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“The Afterparty” is a Genre Bending Whodunit Comedy [Review]

It takes a few episodes to get into, but “The Afterparty” on Apple TV+ is a genre showcase like no other. It comes from the brilliant comedy duo of Christopher Miller and Phil Lord who have brought us projects like “The LEGO Movie,”  “21 Jump Street,”  and “Clone High.” This time the pair put together a whodunit with an all star cast. 

The cleverness of the show lies in that each episode is done in a different style. Genres range from a romantic comedy, to a “Fast and the Furious”-esque action thriller, to a full on musical. Each genre is treated with an affection and attention to detail that displays an absolute love for the medium that is film and television. 

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Truth be told it does take a few episodes to warm up to the conceit. However Apple TV+ released the first three in a batch, which is just enough to get hooked. The show centers around a group of high school classmates reunited for a reunion. Tragedy strikes during the titular afterparty and a traditional murder mystery ensues. 

Ilana Glazer in “The Afterparty,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Ain’t No Party Like an Afterparty

The brilliance lies in the subtle shifts of the performances between episode to episode. As more of the events of the night unfurl from different perspectives, and each episode switches styles, it made us remember how impressive actors can be. A line delivered one way in the musical episode has a whole different meaning in an action thriller episode.

In the hands of lesser filmmakers and cast this would have been a disastrous outing. While we did find ourselves hooked, there are some episodes that are much stronger than others. The unevenness is one of the few things holding us back from declaring “The Afterparty” legendary. 

John Early and Tiffany Haddish in “The Afterparty,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

The series stars Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer, Jamie Demetriou, and Dave Franco. The first three episodes are out streaming now on Apple TV+ and the remaining episodes will release once a week on Fridays. 

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