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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Hollywood > Catering > Party Down – Season One (2009/Anchor Bay DVD)

Party Down – Season One (2009/Anchor Bay DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Episodes: C



Can having a catering service be funny?  After several reality TV shows (especially those involving cake making) have proved yes, the gang that delivered the overrated sitcom Veronica Mars are back with Party Down, set in Hollywood with a gang of workers who take on the jobs as “temporary” in hopes of better times ahead.  This Season One set takes only two discs, but even with only so many episodes, this is not that funny a show.


The main problem is that the show is too focused on limited comedy to really be any kind of character study which could lead to a better show.  It is surface comedy.   It also is recycling the restaurant comedy series (Alice, It’s A Living) as a catering show, but you never get the chemistry you would on the better such shows and the result is a bunch of chattering talking heads not saying much and not being as amusing as they think they are.


Blame the barely adequate teleplays, which wallow in their boredom.  The actors are not bad, but they cannot figure out a way to bring the material above its limits and unless things improve, I do not see this show surviving beyond a few seasons unless cable network Starz really backs it or it becomes some kind of surprise or cult hit.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is very soft for a new show, likely shot in 1080i HD video with plenty of motion blur and other detail issues.  Color is not always great either.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix sounds like 2.0 Stereo very stretched out.  The surrounds are engaged in a weak way and there is little in the way of a soundfield.  The recording is not bad, but not always what it should be either.  Extras include Outtakes, a Gag Reel, audio commentary on select shows by the producers and a behind the scenes featurette.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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