In this feature I take a look at one episode that marks a high point in a television series. It’s not necessarily the absolute best a series has to offer (that’s always debatable), but it’s an episode that remains lodged in memory long after I first watched it.
Party Down is a short lived comedy series starring Adam Scott that not enough people watched. Every episode follows the characters, employees of a substandard catering company, as they “work” an event (to be fair, they do work but they also find time to smoke pot and have sex while on the clock). The series takes place in L.A., so of course most of the employees are also unknown actors no one cares about.
“Pepper McMasters Singles Seminar” follows the classic Party Down formula: Henry (Scott) and Casey flirt like teenagers, Kyle and Roman aggravate each other, and Ron tries to maintain some semblance of control. But Constance (Jane Lynch) is the real star of this episode and the series as a whole. She claims that “you’re as young as you feel,” but she’s also unabashedly disgusted by old people looking for love (or, as Constance visualizes it, “wrinkled parts pounding against wrinkled parts… blech”). So when her former flame Bruce attempts to rekindle their love affair, Constance flees from his wrinkled face. But when that wrinkled old flame collapses, seemingly dead, she mounts his body and screams, “I’m too young! You can’t die!”
Kyle’s revenge plot against Roman falls a bit flaccid, but no big deal. Because Casey finally ditches her drag of a husband and immediately leaps into Hendry’s waiting arms. Oh, and thank God for Ron (the second best character of the series). He’s the least inspirational boss after Michael Scott, and his “straight talk” story about a footless friend only elicits laughter.
Adam Scott and Jane Lynch should get high in bathrooms more often. That should be every TV episode ever.
Other Best Eps candidates: “Celebrate Ricky Sargulesh,” “Jackal Onassis Backstage Party”