Attention Must Be Paid: Party Down

If you’re new to the Attention Must Be Paid (AMBP) feature, here’s the deal:  when I run across something that I think is great and isn’t getting the props it deserves, I write it up in this space.

For two glorious seasons and 20 hilarious episodes, Party Down brought a jaded bit of humanity to the service industry.  OK, I’m fawning – but the show is awesome! 

Yeah, the show was not renewed for a third season after the 2010 season ended – they were easily able to survive the departure of Jane Lynch halfway though the series (she went to Glee… but I’m not going to complain about that show right now) as she was in a supporting roll, but Adam Scott’s new job on Parks & Recreation pretty much killed it.  The show had an amazing cast in Scott and Lynch, who were joined by Ken Marino, Jennifer Coolidge, Megan Mullally, Ryan Hansen, Martin Starr and Lizzy Caplan.  The fact that they were on Starz gave them the freedom to do or say pretty much anything, but it was really the combination of excellent performances and great writing that mad Party Down an instant favorite for me.  The show was primarily written by John Enbom, Rob Thomas, Dan Etheridge, and Paul Rudd and directed by Fred Savage (yes, that Fred Savage) and Bryan Gordon.

The show revolves around Party Down Catering and the gigs they get.  Each episode takes us on the job with the crew as they serve their client and the client’s guests in various areas in and around Los Angeles.   This includes corporate events, private parties, weddings, birthdays and all sorts of celebrations featuring anybody you can possibly imagine: Young Republicans, Porno Stars, Hollywood Producers, Real Estate Scammers… you name it, Party Down has served them.

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Adam Scott plays Henry, an actor who’s given up on his dreams and returned to his old catering job and for all intents and purposes, the show’s star.   While Henry acted for many years, he’s primarily remembered for a beer commercial campaign which was strung together with the catch phrase, “Are we having fun yet?”  As the series starts, he does his best to pretend he’s not that guy to eventually embrace who he once was.  The first time he says the line in character (above) is amazing – watch as he morphs into the character that says the line just before he actually says “Are we having fun yet?”  Watch his face!  It’s awesome!  Later, he says the line in ironic situations, which is also pretty awesome.

Favorite Episode:  “Steve Guttenberg’s Birthday”

Frankly, every episode of Party Down is great, but Holy Shit, “Steve Guttenberg’s Birthday is off the hiz-ookle or whatever.  The script readings are awesome.

“Dude, I’m acting.”  You’re damn right you are.

Party Down is available on Netflix and DVD.  Stop reading this and start watching!

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on October 1, 2011, in Attention Must Be Paid and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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