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Friday, 5 of March of 2021

Party Down – “Cole Landry’s Draft Day Party”

Are any of you Americans? Am I the only one who’s been in a Champs?

While “Cole Landry’s Draft Day Party” episode is funny in places, it’s not a great episode of Party Down, nor do I think it’s a a particular smart piece of writing. Indeed, the episode feels a bit tired as a sitcom set-up (hiding sexualities, drunken confrontations, posing as significant others, learning that people aren’t as they seem), and even the crew of Party Down can’t really salvage the episode from its rather tired premise.

For most of the season, my main issue has been with Lydia and her failure to feel fully integrated into the plot. Here, like with the orgy party, Lydia’s desire for a man keeps her integrated into the plot, though her rather desperate attempts to salvage the evening feels more like a retread on her attempt to salvage the orgy rather than anything new. This is disappointing, but with only one episode left (!!!), I’ve resigned myself to Lydia’s odd (and poorly developed) place within the cast.

Putting Lydia aside now, the rest of the episode just runs in its circles. Roman’s preconceptions of football players being shattered by a pre-med one who loves (and knows more about) science fiction literature than he does could’ve opened chances for Roman to be consistently belittled by the guy (a trivia-off, with Kyle as host, would’ve been a blast). Instead, it’s a too brief scene, with limited follow through from Roman’s perspective. But after all the love Roman has gotten over the season, I guess I can be okay with him not being front and center in this episode.

But the rest of the episode is pretty telegraphed. There’s little doubt, after Landry is outed on TV, that the other player getting soused at the bar is his secret lover (and whenever a character defensively says, “I get lots of pussy” you can be assured that they don’t, in fact, get lots of pussy), so most of that arrangement largely fell flat for me (aside from Henry’s great, blank reaction shot).

The Henry and Casey banter/argument never really felt convincing either way. And given how dry both characters are, it might’ve benefited that premise to have their relationship feel more central to the episode. Henry seemed genuinely at a loss about not going to the premiere (that was fast, by the way) while Casey seemed to be doing shtick with him. It would’ve been a good source of conflict/development for them, but it never moves beyond establishing Henry as being a bit jealous.

With only one episode left, and the return of Constance, I’m willing to forgive the fumble that is “Cole Landry’s Draft Day Party.” But try and finish with a strong touchdown, all right, Party Down?

See. I can do sports references, too.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • I didn’t mention Ron’s ejaculate problem because, well, it wasn’t funny after the initial two scenes. Those first two scene though? I want them to be Marino’s Emmy clips.
  • I had to do a search on Champs. Wasn’t sure if it was a store or a restaurant (or both…)
  • Ben Mankiewicz as the weekend afternoon host of Turner Classic Movies? Dull. Ben Mankiewicz as a sports caster? Pretty entertaining.

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