“Top This Party” is replete with narcissistic and disgustingly decadent folks who fuss about how best to spend money on themselves and their parties.
Series’ main focus is on event planner Brian Dobbin and his chef partner Robin who handle the seemingly outrageous demands of the Orange County party circuit.
Dobbin’s clients could easily be characters straight out of a Christopher Guest movie: confoundingly unaware and completely self-serving. Premiere episode features a recently divorced OC advertising exec who is planning a singles safari. Included in her many requests is having servers hand-feed guests amongst caged elephants and tigers on a yacht. Her opportunistic personal assistant, a devout practitioner of feng shui, displays an inexplicable influence over her boss and the party. Horrified at the color blue, the assistant wants as many fire elements at the party as possible and has a fit when Dobbin won’t break the law and have an open pit flame for a pig roast on the rented yacht.
Second episode is equally outrageous, featuring a stressed- out client who’s throwing a Halloween party for 500 people. It’s worth watching the show just to see the look on Dobbin’s face as he’s forced to sit on the couch with his client and her life coach for reassurance after an upsetting meeting with a fortune teller. The woman sits there chanting words like “spirit,” “ocean,” “dolphin,” “Utah.”
Beyond the totally guilt-inducing extravaganza of bad taste, however, the show lacks any real substance as to what goes into parties on this scale. Robin talks about how great the food is, but viewers never get to see the final spread. It would be nice to get a bigger scope of these events, perhaps a glimpse at the menus, some tricks of the trade, or even a booze tally.
Lifetime offers a companion program, “Top This Party: Las Vegas,” immediately following.