Party Down Season 1

Party Down Season 1
Part workplace comedy, part Hollywood satire, all opportunity for hilarious guest stars, Party Down is the funniest oddball sitcom since Arrested Development. Centred on the Party Down catering company, each episode features a different catering event, ranging from parties for Armenian mobsters to obnoxious teens and even more obnoxious young Republicans. But central to its cast are the young (and old) staff whose shattered or abandoned dreams of Hollywood stardom add the slice of lemon to this side of the dream factory. With Rob Thomas as co-creator and exec producer, alumni from Veronica Mars (The State's Ken Marino, Ryan Hansen, Veronica herself Kristen Bell) regularly show up, but it's Jane Lynch who steals this first season. (Lynch departs before the final two episodes of the year to film the Glee pilot and won't return for season two as a result.) Lynch's cynical, been-there-had-that attitude and caustic humour anchor the show's attitude, but it's the entire ensemble that makes it fly. Lizzy Caplan (True Blood) has a tentative romance with the show's child star turned bartender Henry (Adam Scott), while Freaks and Geeks alum Martin Starr views every guest at every party with utter contempt, even as he's trying to flog his latest sci-fi screenplay. Because each episode moves to a different event, the scenery changes even while the staff remain depressingly rooted in their problems. With guests including Steven Webber, Jennifer Coolidge, George Takai and many more, it's clear that co-producer Paul Rudd is drawing from his comic rolodex for a little help. With only ten episodes in the first season, this two-disc DVD is on the slight side, offering up standard featurettes like a gag reel and some glimpses behind the scenes. But mostly you get a sense that Party Down was a modest effort amongst friends who thought this would be a really funny idea - it was. It's caught some buzz and attention, and Party Down returns this month for a second season.may 2010 (Anchor Bay)