9 of the best TV parties

Cape Town - New Year’s Eve never quite lives up to expectations, does it? But you know what does? Reliving some of the funniest, most dramatic, most pivotal parties in your favourite TV series and movies. You’ll find all of these on Showmax, Netflix and DStv Now.

1. Friends - The One with Two Parties (Showmax)

Season 2, episode 22: What do you do when it’s your best friend’s birthday and her parents have recently got divorced? You throw her a surprise party. And then you throw her another surprise party on the same night, at the same time, in the apartment across the hall, and make sure her parents don’t catch sight of each other. An excellent plan - until the one party turns deathly boring and the other one turns into a jol. The entire boxset of Friends is on Showmax.

2. Tali’s Wedding Diary - The Bachelorette (Showmax)

Episode 6: In the Showmax Original mockumentary about self-obsessed bridezilla Tali, one of the most cringe-worthy (and hilarious) scenes takes place on Tali’s bachelorette party. Naughty Nautical is the theme of the day, as she and her bridesmaids keep yelling, and in the course of an afternoon, Tali insults each of her bride-slaves in turn, develops a quick crush on the captain of the yacht, sees that Darren’s way more drunk on his bachelor’s than she is, downs an ill-advised number of tequila shots, and ends up doing something she’ll - almost - regret. If you’ve ever been to a so-sad-it’s-funny, terrible bridal shower, you’ll recognise many of the elements in this one.

3. Girls - Welcome to Bushwick, aka The Crackcident (Showmax)

Season 1, episode 7: This is the episode where Shoshanna loses some of her innocent sheen and we all fell a little bit in love with her. As does Ray, who ends up shepherding her around town after she accidentally smokes crack (and yes, her voice is borderline unintelligible when she’s high). The warehouse party in Bushwick, Brooklyn, is a quintessentially Millennial affair, with Marnie asking Jessa, “Why are we even going?!”, and getting the reply, “Because, Marnie, as jaded as I am, I still hold out hope that the next party will be the best party ever.” Don’t we all? The full boxset of Girls is on Showmax.

4. Grey’s Anatomy - Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Showmax)

Season 12, episode 5: Meredith throws a dinner party in her post-Derek life, and has to welcome an unexpected guest into her home as Callie’s plus-one - Dr Penny Blake, who has an intimate knowledge of Derek’s death. The party turns out to be a disaster when her other guests learn who Penny is, and the night ends with Meredith and Alex sharing a bottle of tequila in her room - not a bad outcome, considering. Critics called this episode, the series’s 250th, one of the best in recent years. Seasons 1 to 12 of Grey’s Anatomy are on Showmax.

5. Big Bang Theory - The Celebration Experimentation (Showmax)

Season 9, episode 17: If you could think of two people that Sheldon Cooper would most want to celebrate his birthday with, who would they be? Watch this episode to find out - Amy and his friends plan a surprise party for him, even though he’s hated his birthday since he turned six and suffered a traumatic childhood disappointment. Spoiler alert: yes, he does end up fleeing into the bathroom, but eventually emerges and ends up rather enjoying himself - once his lifelong hero sings Happy Birthday to him, that is. Seasons 1 to 9 of the Big Bang Theory are on Showmax.

6. American Reunion (Showmax)

In the fourth instalment in the American Pie franchise, Jim and his mates have been out of school for 13 years, but are ready to reconnect at their Class of 1999 reunion in Great East Falls - until Stifler’s party. Jim and Michelle try to relive their prom night, and take Jim’s dad Noah along. In the end, it’s Noah who ends up having the best time, getting acquainted with Stifler’s mom, while Jim gets into a huge fight, Finch gets arrested for stealing a motorbike and the guys blame Stifler for ruining everything. And that’s the end of the party - but is it the end of their friendship?

7. Eurotrip (Showmax)

Scott goes on a trip to Europe to find his sexy pen pal Mieke after he finishes high school, and together with his friends Cooper, Jenny and Jamie, experiences the finer side of European culture: Amsterdam BDSM clubs, special brownies, soccer hooligans, the Pope’s hat, and absinthe. An instant cult classic, Eurotrip takes the road-trip movie and turns it upside down, then steals its wallet. Full of ridiculous slapstick comedy, this movie is basically an extended party which is a lot of fun to watch but seems like it would require far too much energy to participate in.

8. Master of None - The Dinner Party (Netflix)

Season 2, episode 5: Dev’s boss Chef Jeff (Bobby Canavale) is having a dinner party, and tells Dev to bring a plus-one - but Dev’s in a quandary. Should he bring Francesca, one of his favourite people in the world, who’s in New York on holiday with her fiance, or Priya, who seemed like a promising Tinder date but with whom Dev has zero chemistry? Look out for a certain musical, ahem, legend on the piano at Jeff’s party. And once you’ve seen this episode, binge-watch (or re-watch) the entire Master of None Seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix, because it’s that good.

9. Office Christmas Party (DStv Now)

It’s not a Christmas party, it’s a “non-denominational holiday mixer”. And it’s not happening, because CEO Carol (Jennifer Aniston) is on the war path and is determined to shut down her brother’s failing branch. But then manager Josh (Jason Bateman) has the bright idea of landing a big contract by inviting the potential client to the party, saving the branch and everybody’s jobs. It’s “not the worst idea” - but it’s blatantly not the best one, either. Watch as the party gets out of hand, and Josh’s plans go down the toilet, on this wild ride of an all-star comedy.

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