Damn. In unsurprising but still really disappointing news, Starz has opted not to bring Party Down back for a third season. The show had been on the brink for a while, with very low ratings and with many members of its cast moving to other shows, but it’s still a bummer that it’s over. The show has garnered quite a bit of buzz and critical acclaim this season, and thanks to appearing on Netflix Instant Streaming and On Demand, the show had built up steam that didn’t reflect well enough in the ratings for the network to justify bringing it back. I’m now going to have a moment of silence in honor of Henry, Casey, Ron, Kyle, Roman, Lydia, and Constance.
Monthly Archives: June 2010
Radiohead’s Philip Selway has always been that guy in the back with the insanely good drumming skills, but August 31, he’ll be front and center with a guitar as he releases his first solo album, Familial. Selway participated in Neil Finn’s 7 Worlds Collide project, and joining him on the record will be Lisa Germano, Wilco’s Glenn Kotche and Pat Sansone, and Soul Coughing’s Sebastian Steinberg. The first song, “By Some Miracle” is available on Selway’s website right now with the seemingly now standard requirement of an email address. Selway will hit the road in August and September. Dates below:
09.04.10 – Stradbally, Ireland – Electric Picnic Festival
09.11.10 – Isle of Wight, UK – Bestival
09.12.10 – Salsbury, UK – End of the Road Festival
09.14.10 – London, UK – London Royal Festival Hall *
09.15.10 – Newcastle, UK – 02 Academy Newcastle *
09.16.10 – Glasgow, UK – Barrowland Ballroom *
* with Wilco
It’s been five years since Robert Pollard put Guided by Voices to rest, but this October he’s assembling a “classic lineup” to reunite for Matador Records 21st birthday celebration. Who is included in this classic lineup remains to be seen, and given the constantly revolving cast of characters that was GbV, there could be endless possibilities. The awesome news doesn’t stop there though: Joining GbV “the Classic ’93-’96 Lineup” will be Pavement, Sonic Youth and Belle & Sebastian. That’s right, GbV, Pavement, Sonic Youth, and Belle & Sebastian will all be headliners. The “supporting” acts keep getting better and better too, with Spoon, Yo La Tengo, Cat Power, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Superchunk, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Guitar Wolf, Chavez, Girls, Fucked Up, Harlem, Cold Cave, Shearwater, Kurt Vile, and Jeffrey Joe Jensen (phew!) all on the bill, with more acts being announced July 5. All of this madness will go down October 1-3 at the Palms in Las Vegas. More on the mind numbing awesomeness of Matador at 21 here.
Pitchfork has the first track off the highly anticipated Best Coast debut LP, Crazy For You available on their website. The rollicking “Boyfriend” kicks off with drums like Bruce Springsteen’s “Badlands,” before heading closer to the territory of previous Best Coast tracks like “When I’m With You.” Download it now at P4k and get Crazy For You on July 27.
Best Coast – “Boyfriend” [link]
In April, Steve Carell made waves when he said he planned on leaving The Office after the show’s upcoming seventh season, at the conclusion of his contract. At the premiere of his new movie, Despicable Me, Carell told Entertainment Weekly, “I think [season] 7 will be my last year…I want to fulfill my contract. I think it’s a good time to move on.” Asked if he’d reconsider, Carell answered, “No. I just want to spend more time with my family.” As I opined in the previous piece, this might be the perfect opportunity for The Office to head to sitcom heaven. Carell has always been the central point of the show, even at the height of the Jim-Pam will-they-won’t-they stuff, and without him, I don’t really see the show continuing. The show has definitely declined, and with its stars on the rise, this would be the time to call it quits. Maybe I’m speaking too soon. Would you watch The Office without Michael Scott? Let us know in the comments! Read more on the end of Michael Scott here.
UPDATE: Carell seems to think the show will continue after he’s gone:
“I think it’s just a dynamic change to the show, which could be a good thing, actually. Add some new life and some new energy…I see it as a positive in general for the show…The ensemble is so strong, and the writers are great, so it’s just one part of that ensemble drifting off. They’ve incorporated so many new characters and so many new, great storylines that I have no doubt it’ll continue as strong if not stronger than ever.”
So there you have it. Dunder-Mifflin 4ever.
Have you ever wondered what exactly makes The Prince of Darkness the Prince of Darkness? Well Ozzy has, which has led him to have his gnome mapped by Cofactor Genomics, a St. Louis based company. Cofactor hopes that their research will, “lead to even more insight into what makes Ozzy tick…. techniques far superior to playing all his records backwards.” This will certainly be an interesting endeavor, not just because it’s Ozzy Osbourne, but because it will hopefully provide insight into what makes a creative person so creative. For more, check out Cofactor Genomics’ website here.
I used to really like Entourage. There was definitely a time when it was a really entertaining show that was genuinely pretty funny. But it gradually started going downhill after it’s fourth season, when Medellen bombed at Cannes. Here was a great opportunity for the show to knock Vince down and triumphantly build him back up. Instead, we spent a whole year of Vince wanting to be a big star again that ended with him going home to New York before getting a call from Martin Scorsese, where he calls and says, “Hey Vince, deus ex machina!” All of last season felt like a slog, and the story devolved into Drama whines, Turtle dates a hot actress, Vince smiles and has sex with every woman in LA, Ari calls Lloyd gay, and Eric inexplicably proposes to Sloan. So basically what I’m trying to say is if you’re a fan of the show, sorry if my reviews land on the sarcastic side of things.
So “Stunted” starts with Turtle, who’s running a company out of a mansion where hot women drive Mercedes or something. One of them is late and doesn’t have her shirt, so we get our first shot of a girl taking off her clothes this season (spoiler: it will happen frequently). Then there’s Vince, who’s working on some action movie where his stunt double gets set on fire, and the super tough director wants him to do his own stunt. Vince doesn’t like that idea because he’s good looking, but he says he’ll do it because he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s just good looking and can’t act/drive. Since this is Entourage though, Vince won’t deal with this dilemma on his own, passing it off to E, who passes it off to Ari, but only after they have a deep conversation about E getting married and how he isn’t nervous. E was genuinely talking about it too, and Ari was just like, “marriage sucks you short person.” Whateves, Ari is going to fix the problem because he’s the biggest agent in the world now, so naturally, he’ll personally handle everything for Vince.
Back to Turtle, who is having problems with this girl because she keeps getting lost. Fire her Turtle! Oh no, you feel guilty about, so don’t do it! Just talk about it! Oops! She lost the car! Fire her now! Ah, her parents are getting a divorce. Bummer. Now would be a good time to try to kiss her. Brilliant move Turtle. That’s so logical. Now I guess you’ll spend the whole season chasing this girl, with her perpetually frustrating you and you still wanting her. Should be a blast.
And then there’s Drama, who has a holding deal, but no one wants to make a show with him because he’s an egotistical old bad actor. Was that too harsh? Sorry Drama, I didn’t mean it bro. I actually understand your natural instinct to demand that your agent Lloyd (oh yeah, he’s an agent now) put an entire team of agents behind you to get you a job, because your superstar brother couldn’t do it for you, so a bunch of young agents that are hiding from Ari will do the trick.
Speaking of Ari, he wants to negotiate the NFL TV contracts (oooh, topical!) and yell at people because that’s what Ari does. He’s also in trouble with his wife because he can’t make a parent-teacher conference, something I’m relatively certain happens on Entourage every fifth episode. He goes out to the set to tell Vince’s director he can’t do the stunt, because Vinny is really freaking out about. Poor Vinny. Anyway, Ari is all, “Vince can’t do the stunt,” and the director is all, “Oh he’ll do it or I’ll kill you.” Wait, what?
