Party Down

Season 1 Episode 1

Willow Canyon Homeowners Annual Party

2
Aired Friday 10:30 PM Mar 20, 2009 on Starz
8.3
out of 10
User Rating
82 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Down on his luck, actor Henry Pollard goes back to work for Party Down catering company, where he reunites with a former co-worker Ron.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Willow Canyon Homeowners Annual Party

    8.0
    Willow Canyon Homeowners Annual Party was a great first episode to the series Party Down. I really enjoyed watching this episode because it set the tone for the series with over dramatic scenarios and acting along with clever and humorous writing. The situations were funny and pretty close to real life which makes it all the more fun to watch. Some of the characters are over the top, but that is the point. I had some laughs and was entertained by the story line and I look forward to watching more episodes!!!!!

    moreless
  • Not bad, but needs some work.

    6.2
    The show stars Adam Scott, who played "The One They Call" Derek in the hilarious 2008 movie Step Brothers, Lizzy Caplan of Tru Blood and The Class and Ken Marino who was on the best web series of 2008 Children's Hospital. Jane Lynch, who has a recurring role on Two and a Half Men and was recently seen in Role Models, Martin Starr of Freaks and Geeks, and Ryan Hansen of Veronica Mars also star.



    Scott and Caplan are really the only reason to watch the show. There's a bit of relationship foreshadowing there, for those that are into that kind of stuff, but it looks like they'll be friends for at least the majority of the first season. Adam Scott is not as insanely awesome as he was in Step Brothers, but he's still really funny playing a sarcastic, broken-down man. He does not have the charisma necessary to carry a show, but for those that like his kind of humor you're in for a treat. As for Caplan, she's probably the best actress on the show, and is both witty and a good character that you want to root for. Rob Thomas excels at writing for females, and with him behind the show that's probably the reason I enjoy her character Casey Klein so much.



    If you like Seasons 4-5 of Michael Scott on The Office then you will like Ken Marino's character Ronald Donald. He's as goofy and as unqualified to be a leader as Scott, but his jokes mostly fall flat in my opinion.



    Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars, Just Shoot Me and currently Flashpoint) makes a guest appearance and while his comedy isn't for everybody, if you enjoyed him on any of those shows you'll like his spot here.



    The show suffers because of the other three stars. I enjoy Lynch on Two and a Half Men but here she just plays an irritating drunk. Think Nina Van Horn from Just Shoot Me, but not nearly as funny. Hansen and Starr are just so plain and bland, but hopefully they'll develop more in the future.



    Another problem is that this show is really a drama wrapped in a comedy package. The pacing is unclear as to whether you should be laughing or feeling for these people, and the transition is not as smooth between the two genres as it is on Desperate Housewives.



    Party Down is the kind of show that I feel has potential to get really good in a few episodes, but this pilot will not be turning too many heads.moreless
  • A decent beginning to a show that clearly has hilarious days ahead of it.

    8.2
    I was a little slow getting to the party (let's all laugh at the awful pun!), but I must say that this is my type of humor. I have a penchant for deadpan humor, and the cast that's been assembled on Party Down is nothing short of hilarious. The pilot was pretty funny, but had a lot more serious parts than I originally expected, which isn't a bad thing at all. It's rare that you see a pilot that just completely grabs you,pulls you in and gives you a clear-cut idea of what it will be like later down the line (Lost and 24 may be considered exceptions, along with other shows in that genre).



    First off, I have to comment on the cast. Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Martin Starr, Lizzy Caplin and Ken Marino all bring their A-Game, whether it's their over-the-top behavior (just watch Ken Marino's character, Ronald, stop himself from asking the African American if he wants fried chicken and try not to laugh; it's perfect comedic timing) or dead-pan humor (Martin Starr is incredible at this.. every movie and TV show he's been in have each been consistently great). Adam Scott has that quirky and witty type of personality that I've liked in characters for awhile, and what else can I say about Jane Lynch except that she's her fantastic, off-beat self.



