Yeah, we know Party Down's second season is almost over. And yeah, there's a good chance that it won't be coming back; two of the show's stars, Adam Scott and Ryan Hansen, have taken roles on other sitcoms. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be watching this hysterical show about a Los Angeles catering company whose staff contains mostly wannabe actors and misfits. Here are 12 reasons to tune in:
1. Paul Rudd is one of the producers
It makes perfect sense that Apatow golden boy Paul Rudd plays a major (behind-the-scenes) role in this incredibly quick, smart, and goofy series. It’s hard to think of anything he’s touched that hasn’t turned to gold.
2. It's the perfect storm of several comedy dream teams
Party Down is basically a reunion of some of the greatest comedy ensembles in recent history. From the Apatow contingent, there’s Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks and guest star Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad). Representing the Christopher Guest mockumentary club, there's Jane Lynch, who starred as Constance Carmell in Season 1, as well as guest stars Michael Hitchcock, Ed Begley, Jr., and Jennifer Coolidge. From The State, there’s Ken Marino as Party Down team leader Ron and guest star Thomas Lennon. And nearly all of the actors appeared on Veronica Mars, Party Down's co-creator Rob Thomas' other great series. So many greats!
3. Its guest stars somtimes play themselves
In Season 1, both Rick Fox and George Takei made cameos as slightly-more-arrogant versions of themselves. It was glorious, though perhaps not as glorious as if they had been in the same episode. And just a few weeks ago in Season 2, there was a special Steve Guttenberg episode that was all about the actor and his generous party-giving tendencies. Now that's how you revive a career.
4. Its guest stars also play totally ridiculous caricatures
The only thing better than a guest star playing himself is a guest star playing a complete loon. To name a few, Kristen Bell played Uda Bengt, the very Type-A Val Halla Catering team leader who then became Henry's girlfriend. Ken Jeong has appeared in two episodes as Alan Duk, Party Down's irresponsible CEO. J.K. Simmons and Joey Lauren Adams played the so-not-in-love couple the Stiltskins. Paul Scheer showed up as Roman's sellout former writing partner, Joel Munt. And Andre Royo (yes, Bubbles!) once exchanged a few uncredited lines with Lydia.
5. Its entertaining love-hate relationship with Hollywood
The show’s portrayal of people who have made it in Hollywood and people who haven’t is hilariously accurate and smartly self-referential.
6. Adam Scott
Scott's as former actor Henry Pollard is just plain dreamy. He manages to portray a character who is self-deprecating without being pathetic. And that's a fine line to walk well.
7. The even ratio of straight men to funny men
For every goofus, there is an equal and opposite gallant. Ron and Henry evoke the early days of the Michael Scott-Jim Halpert dynamic on The Office, with Ron as the dumb guy in charge and Henry as the unmotivated, snarky underling. Kyle and Roman are basically exaggerated products of Hollywood: Kyle is an optimistic and naive up-and-coming actor, and Roman is a pessimistic, self-loathing, and cynical writer. And both Constance and Lydia have attempted to serve as Casey's middle-aged mentor, even though Casey is actually more put-together than the two of them combined.
8. Martin Starr
When Judd Apatow originally cast Starr as Bill Haverchuck in the epic (though short-lived) high school dramedy Freaks and Geeks, he was hoping to get someone who'd experienced firsthand the plight of a nerd. Starr nailed the role, and as an adult, he mostly reprises Haverchuck in his portrayal of Roman, the most lovable sci-fi smartass ever.
9. The unchanging costumes
Since the main characters wear the same uniform in nearly every episode, the actors have to work a little harder to make their personalities shine through—and they succeed famously. Though the kicky pink bow ties don't hurt.
10. Fred Savage is also a producer
He's even stepped in to direct nine of the show's episodes. Who knew Kevin Arnold was so dang talented?
11. The jazzy theme song
Party Down's theme song, like many sitcom tunes that came before it (Seinfeld and 30 Rock come to mind), is short and wonderfully catchy—and this one sounds so very appropriately L.A.
12. Lizzy Caplan
Women want to be her. Men want to be on top of her. It's as simple as that.
Party Down airs Fridays at 10pm on Starz.