It's really no secret that I am kind of obsessed with STARZ and all of their programming as of late. In watching the trends of pay cable, I think it has become apparent that HBO, once the golden child and the example by which everyone else wanted to model their own programming, has fallen into the bowels of irrelevancy and is struggling to float back up. Sorry, Entourage; I once loved you-- hell, I once created a show that was the female, more self-deprecating version of you-- but I got sick of seeing the same old sh*t every week and never having any of the characters grow, evolve, learn or change. Bless them, they're really trying with How To Make It In America, and though I love me some Bryan Greenberg, I just haven't been able to get into it. Maybe it's because it's set in New York; it's just not my cup of tea.
An argument can easily be made that Showtime is the new "queen bee" in class. Last year the combination of the strongest season yet for a long-running drama (Dexter) and the introduction of two brand new, super witty comedies (Nurse Jackie & United States of Tara) really put it on the map and caused many new people to obtain subscriptions. However, like many of the popular kids, I fear it may have peaked in high school-- err, 2009. One of its original ground-breaking programs, Weeds, is now something that you barely notice, let alone miss, when it's not on, and since Dexter cleaned house of its showrunner and many writer/producers, the show that returns this fall may be just a shell of its former self.
That brings us to STARZ. I fell completely head-over-heels for a little improv comedy called Head Case just a few years ago. Alexandra Wentworth introduced me to the witty humor of this "alternative comedy" network via neurotic Dr. Elizabeth Goode and her equally neurotic celebrity patients. That is why I stuck around when I heard they were releasing another original comedy-- acting at first only as a companion piece to the aforementioned program-- about cater-waiters in Los Angeles.
I was enamored with Party Down from the opening "teaser" of the pilot for its cast (Lizzy Caplan and Jane Lynch, that should say it all!) but what really won me over was all the back-and-forth banter. They were people just like me: people with Hollywood dreams, living and working in a town of opulence but always just out of reach from grabbing it for themselves. The show's first ten episodes came and went too quickly, and I admit there were times I didn't laugh as much as I thought I would (though the underlying sadness to the characters makes them all the more real and relatable, and that's admittedly a big part of the appeal now), but the material was always unique and quirky, and that's something toward which I gravitate, regardless.
Needless to say, when developing my own somewhat quirky comedy, STARZ was the first call I made. They passed, but there are no hard feelings. In fact, I am currently developing two more programs I hope to pitch them in the near future.
...This is all a very long-winded intro for a simple DVD giveaway, isn't it!??
Long, long story short: Party Down is now back on STARZ for its second season. I got to interview some of the show's stars, and I even attended the Paley Center for Media's premiere honoring the cast, the show, and the network. Now, they have been gracious enough to give me some copies of the season one DVD to giveaway to my loyal (and lucky!) readers.
All you have to do to enter to win is send me an email with a "party pitch" aka a one sentence to one paragraph description of a type of party you'd want to see the Party Down caterers take on next. Be sure to include your full name and contact information in the email. The winners will be drawn and notified on May 7th, just in time for the next all-new episode of the show! Party Down airs on Fridays at 10pm on the STARZ network, and Netflix is also streaming the episodes same-day.
And as for HBO and Showtime: prove me wrong. Or better yet, finally deem me worthy enough to include on your screeners/promos mailing list, and perhaps I will discover other new and exciting programming you have to offer and see the error of my ways.