    The only problem, for me, was that the dialogue was almost too slow and dramatic for a show that has been lauded one of TV's best comedies as of late. It didn't feel dramatic in the way Damages is dramatic, but in an uncomfortable, awkward, out-of-place kind of way. Hopefully not every episode is like this. Either way, I really enjoyed the premiere, but I hope it can improve as the show goes on. The cast is just too good to waste on a sub-par type television show. Oh, and it's also pretty cool that Paul Rudd writes/produces the show. Maybe he'll make a guest-star appearance?moreless
  • Struggling actors working for Party Down catering company in this good start to the new series.

    8.5
    I was intrigued by this show when I saw a short promo and got a look at the cast. I happen to be a fan of every one of these actors. I'm a big Veronica Mars fan, I love Freaks and Geeks, Lizzy Caplan is wonderful, and Jane Lynch is one of the funniest supporting actors out there.



    We meet our caterers in this episode, learn a little bit about their background and characters. Down and out Henry seems as though he's going to be the main focus.



    This episode is consistently funny, with a few laugh out loud moments. The show has some definite promise and the potential to be one of the better comedies today once it finds its voice and hits its stride, which judging by the cast and crew I fully expect it to.moreless
Ken Marino

Ken Marino

Ron Donald

Adam Scott

Adam Scott

Henry Pollard

Ryan Hansen

Ryan Hansen

Kyle Bradway

Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch

Constance Carmell (Season 1)

Lizzy Caplan

Lizzy Caplan

Casey Klein

Martin Starr

Martin Starr

Roman DeBeers

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Casey: Ah, you're going for your own look.
      Henry: Yeah...
      Casey: It's nice.
      Henry: ...Yeah, I thought I'd go for the helpful gay pirate kind of thing.
      Casey: You don't look helpful.
      Ron: Actually, I learned this at the sensitivity seminar, that we do not use that word, OK? I mean, I'm not, but we don't know who may be...
      Casey: A pirate?
      Henry: Helpful?

    • Henry: Wow, team leader, huh Ron?
      Ron: Yeah, well, a lot can happen in eight years, my man.

    • Casey: So I just wanna be clear, Sage got five warnings for masturbating in closets?
      Ron: Why do we have to say the word?
      Casey: And I'm on last warning already even though I've only been late two times?

    • Casey: New guy. I totally forgot your name.
      Henry: That's funny. People usually remember it.
      Casey: Why's that?
      Henry: It's Scrotum Phillips.

    • Henry: Are you?...
      Casey: A professional waiter? I'm not. No, no, no, I'm a comedian. I figured that my natural hilariousness would have tipped you off by now.

    • Liddy: Put your clothes on, Gordon. No one wants to see your penis. No one.
      Gordon: Well why? Maybe I'll win an award for best cock!

    • (Heidi giving Henry a hand job in the car)
      Heidi: C'mon, please? Just once. (Henry shakes his head) Pleeeeeease?
      Henry: No, no.
      Heidi: Please?
      Henry: Are we having fun yet?!
      Heidi: Yaaay! (looks down at Henry's crotch) Ooh, what happened?

    • Kyle: Who's your agent?
      Henry: State Farm.
      Kyle: Awesome, they give you some good auditions and stuff?

  • NOTES (4)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: April 27, 2011 on HBO Comedy

    • Show stars Lizzy Caplan and Martin Starr appeared together in an episode of Freaks and Geeks titled "Beers and Weirs" in 1999.

    • Four of the regular cast members had a character on Rob Thomas' Veronica Mars, being Ken Marino and Ryan Hansen the only two who had a regular or recurrent role in it. Adam Scott and Jane Lynch were episodic guests on first season.

    • Enrico Colantoni stars as Gordon McSpadden in this episode. He has worked before with creator/executive producer Rob Thomas on the popular Veronica Mars. Jackie Debatin (Heidi) was also guest on an episode of this show where Colantoni was a regular cast member.

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Ron: You have much to learn young Jedi.

      Ron imitates the voice of Yoda, the Jedi master who taught Jedi-in-training Luke Skywalker in the 1980 sci-fi adventure film Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

    • Constance: (carrying two water guns) Say hello to my little friend!

      It is a popular line by Tony Montana (played by Al Pacino) from the 1983 mobster film Scarface.

    • Kyle: If music is the food of love, play it.

      Kyle is quoting Shakespeare from his 1601 play Twelfth Night. The exact line by the character Duke Orsino is "If music be the food of love, play on."

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