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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this comedy about a catering business is full of all kinds of iffy behavior -- from drinking and unbleeped swearing on the job to employees accepting sexual favors from party guests. There's occasional nudity, and characters trade sexually charged barbs and insults (like "Dude, you just f--ked me in the ass") and make edgy assumptions about race, gender, and sexual preference. In short: It's funny, but it isn't meant for kids.
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Ok for Adults
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What's the Story?
A motley crew of Hollywood party caterers (including characters played by Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan, and Jane Lynch) go through the motions under the direction of a team leader (Ken Marino) who takes his responsibilities to the extreme in PARTY DOWN. In each episode, the gang muddles their way through another event, from birthday parties to awards shows, all the while waiting for their big chance to move on to something better. (Fun fact: Fred Savage -- who shot to fame as a child star on the nostalgic sitcom The Wonder Years -- directs some episodes.)
Is It Any Good?
By transplanting the one-camera workplace dramedy (think The Office) to the realm of event catering, Party Down reveals the lighter side of what it's like to serve heavy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails to people you've never met before -- and will probably never see again in your life. The cleverly cast ensemble of working actors (who are, of course, playing servers who want to become working actors and screenwriters) has solid chemistry, and the show is sure to appeal to fans of similarly quirky comedies.
A runaway hit? Maybe not. But the best thing Party Down has going for it is comedic potential. After all, the right actors are in place, and the decision to set the show in Tinseltown, starting each episode at the beginning of a new event and ending it when the party's over, opens the door to guest spots, side plots, and endless possibilities.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the appeal of crude humor. Why is it funny to some people and not to others?
What do you think the characters' motivations are? Why might they be working as party caterers? Have you ever had a job that you really didn't like? What didn't you like about it, and did that ever make it more tempting to goof off or do a mediocre job?
Do you have a dream job? What are the odds of getting it, and how long would you pursue it before giving up?
- Premiere date: March 20, 2009
- Cast: Adam Scott, Ken Marino, Lizzy Caplan
- Network: Starz
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 26, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Brilliant, innovative comedy for mature viewers.
Workplace spoof is hilarious but filled with mature humor.
Waiting for Guffman
Fab small-town spoof; subtle humor may bore kids.
For kids who love comedy
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate