Again and Higher Than Ever


13 years after it ended, the cult favourite Starz present Get together Down returns on the high of its sport.


By Valerie Ettenhofer · Printed on February twentieth, 2023

Welcome to Beforehand On, a column that provides you the rundown on the newest TV. On this version, Valerie Ettenhofer evaluations the long-awaited season 3 of Get together Down.

The TV panorama is riddled with sequels, reboots, and revivals. For each good one, there are handfuls of unhealthy ones, apparent money grabs, and IP-stretching experiments designed to see simply how lengthy we’ll take note of one thing all of us cared about ten years and a number of other endings in the past. By now, it’s laborious to get enthusiastic about revivals of even our most-loved exhibits as a result of viewers can’t anticipate once they’ll get axed once more (like Veronica Mars), muddy their very own mythology (like The X-Information), or fade away earlier than they even get made (like Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

So when you strategy the brand new season of the cult favourite comedy Get together Down – which returns to Starz this month after 13 years off the air – with an air of cool detachment, I actually don’t blame you. It’s in all probability what the Get together Down crew themselves would do, in any case. However fortunately, you don’t must: this present completely rocks.

Throughout its preliminary two-season run, Get together Down developed from a cynical comedy a couple of group of sardonic and unhinged would-be actors into an astutely noticed, slyly charming ensemble sequence – that was nonetheless about sardonic and unhinged would-be actors. Set within the Hollywood catering enterprise, the present was in a position to make use of a rotating solid of grasping, attractive, bizarre, and hilarious visitor stars, and it typically juggled a number of outrageous plotlines with the nimbleness of a Larry David comedy. Its new season does all that once more after which some, staying true to every of its characters and sharpening its wit towards an business and political panorama which have modified drastically because the present final aired.

The fundamental premise of Get together Down stays largely unchanged: every episode bears the title of an occasion the titular catering firm is ready to work, and the half-hour takes place completely through the course of the social gathering. Adam Scott returns as Henry, who we final noticed at an enormous audition. The brand new season makes a daring leap early on that turns the tables on its characters, however suffice it to say the wheel of fortune comes for many of the power losers on the Get together Down group. The present has at all times been real looking (or maybe pessimistic) in regards to the fickle nature of the movie business. Nonetheless, the brand new season cleverly captures the whiplash-inducing rise and fall of celebrities within the present social media period.

The vast majority of the unique ensemble returns for season three, with the exception, within the 5 episodes accessible for screening, of Lizzy Caplan’s Casey. Whereas her chemistry with Henry added a pang of vulnerability and craving to the present’s authentic run, the brand new episodes nonetheless preserve the rom-com-within-a-farce feeling alive by introducing a memorable new love curiosity for the bartender. The present’s new recurring solid contains Tyrel Jackson Williams as a Zoomer influencer and Get together Down teammate, Zoë Chao as an avant-garde new chef, and Jennifer Garner as a producer who hires Get together Down for her boyfriend’s (James Marsden) shock birthday celebration. All three are glorious, as are a slew of peculiar, zany, well-cast visitor stars.

Particular consideration needs to be paid to the Get together Down solid, as over a decade of retrospect has made it extra clear than ever that the present has probably the greatest comedic ensembles ever put collectively on TV. Ken Marino’s Ron delivers one other all-in efficiency as a group chief who solely will get funnier as his life will get extra uncontrolled. On the similar time, Jane Lynch’s Constance counters him with a serene, obliviously batty power. Ryan Hansen is in full himbo mode as Kyle, whose run-ins with fame are cringe-inducing however entertaining, whereas his frenemy, Martin Starr’s Roman, nonetheless is a extra mellow misanthrope than earlier than. In the meantime, Megan Mullally’s Lydia nonetheless will get all one of the best traces and delivers them in ways in which make me marvel if Mullally bought her soul in change for secret comedic information nobody else on earth appears to have the ability to faucet into. And Scott’s Henry is geeky-cool as at all times, humorous as each the response image-inspiring straight man and the occasional supply of chaos himself.

Get together Down let its crew develop up throughout its time away, however not a lot that they’re now not humorous. The present brims with a lot power and humor that it’s straightforward to look previous its emotional core, however that could be stronger than ever this time round, too. As a number of of the characters discover themselves again within the more and more absurd service business after time away, they begin to query what’s value striving for and what’s value letting go of. The present doesn’t faux to have all of the solutions, but it surely actually has sufficient juice left within the tank to final for so long as it takes to discover the query. It could be an ironic however becoming accident if Get together Down returned for a one-and-done season, however now that it’s right here, I by no means need the social gathering to finish.

Half Down season 3 debuts February twenty fourth on Starz. Watch the season trailer right here.

Associated Matters: Beforehand On

Valerie Ettenhofer is a Los Angeles-based freelance author, TV-lover, and mac and cheese fanatic. As a Senior Contributor at Movie College Rejects, she covers tv by common evaluations and her recurring column, Episodes. She can also be a voting member of the Critics Alternative Affiliation’s tv and documentary branches. Twitter: @aandeandval (She/her)


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