Party Down, “James Ellison Funeral”

Now, that’s the Party Down we all know and love. Though I said last week was the first week after the introductory transitioning that felt on-par with last season, “James Ellison Funeral” was even better.

This was the first episode that I laughed hard throughout and it really gave all the characters something to do except Lydia, which is fine by me. Maybe this is a bad thing to say, but putting the Party Down staff in a racially-charged situation is comic gold. To see Roman try to convince a few of the guests the exact definition and semantics of Jungle Fever was the perfect combination of humor and awkwardness. And then he just had to take it to another level by saying, “I’m post-racial. I don’t see color. If you’re cool, you’re cool.” That was fantastic. I think I’m going to start using that comment and see how it goes for me.

Kyle also found himself mixing it up with some racially sensitive issues, as he sees an old black man playing the guitar and then badgers the gentleman to teach him the blues. He’s already on his way before due to his direct-to-DVD movie, his split with a yoga instructor and his X-Box being weird. Of course, the older gentleman just uses Kyle’s stupidity to get free food and shined shoes before it’s revealed that that he’s just a dentist and only started playing the guitar recently via some DVD lessons. That’s okay, but Kyle still learned something!

And Ron, oh Ron. His depression reaches new levels here, thanks to lots of weed and the funeral location. Not only is he listening to “Dust in the Wind” on repeat — loved how Casey and Henry ran to check the song on his iPod — but he sees that his life is not worth remembering. No plaques, no pieces of paper, nothing. Of course, that leads to some hot boxing in a casket, where Ron is seemingly a changed man. Or just really, really high.

Henry and Casey don’t have a whole lot to do this week, aside from defuse a potentially scary situation with a white mistress and her interracial son, but it was all funny and tied into the other stories pretty well. Lizzie Caplan and Adam Scott do great work when they’re just awkwardly looking at stuff, and there was a lot of that this week.

Please watch this series!

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