The first reviews for TV's worst idea, a revival of Party Down, are in. And, well, they are mixed with a lean towards 'not good'.
There are highlights in Season 3, mostly stemming from Ken Marino’s incredible physical comedy and the always-reliable “drug trip” episode, but “Party Down” isn’t having fun yet. How can it? Between nostalgic nods to the past and blunt exposition to reach the present, there’s a lingering separation between the actual jokes and the setting in which they’re told. “Party Down” was always a little sad, what with the constant disappointment plaguing these young dreamers. But that youth also offered hope. They were still maturing, still finding themselves, and the impermanence of their identities fit the disposable nature of their day jobs. Now that they’re older, fully-formed adults, it’s unclear what we’re supposed to make of these middle-aged men acting like nothing’s changed, and suffering twenty-something disappointments all over again.
Indeed, much of what plays out on this season of “Party Down” feels like restaging a play that had met great acclaim years before: The dynamics between the cast are the same, and so is Ron’s hapless optimism, as well as his ability to ruin relationships with clients. There’s even an episode in which the team caters a meeting of a far-right political organization — something they did the first time out.
But Judy Berman at Time seems to have liked it.
And just about every TV series over a decade old that still has name recognition is being revived. So, of course, on Feb. 24, we’re getting more Party Down. Don’t worry: season 3 is great. By which I mean that most of the five (out of six total) episodes I screened had me laughing so hard that I gasped for air and tears streamed down my face and I very nearly fell off the couch.
- For some reason THR has an interview with the folks who made the first live-action adaptation of The Tick about how it was 'murdered' by Fox. Interesting to note: this version of the show was the least good of three different The Tick incarnations and had the fewest episodes. Just sayin'... Read: THR
- On Feb 26 TikTok is debuting a live trivia competition. Vale HQ Trivia... Read: The Verge
- Paramount reports that it closed out 2022 with 77 million subscribers, having added 10 million in its Top Gun: Maverick infused final quarter. Read: Variety
- Paramount Global is shutting down its UK non-scripted division. Read: Deadline
- US Paramount+ subscribers will see the premium plan go up to $11.99 once Showtime is bundled in. Read: The Verge
- YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is moving onto new things. Time with family, writing a book, that sort of thing... Read: THR
- The 97 year-old Dick Van Dyke was revealed to be a Masked Singer.
Taron Egerton stars in the Apple TV+ movie Tetris. Yes, it is based on the game. It debuts March 31. And cool, but wake me up when there's a Dr Mario movie...
Elizabeth Olsen stars in HBO Max series Love and Death, which debuts April 27.
Rain Dogs debuts March 6 on HBO.
The Magician's Elephant debuts March 17 on Netflix.
Japanese earthquake drama series The Days debuts later this year on Netflix.
That's it for this week. This afternoon is the first supporters-only edition of the Always Be Streaming newsletter. Thanks to all those who became paid Always Be Watching subscribers in recent weeks. Your support is greatly appreciated.