• Network: Starz
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 20, 2009
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. 88
    There is bitterness aplenty, but Party Down didn’t create these characters simply to mock them. There is also bittersweet sadness lurking behind these droll, incisive portraits of failure and self-deception.
  2. It is a smart, affable, mostly unpredictable ensemble comedy that reminds us that in the 500-channel universe, fine things can happen in unlikely places, as long as you are clever about budget, commit to a sensible number of episodes--in this case 10--write well and cast right, and that what matters ultimately to heaven is not the eminence of the venue but the quality of the work.
  3. 80
    All of the characters are misfits, and the pleasure of Party Down is watching the actors riff off one another as they go to extremes.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew Wallenstein
    80
    Lurking behind the surface of this raucous comedy is an astute meditation on the promise and peril of leading an unconventional life, something about which aspiring actors know a thing or two.
  5. Party Down may not reinvent Starz the way "Mad Men" did for AMC, but it's a very funny series that any cable channel would be lucky to have.
  6. Reviewed by: Josh Wolk
    75
    Party has some great lines and a wicked streak even if, like catering food, the concept feels a little warmed-over.
  7. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    70
    Party Down’s satirical aim is unsteady, and the second episode (featuring Young Republicans) is so dated it’s practically unwatchable. But there’s sharp dialogue and insight into the nature of snuffed ambition.
  8. The warning bell is that since the team begins as caricatures, the show could become a string of situation jokes. There's room for growth, though, as they say, and the creators wisely mixed up the cast.
  9. Tone--and we're talking cringe humor here--only takes you so far, and those looking for "Mars"-like subtlety should look elsewhere. But those who miss Veronica and company might want to tune in for the reunions alone.
  10. Party Down can't decide if it wants to be smart-funny or dumb-funny. Maybe if it does, the party will truly begin.
  11. A comedy about the ignominy of life as a member of a catering wait staff, Party Down is a great idea inadequately enlivened by desperation.
  12. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    40
    There's no shortage of comedy with a semi-improvised flair trafficking in detached irony, but by the end of three catered affairs, I felt every bit as bored and blase about life as Henry.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Mar 22, 2013
    8
    An overlooked comedy. Too quirky and too unafraid of showing adult content to be a mainstream hit, it has established a cult following with its spectacular cast, cool premise, and creative writing. 8.3/10 Full Review »
  2. Jan 29, 2012
    5
    This show has very intricate and intriguing story of the week that doesn't focus on the main characters. The stories that do are just bad but I have to admit not too bad the thing I can't get over is how bumbling, self-centered, and whiny these characters are. I can't believe the creators of this show expect us to feel sorry for these people for not making it in the media. These people are good looking and one is even Jewish and they expect us to believe these people have it really tough gaining success in the media and if they do then boo hoo hoo who gives a **** there are plenty of people who have it tougher than these people from minority races, to elderly people, to gay people, and average looking people. I can't give a bleeding **** for these whiny losers who cry over the fact they didn't make it there are thousands of people who don't make it my advice is get over it!!! This show if it wants to stop being mediocre and start being great should focus less on the main characters I didn't become famous sob story to the great comedic storylines each week that comes due to the catering business these people work for. If it wasn't for Ken Marino's character Ron Donald for being the everyman that just wants to make something of themselves and the acting of not just Ken Marino but also Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, and Jennifer Coolidge I would've never even given this show a 5. Although Adam's acting is GREAT his character's story is just plain bad. But I have to say the truly horrible part of this show is the acting of Lizzy Caplan and Martin Starr and their characters along with Ryan Hansen's character. Although for Ryan Hansen I have to say his acting wasn't bad thou he wasn't bad but he wasn't good either he was just mediocre in this but when it comes to Veronica Mars he was PLAIN AWESOME!!! and in Friends with Benefits he's also surprisingly Fantastic!!! I now in one final say I **** HATE LIZZY CAPLAN AND HER CHARACTER PLUS MARTIN STARR'S CHARACTER SHOULD JUST **** STICK A SOCK IN IT OR I'LL PUNCH THE **** OUT OF HIM!!!â Full Review »
  3. Jan 23, 2012
    9
    Fantastic, unusual characters played hilariously by a great cast. The show seems is a bit unsure of itself in the beginning, but the season closes strong and sets up the second season well. Full Review »