Neighbors stars Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen reunite in Platonic, a new comedy series about friends, streaming on Apple TV+.
It was only a matter of time before Nicholas Stoller found a way to reunite with his Neighbors stars. It just so happens that their reunion only adds to the comedy canon on Apple+. This time around, he brings a few Bros cast members with him for the ride: Luke Macfarlane and Guy Branum. Oh, yeah, Undeclared‘s Carla Gallo is in the series, too. It’s just a fun reunion all around! Behind the camera, Stoller teams up with his wife, Francesca Delbanco. Together, the duo created the series and direct all ten episodes.
I want to say this: Platonic is a series that would be nothing without its writers. AI could not write this show. It could try, of course, but nothing that AI writes would be anywhere close to how much fun this comedy series is. It’s not just the initial writing but the last minute rewrites that strengthen what’s already on the page. I’m not sure how much room there was for improv in this series but knowing the likes of Nicholas Stoller and Seth Rogen, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were alt-takes on the day of filming.
The gist of the series is that two former best friends, Sylvia (Rose Byrne) and Will (Seth Rogen), reconnect with each other several years after their friendship fell apart. What brings them back together is Will’s divorce to Audrey (Alisha Wainwright)–their marriage is what broke their friendship. But as they reunite once again, they start hanging out with each other more and more. Here’s how platonic their friendship is: you would probably think they’re in a romantic relationship with how often they’re hanging out. Anyway, their lives fall apart on spectacular ways as a result. Even as Will comes back into Sylvia’s life, she has to balance being being the mother of three children in addition to her marriage with Charlie (Luke Macfarlane). For instance, Sylvia is looking for a new home and brings Will instead of Charlie.
Once Sylvia and Will start hanging out, just about anything can or will happen. Things start just about where they left off as if they past several years didn’t happen. I’m not going to spoil the specifics. Audiences should watch it for themselves and know going in that this isn’t the sort of will-they-or-won’t-they series. This isn’t When Harry Met Sally… and it doesn’t need to be. I mean, it still asks the hard question of whether or not a man and woman can be intimate friends. If you’re married, pay attention to who is talking to who during the next time you’re with a group of friends. Are the men talking exclusively to men or does it include mixed genders?
The series is not just about Sylvia and Will, of course. Will works as a brewmaster for the Lucky Penny in Downtown Los Angeles. Business partners Andy (Tre Hale) and Reggie (Andrew Lopez) feel differently about the company’s future, which almost certainly impacts Will’s mood at times. Meanwhile, Sylvia is looking at resuming her career in the world of law. Her husband, Charlie, had his work friends but he’s jealous of how much Sylvia is hanging out with Will.
Comedies have changed so much especially in the post-#MeToo era. The stuff that would have happened in the 2000s Judd Apatow films–or Nicholas Stoller movies, for that instance–might not even see the day of light again. Comedies sensibilities have a way of changing for people and so the genre must evolve with the times. This series plays into the evolving genre but of course, everyone has fun in their own kind of way. That being said, there’s the instance of Will starting a relationship with Peyton (Emily Kimball), who is too young for him. Others know it even if he doesn’t. Meanwhile, I can appreciate that there is a poster for The Mitchells vs. The Machines. I don’t know who decided to place the poster up on the wall during the production process but thank you!
Here’s a fun fact about Platonic: Jonah Hill’s outfits inspired Seth Rogen’s wardrobe in the series. As such, the LA art scene plays a big part in how Seth is dressed in the series. How about that?
The ten episodes run about 30 minutes, give or take. While I watched them all in one day, it’s the type of show that can go either way. In any event, I’m loving what Platonic has to offer and can’t wait to see how things play out in season 2. I mean that in the sense of, there has to be a season 2, right? Stoller, Delbanco, Byrne, and Rogen are a dream team for anyone. Byrne and Rogen might not be reprising their Neighbors characters in the series but the two have perfect chemistry. Could we see a Tracy and Hepburn type of filmography in their future? I don’t know.
Thanks to the reunions in front and behind the camera, Platonic is a refreshing new comedy series that is worthy of your friendship.
SHOWRUNNERS/CREATORS/DIRECTORS: Nicholas Stoller and Francesca Delbanco
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Nicholas Stoller, Francesca Delbanco, Conor Welch, Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne
CAST: Rose Byrne, Seth Rogen, Luke Macfarlane, Carla Gallo, Alisha Wainwright, Tre Hale, Emily Kimball, Guy Branum, Janet Varney, Andrew Lopez, Vinny Thomas
Apple TV launches the first three episodes of Platonic on May 24, 2023. New episodes will premiere every Wednesday. Grade: 4.5/5
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