In the end, Vince decides to do the stunt just to prove he’s a tough guy, and the director is such a daredevil, he decides he’s going to ride with Vince. Now, if I remember my Entourage well enough, didn’t Vince have to pass a driving test last season and he kind of sucked at driving? Didn’t someone just say “Oh, you’re Vinny Chase! Here’s your drivers license because you’re a star!” Yet, we’re going to let Vince jump an SUV with the director in it? That makes more than perfect sense. So Vinny makes the jump, but oh no! He can’t stop that crazy thing and he crashes into a barn or something. But he’s fine. He wants to do it again! Vinny Chase is a man!
Oh, and E had lunch with Sloan, just to remind us we need to care about that. I assure you I otherwise wouldn’t.
So there you have it. Not really that much happened, but there were plenty of opportunities for rap music to play over shots of people getting into nice cars, so it was quality, right? No? Am I being too harsh on Entourage? It’s just that it was good show once that got really boring, and I’m done being nice about it.
Telling comment from my dad, who had never seen the show before: “So did it use to be better than that?”
What do you all think? Angry retorts/jokes welcomed in the comments!
Well Party Downers, this is it, the end of Season 2, and possibly the show. This season, Party Down established itself as one of the finest comedies on television. It’s grand finale was funny and bittersweet, a culmination of what the show was all season. While I don’t think the episode was the best of a stellar 10 episodes, it was pretty high up there on the list. With the triumphant return of Jane Lynch/Constance, Party Down set the table for its possible future, one in which Ron gets his dream girl, Roman writes a masterpiece, and Henry (might) go on to bigger and better things.
It was great to see Lynch back on the show, where she was a natural fit. Lynch is the bright spot of Glee, but as the undying optimist Constance, she was at the top of her game. Now engaged to Howard Greengold, an elderly Jewish movie producer that is making Constance 10th wife, a fact that makes Casey and Henry very nervous. Their wedding is a cross between traditional Jewish and Buddhist hippie, with yarmulkes and pot cookies, several of which are mistakenly eaten by Roman. Kyle’s band is set to play a song for the soon to be happy couple, and Ron must confront the fact that Danielle, her fiance, and her Party Down-owning father are there. And then there’s poor Lydia, Constance’s replacement, who can’t figure out “which part is flanks.”
For a while, the party seemed to be going in just a completely disastrous direction. The pot cookies sent Roman into a hazed out world, where he calls paramedics, fearing that he’s dying. Constance threatens a still confused Lydia. Danielle breaks off her relationship with Ron, tearing him apart. Casey becomes increasingly more concerned that Constance is going to have to sign away everything in a pre-nup forced upon her and Howard by the latter’s daughter. And then there’s Kyle’s song, perhaps my favorite part of the episode. Singing about the trials of a young, wannabe actor, Kyle sings to a group of elderly Jews that, “they brand you with a star,” and “give you a number.” His complete ignorance combined with his sincerity in singing the song made the moment less cringe inducing and more hysterically funny.
Perhaps the most poignant scene the show has ever done happens in a study, where Henry finds Casey in tears over the news that her big scene in the Apatow movie was cut. He tries his hardest to encourage her not to give up, and seemed sincere in doing so, but Casey justifiably doesn’t want to hear it from a guy who, for the whole show, has reveled in the fact that he’s given up. Party Down had relatively few somewhat serious scenes, and this one stood out thanks to the chemistry between Adam Scott and Lizzie Caplan.
But Party Down surprisingly enough, wasn’t ready to leave our characters at the lowest depths. Ron stands up during the wedding when the call for objections is made (as did Patrick Duffy!), and professed his love for Danielle, a move that got him punched in the face, but also won over Danielle. Constance’s friend that baked the pot cookies talks Roman through it all, and helps him wright his “masterpiece” on a roll of toilet paper. And though Howard dies in the car as it’s leaving the wedding, Constance is grateful for their time together, and its discovered Howard had signed the pre-nup as “Jack Shit,” which Henry knows from an earlier conversation that he genuinely loved her. Unlike it’s first season, Party Down ends on a happy note for Henry, as he fails to show up to an event as he goes in for an audition on an indie film that Kyle was reading. It leaves a smile on Casey’s face, and it shows Henry, our character stuck in a rut since Episode 1, finally making a go of the career that he should have had.
