New episodes of The Afterparty are released Fridays on Apple TV+.
By Elazar Abrahams
You won’t want to miss Apple TV’s newest comedy; The Afterparty is a genuinely clever and exciting twist on the whodunnit genre. The premise is simple: after a high school reunion afterparty leads to an unfortunate death, we get to hear each character on the guest list recount the night’s events to a detective, with each tidbit and morsel of information leading closer to the murderer. The added shtick however, is that each character shares their story as a different movie genre, meaning that one episode audiences are watching a romcom, and then the next episode features almost the same situations through the lens of an action movie. The third episode even features a couple of full-on musical numbers, and a late season installment is animated!
The cast is full of heavy hitters, and it was a joy to watch these comedic actors play around in this sandbox together. Veep MVP Sam Richardson is really the linchpin of the whole series, and his chemistry with Ben Schwartz is impeccable. Dave Franco, Ilana Glazer, Ike Barinholtz, and Zoe Chao round out the rest of the old classmates, each with a discernable personality and interesting dynamics with the rest of the group. Franco stood out as having a blast onscreen, clearly eating up whatever wild moments the script threw at him. Tiffany Haddish, toned down from the usual manic energy she brings to her projects, is surprisingly great as the lead detective. Special shoutout to Search Party’s John Early, who has such a small role as Haddish’s assistant but makes the most of it. I love seeing him pop up in anything I’m watching.
The show has a sense of propulsion to it, the plot barrels forward at a comfortable pace, and viewers will feel like the final reveals are earned. One caveat on that though, is that critics were only given the first seven out of eight episodes for review. I have no idea what the conclusion of The Afterparty hold for us, but I sure hope it sticks the landing. My money is on Walt, played by Fleabag’s Jamie Demetriou, a guy who is hilariously ignored by everyone. But would that be too obvious? It’s probably too obvious. In any case, make sure you’re caught up by the time the finale airs in early March.
I give The Afterparty an A-.