Friday, May 08, 2009

Party Down, "Celebrate Rick Sargulesh": Almost famous

Spoilers for tonight's "Party Down" coming up just as soon as I assault you with emotions...
"When you escape, as I did, from jaw of Hell, you understand which things really matter: honor, friends, woman, and celebrities! Let's hear it for Hollywood celebrities!" -Rick Sargulesh
After last week's minor misstep, "Celebrate Rick Sargulesh" was "Party Down" back at its ridiculous best, an episode that takes its characters' deeper aspirations to their farcical conclusion, with Sargulesh and his band of gangsters treating Constance and company like the celebrities they so desperately want to be. Constance is viewed as a sex symbol due to her time in '80s "Porky's" rip-offs with names like "Dingleberries." Kyle is a stud, Casey a comedy star, Roman a talented writer worthy of giving Rick notes on his syntax-impaired screenplay, and Henry's life is more or less saved by Rick's henchman recognizing him from the beer commercial.

(It was hilarious to watch how Henry, fearing for his safety, could not wait to ask, "Are we having fun yet?" Usually, it pains him to even be recognized for the line, let alone to recite it, but a little danger made him ready, willing and eager to say it.)

I interviewed Rob Thomas about the season, and I'm going to post the transcript either next Friday, or the day of the finale in two weeks. (It depends on how my interview next week goes with John Enbom, who's the actual showrunner on "Party Down," and whether I want to combine the two or run them separately.) Anyway, in discussing this episode, Rob said:
Every show has a boundary of "What universe are you operating in?" I think that ("Celebrate Rick Sargulesh") takes us as far into the pure comedy range as you'll ever see us.
And, certainly, you wouldn't want to go much sillier than this episode, not in a universe that can also accomodate dry, down-to-earth characters like Henry and Casey. But working right up to the edge was wickedly funny, and Steven Weber continues to be a lot more interesting (and funnier) than I pegged him for back in the "Wings" days; I spent several hours after initially watching it wandering around my house speaking in a faux-Russian accent without articles or modifiers, and inviting my family to "celebrate Alan Sepinwall." (They didn't get it. It happens.)

One other sneak preview of the Thomas interview, about the future of the series:
We like our chances, and the network has been very supportive. We're moving forward as though we would be back next year.
What did everybody else think?

15 comments:

dead souls said...

Another great episode. I especially loved the scene where Constance was having the talk with Casey about workplace relationships.

Starz really needs to renew this. If they do I hope all of the cast returns for the second season because every single one of them is great.

I wonder if Jane Lynch will have time to do both Party Down and Glee. It might be wishful thinking, but I sure hope she does.

domino87 said...

Such a great show. I keep telling my friends (none of whom are watching for some reason) that the show is basically "The Office" in a comedic universe similar to "Californication" if that makes sense.

Ron = Michael
Henry = Jim
Casey = Pam
Kyle / Roman = Dwight

Hilko said...

I loved the way they pulled a 'no of course we're not the stereotypical Russian mob characters that we are made out to be' only to make us doubt at the last moment.

I'm quite impressed with this show so far. The only other work by Rob Thomas I know is Veronica Mars, which is quite different thematically (which shows he has more range than, say, Ricky Gervais, as much as I love his work). I don't often like comedy shows; most just don't 'click'. But Party Down is wonderful so far.

belinda said...

"I will kill you. Like man. With hands."

Enjoying the show, loving the characters, really hoping it will be renewed (I thought I read somewhere that it was renewed, but I guess, not yet!)and can't wait to read Thomas' and Enbom's interview!

Jessica said...

bwahahahaha this was great.

How great was the Hahaha! I kill you! No hahaha! I kill you back! bit? I was rolling. And all the while Ron and Roman really aren't sure they WON'T kill them.

I love a show that just makes me straight up laugh. This and Flight of the Conchords (which I have only recently been watching, up to episode 5 of the first season) have been making my spring funny.

Anonymous said...

You know what I loved? That the viewer totally could have solved the mystery. Ricky's driver identifies celebrities up close (Kyle, Henry) but from a distance he mistakes Roman for Napoleon Dynamite -- a clear clue he has bad eyesight. And before Roman and Ron try to warn Zoltan, we've already seen Zoltan threaten to cut off Ron's head with the knife he carries on him -- a clear clue he will be the aggressor, not the victim.

Also, the very slight zoom when the driver puts on his glasses? Brilliant.

I'm really glad you got a Rob Thomas interview about this. I thought it might be awkward, what with you (and all your readers, including me) kind of hating the _Cupid_ remake, but _Party Down_ is really firing on all cylinders.

olucy said...

Another *wonderful* ep. Fingers crossed that this gets renewed and the cast stays intact.

David said...

great episode.

"You saw Dingleberries!?!"

amysusanne said...

Oh, Steven Weber was so wonderfully gross and creepy. And "how was the syntax" was the line of the night for me.

Brandy said...

I have loved Stephen Webber since he was the one highlight of Studio 60. This, however, took my love to a new level. Funniest episode by far.

Oaktown Girl said...

I liked this episode a lot, but reading this:

I spent several hours after initially watching it wandering around my house speaking in a faux-Russian accent without articles or modifiers, and inviting my family to "celebrate Alan Sepinwall."made me laugh as hard as anything in the show!

Sincere question: does anyone else out there besides me mix up Steven Weber and Peter Horton?

dez said...

"You saw Dingleberries!?" and "How was the syntax?" were my fave lines of the ep. "Party Down" is my new fave absurd comedy (sorry, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"). I hope it gets renewed and comes back quickly.

Steve Wirzba said...

I'm so excited about this show. This, Breaking Bad and 30 Rock are the shows i most look forward to sit down and watch right now. The characters really work, and its blisteringly funny (especially in this most recent ep).

Tyroc said...

Late to the bandwagon and just catching up now. Some funny stuff, but my least favorite episode so far. Way too broad for a show that felt painfully real in the pilot (my favorite episode.)

But it happens (and I liked the Rick Fox one more than Alan did.)

Anonymous said...

I wish there was a transcript of Ricky's script. It had me rolling.