And thus ended a stellar season of Party Down, one I really think rivals the other top notch comedies on TV right now. Season One was good, and it had some great moments, but for the most part, it was about establishing the characters and the atmosphere of the show. With the establishment out of way, Season Two allowed for more tinkering with these characters. We learned that Roman wasn’t an undiscovered writer, but one that focused more on his own genius. We learned Henry was actually a good actor, not just one that had his moment. And we learned that poor Ron will have everything bad happen to him, but in the end, he’s got someone in the world just like him.
I was pretty frustrated after reading Troy Patterson’s article on the show for Slate, who said the show, “would seem even funnier if it were not so heavily indebted to the funniest TV shows of recent years.” Aren’t all shows heavily indebted to something else? Wasn’t Arrested Development indebted to The Simpsons or The Office to Curb Your Enthusiasm? What Patterson seems to ignore is that television is a constantly building medium. Every great show begets another great show. I guarantee soon enough you’ll read a review of a new comedy that is viewed as indebted to Party Down.
A possible third season (the show hasn’t been picked up by Starz yet) would more than likely see big changes with Adam Scott only being able to appear in 3 episodes after moving to Parks and Rec, and Ryan Hansen getting a gig with a new show. But while I’m hesitant about this great show losing it’s more or less principle character, this season showed me just how good Party Down‘s writers are and how well this show is at adapting to a revolving cast of characters. But if this is it for Party Down, then man did it go out on one hell of a high note.
- Two other great moments: Danielle using the excuse that her dress was on backwards, when it actually was on backwards, and Ron’s elated news to Danielle that her parents were getting divorced.
- Though this was the fifth episode to feature a character on a lot of drugs (Season 1 had Casey on Ecstasy and Bobbi on mushrooms, this season had Ron high in a coffin and Lydia “powdering her nose”), I thought the Roman bits were pretty funny, mostly due to Martin Starr’s hilarious facial expressions.
- Be sure to check out Alan Sepinwall’s great interview with PD co-creator John Enbom, in which he talks actor changes and what might happen in a hypothetical season 3.
- What did anyone else think? Should Party Down be used in the same sentence as shows like Parks and Rec and Modern Family?
Michael’s Score: 84
TUiW Grade: A-
Party Down Season 2 Grade: A
Athens, GA weirdos (meant in a good way) Of Montreal will return come September 14 with False Priest, a Jon Brion produced record that will no doubt up the ante Kevin Barnes and Co. continue to raise. The album will feature guest spots from Janelle Monae and Solange Knowles, and Barnes recently told P4k the record would have an R&B sound:
“There’s a lot of very dancey, very funky songs… We try to have these ‘holy fuck’ moments where you’re really having your mind blown, especially if you’re listening to it on headphones.”
Sounds brilliant to me! Barnes recorded the album on his own in Athens before re-recording it with Brion, who’s previous credits include work with Kanye, Fiona Apple, and several film scores. Available now at the Of Montreal website is the albums first single, “Coquet Coquette,” just by entering your email address. The tracklist, full of song titles only Of Montreal could come with, is below:
01 I Feel Ya’ Strutter
02 Our Riotous Defects [ft. Janelle Monáe]
03 Coquet Coquette
04 Godly Intersex
05 Enemy Gene [ft. Janelle Monáe]
06 Hydra Fancies
07 Like a Tourist
08 Sex Karma [ft. Solange Knowles]
09 Girl Named Hello
10 Famine Affair
11 Casualty of You
12 Around the Way
13 You Do Mutilate?