Thursday, January 06, 2011

TV review – “Party Down – Seasons 1 and 2” (2008-9) *****

Brilliant comedy, which I only happened to see because I had some time to kill and it was available on a plane, which has turned me into a big fan of John Enbom and Rob Thomas, the big creative players.

The series was originally meant to star Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell, who were in the pilot, but Adam Scott and Ken Marino are excellent replacements. The supporting cast is outstanding: Martin Starr’s character got better with every episode – bitter, tormented, with far too many principles (constantly on about hard sci-fi and selling out); it took me a while to get on Ryan Hansen’s wavelength (it’s a more familiar character, the himbo actor) but once I did, he was great; Lizzy Caplan is very sexy and funny as the love interest; Jane Lynch is a genius. Replacing Lynch with Jennifer Coolidge towards the end of Season 1 didn’t quite work because Coolidge played too similar a character (i.e. old acting veteran), but Megan Mullaly was great because she was different (a cheerful stage mother).

Some great guest roles: JD Simmons as a foul-mouthed producer, Kirsten Bell brilliant as a tightly-wound rival caterer (I would have loved to have seen more of her), that really tall hot Russian model from Entourage who plays another really tall hot Russian but is very funny; Steve Guttenberg (looking very weird in the face) as himself.

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