THE AFTERPARTY (2022)
Season One [Premiere]
Aired On: Apple TV+
Release Date: 01/28/22
Comedy. Crime. Mystery.
"When a high school reunion's afterparty ends in a death, everyone is a suspect. A detective grills the former classmates one by one, uncovering potential motives as each tells their version of the story - culminating in the shocking truth."
The Afterparty is an Apple TV+ original brought to the small screen by Christopher Miller of Lord / Miller, one of the best comedic writing duos ever to touch foot in Hollywood. Miller takes role as creator, writer of all eight episodes and director – and while his style is still as evident as ever - there’s just something missing in the first set of episodes. While I have yet to see the finale to see if this show manages to bring the killer to justice in a graceful way or not – I can say that up to the semi-final episode it’s difficult to see how this show is going to close out in only thirty more minutes.
As of episode seven it feels as though there are more questions than answers about the murder of Dave Franco’s Xavier and it doesn’t seem like there’s any possible way it can conclude in a satisfactory way. However even if that is not the case the path to the finale is a binge-worthy one – bringing some huge comedic talents such as Sam Richardson, Tiffany Haddish, Zoe Chao, Ike Barinholtz, Ben Schwartz and Ilana Glazer. With so much talent on screen at any given time, it can seem like the cast would make the characters titter on the scale of comedy and mystery (with hints of drama) at any moment but in this case, there is only one loose end to the dynamite casting and that’s Haddish as a goofy yet serious detective…her performance just does not work effectively.
Every episode is a different take on the same story – Ike Barinholtz’ Brett retells the tale as if he’s the lead in an action movie, Zoe Chao retells the tale as if it were animated and Sam Richardson tells the story as a romantic comedy. The retellings all shine a bright light on the confusing nature of being a police detective attempting to solve a case with so many disconnected stories (especially one so serious as homicide) - the question is for both Haddish’s Detective Danner and the audience… who is capable of lying the most. With one of the writers of the brilliant Jump Street films as well as Into the Spider-verse, expectations were naturally sky high and while the sharp wit of Miller’s prior work isn’t as much on display here – what does work brings out an extraordinary amount of charm. Mysteries are a hot commodity nowadays with films like Scream (2022), Death on the Nile (2022), Knives Out (2019) taking the box office by storm – so it’s no surprise that Miller would be trying his hand had a Clue-like comedy series made for today. It doesn’t all work but sitting at a total season runtime of around 4 and a half hours there’s no plausible explanation as to why you shouldn’t sit down and be obsessed with this show – that is unless you just hate to laugh and solve mysteries then maybe this is one you should sit out.