I'm nearing the end of my hundredth rewatch of Rob Thomas' late, great, lamented Starz series Party Down, and I'm at the point where I'm starting to feel all panicky and depressed. Why? Because I only have one episode left, and I know once I finish the series I'll have to make myself wait several months before I can start the process all over again.
So that's how much I love Party Down: wholly, goofily, possibly insanely. The premise is perfect simplicity: a group of struggling actors and writers work at a catering company in Los Angeles, and each half-hour episode is another dehumanizing gig. The writing (largely by Thomas and his Veronica Mars team, including John Enbom and Dan Etheridge with an occasional assist by co-producer Paul Rudd) is sharp, whip-quick and hilarious, wryly irreverent and just the right amount of mean.
The cast is sublime: Adam Scott has never been better, before or since, this wonderful combination of bitter, broken, screwed up and adorable. Lizzy Caplan is a dream, Ken Marino created a character I can't quite compare to any other, Martin Starr and Ryan Hansen have the best hate-chemistry, and once the great Jane Lynch left the first season to join Glee, Thomas found the only suitable replacement for her: a relentlessly chipper and yet alarmingly fragile Megan Mullally. And sometimes Kristen Bell guest-stars as a hyper-efficient, cold-ass competitive caterer named Uda Bengt.
Most of the time when I recommend the series - only twenty half hour episodes! You could watch it in a weekend! - the answer I get back is, "Where is it streaming?" And I get it, man. I like streaming stuff too. But the answer, alas, is nowhere.
So I'm asking you to take a small leap of faith here. Both seasons of Party Down are currently available on Amazon for only $7.77, half of what they normally cost. You can own the entire show for fifteen bucks! Considering how close I am to wearing out my own copies, I think it's safe to say I believe this is a solid investment.
I end this plea - for your own good, mind you - with some clips. Language-wise, these are probably not so SFW, so use your headphones, office dudes!