The Afterparty: One Of The Best New Comedy Series

Ben Schwartz and Sam Richardson in “The Afterparty,” premiering January 28, 2022 on Apple TV+.

Launching on January 28 with its first three episodes, The Afterparty is one of the best new comedy series to arrive this year.

My interest is automatically piqued whenever I hear that Phil Lord and Chris Miller are attached to a new project. Knowing their previous work, it also comes with an incredibly high bar of expectations. This comedy series is no exception especially with the talented cast. What I love about it isn’t just that it’s a murder mystery comedy series bit that each episode is told by way of a different genre. Every genre comes with visuals that match the character. Rom-com, action movie, movie musical, psychological thriller, teen party, animation, gritty LA cop movie, you name it. Ben Schwartz gets the chance to shine with a few musical numbers. It’s just an awesome ride to take in. I love it!

Chris Miller originally conceived The Afterparty as a feature film over ten years ago. Since its conception, the film became a series. It works so much better as a series because of the various genres. The series is still within the whodunit genre and has cinematic storytelling. However, expanding the film into a series is what makes it work. Plus, the pandemic means that some theatrical releases would do better than others. Making this into a streaming series is 100% the right thing to do. I can’t wait to get my eyeballs on the final episode!

What we know is that musician/actor Xavier (Dave Franco) dies during the afterparty. However, nobody knows who killed him. Of course, everybody is a suspect. Detectives Danner (Tiffany Haddish) and Culp (John Early) arrive on the scene to start their investigation. Danner takes her job seriously and investigates everyone. Xavier’s recording studio becomes Danner’s interrogation room. Towards the end of the season, audiences will also get to see how Danner got to be in this position. The principal suspects are:

  • Aniq (Sam Richardson)
  • Zoe (Zoë Chao)
  • Yasper (Ben Schwartz)
  • Brett (Ike Barinholtz)
  • Chelsea (Ilana Glazer)
  • Walt (Jamie Demetriou)

There are also the two Jennifers (Tiya Sircar, Ayden Mayeri), Indigo (Genevieve Angelson), and Jennifer #1’s husband, Ned (Kelvin Yu).

The Afterparty
Sam Richardson, Jamie Demetriou, Ben Schwartz, John Early, Tiffany Haddish, Tiya Sircar, Kelvin Yu, Genevieve Angelson, Illana Glazer, Zoë Chao and Ike Barinholtz in “The Afterparty,” premiering January 28, 2022 on Apple TV+.

Composer Daniel Pemberton certainly has his work cut out. You’d think it would be just an easy situation of coming up with the theme and maybe a few music cues. Nope! Eight entirely different episodes are accompanied by very different visuals! Similarly, director of photography Carl Herse also lights scenes very differently for every episode. With the block-shot filming style, they’re able to take care of as many scenes as possible in the same vicinity.

Listen, I can go on and on about this series but Lord, Miller, and the cast should mean that it’s an auto-watch. If you do not have Apple TV+, now is the time to start subscribing. When it comes to a series such as this one, you certainly don’t want to be left out of the conversation. Press only received the first seven episodes so we do not know who did it. Hell, I couldn’t even tell you who I think did it because I don’t know. This speaks to the talents of the writing room. If we don’t have a good idea after seven episodes, it means the writing staff is doing their job. Just sit back, relax, and religiously watch until the end of the season.

If we do not get a Hungry, Hungry Hippos movie out of this, I’m going to be disappointed. Please make it happen! But in all seriousness (I was being serious!), comedy whodunits are back and they are better than ever.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Chris Miller, Phil Lord, Anthony King
CAST: Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer, Jamie Demetriou, and Dave Franco

Apple TV+ will stream the first three episodes on January 28. Weekly episodes will follow until the end of the eight-episode season.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.