"Party Down" – Season 2, Episode 1: “Jackal Onassis Backstage Party”

8/09/2010 Posted by Admin

"Party Down" – Season 2, Episode 1

“Jackal Onassis Backstage Party”

Television Review

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schmikowitz

Not much has changed in the past year for the cast of "Party Down," despite what they may think. Sure, characters come and go, and are hired and fired in a whirlwind of booze, failure and soup (or crackers). But that doesn’t stop them from trying to give 1/1,000.000th of a percent of a...fill in the blank.

New boss Henry feigns interest in a job that has since destroyed all of his dreams with its securities, while the rest continue dreaming of protein sucking fungi and direct-to-DVD base-jumping movies. But this second season premiere offers more than the standard fare of failures for this sorry group of dreamers--the episode gives them a taste of their fantasies and some well-needed reality checks.

Picking up one year after the season one finale, “Onassis” follows Henry as he attempts to boss old crewmembers Kyle and Roman, and reconnects with Ron and Casey at a backstage party for Marilyn Manson-type rocker Jackal Onassis. Things take a turn for the weird when Roman and Jackal take on a "Prince & the Pauper"-like plot, as Roman plays rock star dress-up and Jackal becomes every day, loser bartender Dennis. The rest of the episode plays on this mistaken identity, making things difficult for boss Henry to both clear things up with Casey and be, um, the boss.

The premiere episode of Season Two is a great introduction to "Party Down." Even with all the changes going on from the last season to this one, the show divulges plenty of exposition without ever being obnoxious or redundant. Introducing and re-introducing new characters and situations starts the season off with a bang without the requirement of actually viewing its predecessor.

But the best part of the episode – and this was true of last season as well – is the handling of these characters and themes.

“Onassis” is an episode change and appreciation, and as such the supposed promotion the characters underwent last episode actually reinforced who they were to begin with by challenging their character. Roman gets a taste of fame, but his geek personality shines through; Soup ‘R Crackers makes a failure out of Ron, despite being a “great experience;” and newcomer Lydia lives in a wonderland of delusion. The universe always has had a way of bringing these characters back to normal, but what this first episode argues is that maybe it’s themselves, not the universe, that they should run from.

  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes