“Party Down” — about a catering company staffed by aspiring actors, writers, and lost souls — has been rebooted. When it debuted on Starz in 2009, it was a bit self-referential, starring actors who hadn’t quite made it, including Jane Lynch and Adam Scott. The series lasted just two seasons. The ratings were abysmal, but it had a cult following that grew stronger after it was canceled.
At the core of “Party Down” is the push-and-pull of chasing your dreams while trying to pay the bills, inspired in part by workplace TV shows like the British version of “The Office.”
“The cliche is that you never give up on your dreams, and you just keep believing, and work and work and work, and that you will finally achieve them. That doesn't account for the fact that that doesn't work for everybody,” says showrunner John Enbom. “There is that point where you have to start asking that question of how long do I hold out that hope? How long do I cling to that dream?”
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The reboot brings back much of the main cast and picks up where it left off when it was cancelled in 2010, showing how their lives have evolved. That includes Jane Lynch’s character, an actress/playwright, and Megan Mullally’s character who is managing her daughter’s career as an actress.
While the characters work together at a different party every episode, Enbom also says the series makes a concerted effort to show how different they are from one another.
“We always imagined that there was a tolerance that they all had for each other, because they all understood what they were all doing. But at the same time, we didn't want to start out with just this notion that this was like a lovable group of pals who all had nothing but the warmest feelings for each other. We wanted to play this idea that everyone in the group basically thinks they're the genius, and everyone else is wasting their time in a certain way.”
He adds, “They all want to be somewhere else. They all want to be doing other things and this is just a placeholder at best. And at worst, it's a constant reminder of the fact that they aren't where they want to be.”