Party Down Recap: Bubbles, the Clown

For as much as it traces the crushed dreams and frustrating lives of people living on the wrong side of the Hollywood dream, Party Down has rarely focused on Hollywood itself. Over the course of two seasons we've skirted the edges of it (J.K. Simmons's vitriol-spewing super-producer, Steve Guttenberg) and mined its unseemly underbelly (porn awards, cinephile gangsters, Steve Guttenberg) but never really confronted the typical, easy clichs of Hollywood life: the dumb blonds, the low morals, the bad ideas, the mountains of cocaine. The reason? Because they're easy clichs! And yet despite the presence of all of these glittery, 100 percent-true-by-the-way La-La Land tropes, Joel Munt's Big Deal Party shines.

Perhaps the No. 1 reason why an episode that devoted an unreasonable amount of its time to men attempting to urinate in a champagne glass still left us smiling is because it featured Bubbles from The Wire playing a coked-up superproducer making a buddy cop movie called Pride and Prejudice (Pride is a racist white cop, Prejudice is a rapper. They team up to catch a hooker-murderer, duh) actually drinking from said champagne glass full of urine. Wait, no! That's not what we meant at all! (Though it was pretty awesome.) What we meant to say was that it worked because it grounded the easy Hollywood satire with Roman's very real desire to become a part of it. Not necessarily because he too wanted the chance to adapt the brilliant, incredibly boring hard sci-fi works of reclusive Canadian beardo A.F. Gordon Theodore (wonderfully played by comedy nerd favorite Dave Gruber Allen) but because he too wants to have a fancy car and a woman with tits that he could theoretically do blow off of. That's what Roman's ex-writing partner and all-around douchey sell-out Joel Munt has going for him and he hires Party Down for the express purpose of rubbing Roman coke-free nose in all of his newfound success. As played by Human Giant's Paul Scheer (whose wife, June Diane Raphael, was featured last week as Ron's love interest), Munt is exactly the sort of rage and revenge-obsessed weasel that Roman could be, if only he could write worth a damn or wear a Kangol as well.

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