One of the biggest problems with modern streaming services is how easy it is to miss things. there is only a lot that even good shows can pass you by. And it’s just as true for a platform like Apple TV Plus as it is for more comprehensive services like Netflix. With all the focus on big, flashy projects like Base either Breaking off or the latest Martin Scorsese movie, it’s not hard for something like the after party – a quirky murder mystery that plays with film history – to go unnoticed.
Well, good news if you missed it: Season 2 starts today, so it’s a great time to jump in.
Season 1 took place after a party that followed a high school reunion, where the host, a pop star named Xavier (Dave Franco), died under mysterious circumstances. However, what made it interesting was not necessarily the mystery itself, but rather the structure of the show. As Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish) interviewed each witness, viewers were able to see events unfold from different perspectives.
The twist is that each episode not only focuses on the late-night version of a specific character, but is also presented in a different style, to suit their personality. An episode is like a Fast and Furious movie, another a poppy musical with annoying catchy tunes. There’s even an animated one. It’s an extremely funny stunt and gives the show, which is ostensibly about a tragic murder, some levity. What was amazing about season 1 was how it managed to balance having an intriguing mystery with hilarious comedy.
Season 2 tells a new story but with some key characters returning. Bumbling escape room designer Aniq (Sam Richardson) and his girlfriend Zoë (Zoë Chao) attend Zoë’s sister’s wedding when, to her surprise, the tech-savvy groom is found dead. Eventually, they lure Danner into helping them. This setting mimics the best detective stories (think Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, or newcomer Benoit Blanc), so we get the same heroes but are placed in a whole new situation.
The second season works for a few reasons. For starters, the new cast is great. There’s Zach Woods as the eccentric genius who’s never without his pet lizard, John Cho as the annoying mundane uncle who never misses an opportunity to tell you where he’s traveled, Elizabeth Perkins as the seemingly callous mother of the groom, Ken Jeong as a struggling fighter . the businessman trying to keep his family afloat; and Anna Konkle as the groom’s misfit adoptive sister. That’s just a sampling, and they fit well with the original cast, particularly Haddish as she delves into each of her stories.
But the show has also expanded its scope to encompass a greater variety of genres to parody. Things start off simple enough in the first episode, an Aniq-centric rom-com sequel, but from there, the after party delves into Victorian-era film noir and romance while paying homage to filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock and Wes Anderson.
Now, don’t get me wrong: this is not some extremely complex murder mystery that will keep you up at night. But the after partyThe second season of does just enough to be a compelling whodunit while also be goofy, goofy and playful. There are 30 minutes each week in which you can have fun while you are attentive to the slopes. I’ve watched the entire new season (with the exception of the finale), and while there are some obvious moments, there are also some seriously surprising twists that kept me guessing, and curious where this eccentric crime-fighting team is headed.
Season 2 of the after party it’s on Apple TV Plus now, with new episodes on Wednesdays.