"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 SarguleshAfter 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?