Sunday, April 18, 2010

[TV Review] Party Down - Season 1

The last time I watched a half-hour comedy, my eyes were rolling. However, after I've gone through the first season of Party Down, I was surprised to see a funny and smart comedy. Besides, it's definitely one of the best half-hour comedies I've seen in ages.

The show from Starz, an American premium cable network, follows a catering team of the titular company from Los Angeles. The team is made of aspiring actors or writers. Ron (Ken Marino), the team's leader, is so happy with his job and plans to quit in order to run a business of his own. Henry (Adam Scott) gave up his acting dreams in order to focus on catering. Casey (Lizzy Caplan) dreams about being a great comedian.

Kyle (Ryan Hansen) wants to be the next Colin Farrell. Roman (Martin Starr), the team's nerd, dreams about writing the "hardcore sci-fi" scripts for Hollywood. As for Constance (Jane Lynch), she still believes in her acting dream despite her age. All in all, in each episode, the team is in charge of different parties that take place at different places.

Obviously, the show is too irreverent to be on network TV. In fact, while Party Down succeeds in being funny, its strength lies in its slightly harsh observation of the American society as a whole. Indeed, not only can the show manage to be a delightful tragedy by making us wonder if any of the leading character will make it to Hollywood, but it's not afraid to look at other aspect of the American society through the various party attendants of each episodes. For instance, the show clearly laughs at conservative/homophobic man who, in actuality, are gay, the tradition of high school reunion, this idea of a sweet sixteen or even the idea of living in a suburb.

Finally, if you're a little bit tired of half-hour comedies made by TV networks, then you should consider watching Party Down. After all, it's a pleasure to watch the leading characters hoping that their life will get better, because they can make us laugh in the process or move us.

Rating: 4/5

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