This story about “Party Down” first appeared in TheWrap’s awards magazine Comedy Series issue.
What makes a good revival series? Ask the cast of “Party Down,” and they’ll be the first to return for a third season 13 years after the show went off air — a risk both commercially and creatively.
Star and executive producer Adam Scott said, “It’s too easy to tarnish the legacy of the show.”
told The Wrap. “It doesn’t matter how much goodwill you have with the audience, and it doesn’t matter how great the cast is, if you don’t have a good story and a good reason for those characters, it won’t matter.” You can squander that goodwill within the first 10 minutes of the first episode.
“Party Down” began in 2009 as a story of Hollywood malaise through the eyes of employees at a catering company, all of whom had big dreams and aspirations. Canceled after two seasons on Starz, the comedy series built a cult following on DVD (Scott said “cool people” always wanted to ask him about “Party Down”), and cocreator Jon Enbom adapted the story. Started looking for ways to continue. One canceled movie and several false starts later, “Party Down” returns to Starz in 2023 with six new episodes, critical acclaim, some new characters and nearly the entire original cast.
In the third season, the reluctant caterers find themselves back in white shirts and pink bow ties, catering a party for Kyle Bradway (Ryan Hansen), a Himbo actor who finally got a break and landed a superhero movie. . Scott’s failed actor Henry Poland is now a high school English teacher who needs extra cash to finance his divorce; Martin Starr’s Roman DeBeers, a screenwriter Manque who is always working on his sci-fi opus, is bitter about Kyle’s success; And Ken Marino’s Ron Donald plans to acquire the catering company but is short of funds.
New characters include Jennifer Garner as a filmmaker and Tyrell Jackson Williams as an aspiring social media star. “As soon as we got on set and started working, it felt like, so it was cool
Sign for me,” said the star. “Seeing them all together, I was like, ‘Holy shit. Were applying
The cast had kept in touch over the years, but standing in character again on set felt like no time had passed. Marino said, “It was just as family and cozy and funny and stupid as the first two seasons we did.” “It was like summer camp,” said the star. scott said the first day of filming
“awkward but joyous” and “emotional.”
But revisiting the series didn’t just mean rehashing the old formula. The show’s writers created arcs for the characters that were fun, yes, but also emotionally challenging. For example, Henry had something to do growing up. “This person is older and more mature and has let go of many things that used to be his motor, and the things that were a source of worry to him are gone, he has moved on,”
Scott said. “Some of it reignites out and it almost happens again, and he makes a very mature, healthy decision at the end of the season.”
For Marino, it was a pain to watch Ron struggle with some of the same problems that had plagued him 13 years earlier. “What do you do when you are at the crossroads of coming to terms with not being successful?” They said. “It is heartbreaking to still be questioning, tracing and following these characters
They are trying to come to terms with where they are in life and what it means to them.
But if the emotional depth resonates more with “Party Down,” the revival also stays true to the thumping heart as a laugh-out-loud comedy. One scene in particular that has rocked social media finds Ron making out in the bathroom in a wildly imaginative way. Marino sought to expound on the math behind his approach to physical comedy. “Anytime there’s an action that lets say he runs into a wall or something physical, I put some thought into what’s the most interesting way to do that, as it’s just happening in the moment,” he said.
“Sometimes I’d take a swing and I’d fall on my face, and it came together in a good way. We did like six different versions, and each time I tried something different.
To a person, every cast member is eager to do more episodes — including Lizzy Caplan, who, for scheduling reasons, was only able to make a cameo in Season 3 as Casey Klein, who was actually called a stand-in. Found success as an up comedian. As Caplan said, “I’ll be really happy if there’s a Party Down Season 4.”
“I think it’s just a matter of the networks knowing what they want to do and the schedule,” Scott said. “Finding six weeks for this was a feat of engineering. I know it will be challenging, but I know we will figure it out to make it happen.