Party Down: Season 1

Party Down Season 1

Starring: Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan, Ken Marino, Ryan Hansen, Jane Lynch, Martin Starr

Created By: John Enbom, Dan Etheridge, Paul Rudd, Rob Thomas

Grade: B+

Creator of Veronica Mars, Rob Thomas, teams up with “Mars” producers, John Enbom and Dan Etheridge along with Paul Rudd who co-starred on the show in its’ final season. It’s a very laid back and wildly hilarious show with fun characters and a new atmosphere every week. It has a similar feel to The Office, set in the workplace with an idiotic but lovable boss. The goof offs are more concerned about their workplace romance than their actual work and the nerdy guy vs. the good looking guy dynamic is an ongoing and wildly entertaining rivalry.

Ron Donald (Marino) is the team leader of the Party Down catering company. He is eager to get his team of uninterested slackers to work together and be professional so he can make a good impression on their clients. His real motivation lies in opening up his own Soup R’ Crackers, a popular all you can eat soup chain. He tries time and time again to find investors, but no one seems interested or able to take him very seriously. It’s his dream though and he won’t give up on it.

Most of the employees at Party Down are failed actors. Some have had small roles and some are still getting work, but none have really made it; hence why they’re working there. Roman (Starr) is an aspiring writer and “hardcore sci-fi” guy, but hasn’t finished most of his work or been able to find anyone who is really interested. His nemesis, Kyle (Hansen) is a pretty boy who gets some gigs here and there. Since Roman tricked him in to shaving off his eyebrow, thus making him loose a big part, he has spent most of his time getting Roman back. Constance (Lynch) is an actress past her prime who has had some luck in the past with acting and tries to cling on to her youth. Casey (Caplan) is trying to make it as a stand-up comedian while having major problems with her husband who is eager to move her to Vermont with him. Henry (Scott) is the only one who has given up on the industry all together and is now trying to figure his life out.


Party Down has so many hilarious and incredibly talented actors involved with the show. Every episode it’s surprising how many more gifted actors pop up. The way they work off of one another is amazing. Ken Marino nails the laughable, determined, and goodhearted Ron. Adam Scott plays the laid back and somewhat lost Henry. He’s very likeable and had great chemistry with Lizzy Caplan as Casey. The two have a friends with benefits agreement, but it is clear that there is something stronger between them, drawing them towards one another. Caplan shows independence and is extremely outspoken while being one of the most reasonable and relatable characters. Jane Lynch is as funny as always as Constance with her signature goofy tone. She really tries to stay hip, always up for anything, revisiting her glory days as often as she can with her younger co-workers. Her character is naïve at times but in an innocent and loveable way. Ryan Hansen and Martin Starr produce the most laughs with their constant back and forth pranks and polar opposite personalities.

Party Down- Kristen Bell

There are so many guest appearances every week, especially from cast members of Veronica Mars. Kristen Bell herself plays an extremely bossy and cold control freak. Enrico Colantoni, Jason Dohring, Alona Tal, Ed Begley Jr., Daran Norris, and Ryan Devlin, all part of the Veronica Mars cast, make memorable guest appearances on Party Down. Ken Jeong is pretty funny in the few appearances he made as Alan Duck, Ron’s boss. The last few episodes of the season Jane Lynch wasn’t there and the lack of her presence was really noticeable. Jennifer Coolidge filled in for her as one of Constance ’s roommates. She was funny and did a pretty good job, but I’m just hoping she won’t become a permanent substitute. Ryan Pinkston, J.K. Simmons, and Joey Lauren Adams are a few of the other notable guest star on the show.

Since Party Down is a catering business we are brought in to a different location every week; sketchy bars, 20 year high school reunions, borrowed houses for business scamming, producer’s daughter’s sweet 16. Our characters are the constant, thrown in to these different locations every week where drinking, getting high, and hooking up on the job seem to be the norm even when suspected serial killers are involved. Every episode is something new. Seeing how the characters interact with one another and the bizarre situations that occur every week is quite a treat. The show is full with laughs between all of the great back and forth between all of the characters and the witty and hilarious dialogue.

Kelsey Zukowski is a horror actress/ writer and internationally published alternative model who gravitates towards dark, complex material full of thematic exploration.

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