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The Afterparty Season 2 TV Review

The Afterparty Season 2 TV Review

Christopher Miller’s hilarious whodunit is back with a new batch of all-star suspects and genres to explore.


PLOT: Detective Danner returns to help Aniq and Zoë solve whodunnit by questioning family members, star-crossed lovers and business partners, and hearing each suspect’s retelling of the weekend, each with their own unique perspective and visual style.

REVIEW: Last year, AppleTV+ premiered Christopher Miller’s whodunit comedy, The Afterparty, to critical acclaim. Following a Rashomon-esque approach where each murder suspect told their story in a different genre style, the series was as hilarious as it was unique. Bringing The Afterparty back for a second season meant that not only would the creative team have to bring something new to the table, but a cast on par with the all-stars of the first season would need to be recruited. With only Sam Richardson, Zoe Chao, and Tiffany Haddish reprising their roles, The Afterparty‘s second season has delivered another run that is just as good as the first. While there is no replacing Dave Franco’s Xavier, the new characters this season are more than up to the task of equaling his presence.

The new season of The Afterparty finds Aniq (Sam Richardson) and Zoe (Zoe Chao) attending the wedding of Zoe’s sister Grace (Poppy Liu) to crypto magnate Edgar (Zach Woods). Looking to make a good first impression with Zoe’s parents Feng (Ken Jeong) and Vivian (Vivian Wu), the couple finds themselves embroiled in yet another murder. When Edgar is killed, Aniq calls in former detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish), who helped crack the case last year. With multiple suspects around, including Edgar’s suave business partner Sebastian (Jack Whitehall), Edgar’s adopted sister Hannah (Anna Konkle), Edgar’s loony mother Isabel (Elizabeth Perkins), Grace’s long-lost Uncle Ulysses (John Cho), and the wacky Travis (Paul Walter Hauser), anyone could be the killer. As expected, Danner interrogates each suspect, and their stories follow the genre conventions that fit their personalities.

This season, the genres used for the episodes include Regency romance, film noir, black and white mystery, romantic comedy, a quirky Wes Anderson film, gritty heist, erotic thriller, indie drama, social media found footage, and more. The focus on each character allows the various actors to play with different variations on their roles, highlighting the talent involved this season. I was especially entertained by Paul Walter Hauser, who has become one hell of an actor. After showcasing his dramatic prowess in the AppleTV+ series Blackbird, Hauser echoes his funniest turns and will hopefully reprise his character in the third season of this series. Equally good is Zach Woods, who has become a standout in the series The Office, Veep, and Avenue 5 and makes for a hilarious character through the various genres. Jack Whitehall is also very funny here, even though he constantly plays variations on the same character.

Tiffany Haddish, who often plays characters that can overstay their welcome, is good as the talented investigator who brings everything together. Still, the highlights are, once again, Sam Richardson and Zoe Chao. With their characters veterans of investigating suspects close to them, both actors get to work their comedic magic while also getting the opportunity to deepen the development of their relationship. Richardson and Chao have great chemistry, and if this series goes on for multiple seasons, they will easily be a reason to tune in regardless of who joins the cast. By having Richardson, Chao, and Haddish serve as investigators, The Afterparty gains more opportunities to explore the plot’s red herrings and potential twists. As the season progressed, certain reveals caught me off guard while I figured out others pretty quickly, but I rarely saw coming the hilarious dialogue spouted by this ensemble.

While only nine of the ten episodes were available for this review, I was engrossed by every chapter. Series creator Christopher Miller did not helm every episode this season and shared co-writing duties on multiple episodes. The story this season boasts a lot more diversity in tone and style while changing the dynamic amongst the various cast in a way that sets it apart from the first season. Last year, the high school reunion setting offered the characters a chance to get to know each other, while the wedding venue this time deepens Aniq and Zoe while giving us more people to populate their inner circle. This season’s writing is just as sharp, with Anna Konkle and Elizabeth Perkins becoming likable as the season went on. I have yet to see the finale, so I don’t know who committed the murder, but the journey over the first nine episodes kept me laughing and intrigued as much as in season one.

The Afterparty is exactly the hilarious summer series everyone needs this season. In the midst of the latest writer’s strike, it may be a while before we get a third entry in this whodunit, but I have no doubt we will eventually see Aniq, Zoe, and Danner involved in another unexpected case. The Afterparty delivers a mystery worth solving as much as it proves how talented this new cast of actors is at playing variations of their roles across totally distinct genres. I loved this season as much as the first and cannot wait to learn how it all ends. I know that no one will ever look at crypto, lizards, or Adderall the same way after they finish this run of The Afterparty.

Season two of The Afterparty premieres on July 12th on AppleTV+.


Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/the-afterparty-season-2-tv-review/