, except the most important thing of all for a comedy: "Taylor Stiltskin Sweet Sixteen Party" made me laugh -- a lot.
What did everybody else think? And did the Valhalla Catering uniforms our team had to wear as last-minute replacements look more or less dorky than the traditional pink bow tie uniforms?