Party Down lives in television history as one of those cult darling “cancelled too soon” shows like Arrested Development, Firefly, and Freaks and Geeks. Its two seasons aired in 2009 and 2010, and it starred Adam Scott, Martin Starr, Lizzy Caplan, Jane Lynch, Megan Mullally, Ken Marino, Ryan Hansen, and Jennifer Coolidge. The series was conceived by Rob Thomas, of Veronica Mars fame, John Enbom, Dan Etheridge, and Paul Rudd—whose experiences as a pre-fame party DJ partially influenced the show, which revolves around a troupe of industry never-beens working as caterers. Party Down remains to this day one of my favorite shows of all time, but despite the streaming revolution of the 2010s that drove many cult jewels to renewed popularity, Party Down always stayed under the radar. Well no more! Season three is coming, baby!
The catering crew is back, except for Lizzy Caplan, who couldn’t participate due to scheduling conflicts. I’m surprised they got Adam Scott, frankly, given how in demand he’s been since Parks & Rec ended—he’s headlining Severance now, one of the breakout shows of 2022, and he’s been filming Madame Web this fall. The teaser shows off the crew celebrating, except for Henry (Scott), who must have crashed and burned again, if he’s still catering years later. Although, it’s not actually clear what the long-awaited third season will be about.
Presumably, everyone is still catering, that’s the concept of the show. But it might also be interesting—and funny—to find out where these misfits and oddballs landed ten years later. Maybe Casey (Caplan) isn’t around because she finally got her break and is a big star now. Maybe Roman (Martin Starr) is an Oscar-winning screenwriter. Maybe Henry finally got a real role. Although it would be completely fitting for Party Down to show us these losers still barely treading water on the margins of the film industry all these years later.
Party Down has some extremely funny moments, but it was never a show that promised a happy ending. If anything, it’s almost defiantly downbeat, given the success its creators found over the years. But I’m just happy for the chance to catch up with the Party Down cater-waiters. It’s been too long.