The location and most of the cast have changed but The Afterparty pulls zero punches once the action gets going in Season 2 on Apple TV+.
Much like Knives Out and Glass Onion, only a few of the first season’s series regulars return. Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, and Zoë Chao reprise their roles as Danner, Aniq, and Zoë, respectively. They’re joined by newcomers Poppy Liu, Zach Woods, Elizabeth Perkins, Jack Whitehall, Ken Jeong, Paul Walter Hauser, Anna Konkle, John Cho, and Vivian Wu.
Apple TV+ sent the first nine of the second season’s ten episodes to press. I cannot wait to have the final episode in my eyeballs because I want to know how it ends. This season tackles entirely new genres this season including the sequel, film noir, heist, Hitchcock, Jane Austen, erotic thrillers, found footage, and more. And yes, some of them will have you laughing hysterically! After watching Christopher Miller direct an Alfred Hitchcock episode, I kind of want to see him directing a feature film in that style. Please do not get me started on the Danner episode because I’m still laughing just thinking about it!
Rather than set the season over the course of one night, it’s a wedding weekend. Aniq (Sam Richardson) and Zoë (Zoë Chao) meet Zoë’s family for Grace (Poppy Liu) and Edgar Minnows’s (Zach Woods) wedding. Grace is Zoë’s younger sister. In any event, the two families could not be more different. Not surprisingly, this only adds more comedy to the situation. When they discover Edgar is dead and Grace in bed next to him, Aniq decides to invite Danner (Tiffany Haddish) over to the household. It’s quite possibly the only way to get her off the hook. Or is it? Much like season one, every episode is an entirely different genre as Danner questions family members, ex-lovers, and business partners.
There are so many talented performers that it’s hard to pick out the standouts. You can never go wrong with recent Critics Choice Awards winner Paul Walter Hauser. Tiffany Haddish and Ken Jeong are always so funny no matter what you’re watching them in. Zach Woods and Anna Konkle always improve anything that they’re starring in. The same also goes for Sam Richardson. After seeing him crush it in Chicago, it’s great to see him crushing it on a global stage. Of all the characters to return after the first season, I’m glad they went with the Veep alumnus. Behind the scenes, cinematographer Ross Riege certainly had his work cut out.
This is a series that could probably go on for several seasons. After all, you can probably find news ways and locations for someone to die. Well, that’s if the studios ever get back to the table and offer the WGA a fair contract. It takes brilliant writers and brilliant actors–not to mention the crew–that make The Afterparty as awesome as it is. Take improv out of the question and comedies certainly would not be as strong. The Afterparty features no shortage of actors who are brilliant at improvising. It’s certainly a beauty of watching the series while wondering which parts are improvised and which is in the original script. Regardless, AI cannot write this series.
The Afterparty‘s second season is bigger in every way.
CREATOR: Chris Miller
SHOWRUNNERS: Chris Miller and Anthony King
DIRECTORS: Eric Appel (201, 208), Anu Valia (202, 204, 205), Chris Miller (203, 209), Tamra Davis (206, 210), Peter Atencio (207)
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Chris Miller, Phil Lord, Anthony King
CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: The Shipley Brothers
CAST: Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Poppy Liu, Zach Woods, Elizabeth Perkins, Jack Whitehall, Ken Jeong, Paul Walter Hauser, Anna Konkle, John Cho, Vivian Wu
Apple TV+ premieres the first two episodes of The Afterparty on July 12, 2023. New episodes will premiere weekly. Grade: 4.5/5
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