Last week, Party Down was much more subdued and honestly, interesting. This week: back to the zany, organized chaos.
Watching the episodes back to back would be at least partially staggering because they are very different tonally. The Guttenberg party last week was certainly the most “serious” effort the series has ever done and I’d argue that “Not On Your Wife Opening Night” was the most ridiculous the series has ever done.
Last week, we saw Roman intellectually deal with his inability to connect to people on a personal level and how that influences his writing. It was handled with some humor, but mostly played straight. This week Roman got inexplicably drunk and made out with two people at once — one man, one woman. However, Roman’s reaction to the community theater actors allowed for a nice character beat because it proves that despite his holier than thou attitude, anytime someone pumps up his ego, he loves it.
Henry and Casey deal with the aftermath of their kiss in the hot tub last week — by continuing to make out. But again, instead of having a serious conversation, the two talk in jokes and riffs, before Casey puts on a costume and the lips start a lockin’. I’m fine with the two of them back together and messing around, but would have liked to seen Henry’s life without her a little bit more. This way, the deck is completely stacked in Casey’s favor and there is little reason to believe they shouldn’t get back together.
But again, their actions lead to some craziness at the event. The director of the community theater thinks that Henry made out with his wife, but actually, the wife was making out with a lesbian super-producer — the same woman the director had urged Kyle to sleep with so that the theater could stay open.
Oh, and Ron and Lydia also had a creepy encounter in the back. Ron, in his rebirthed state, finds Lydia checking him out and talking about needing a man so he obviously takes the bait and jumps her. Mix in an excessive amount of mace and we ourselves a nice physical comedy bit.
Like I said, this effort definitely lacked subtly, but that’s not really a bad thing. This cast can sell the broad comedy just as well as they can the biting, sharp sarcasm, so it’s just as compelling to see them step outside of the usual formula in the other direction.