When Sylvia (Rose Byrne) discovers that her former best friend, Will (Seth Rogan), has recently been through a divorce, she’s persuaded by her husband (Luke Macfarlane) to give him a call. A somewhat awkward reunion soon leads to more misadventures as the pair rekindle their chaotic camaraderie. They become inseparable, encouraging each other to improve their lives. In one episode, for example, Will talks Sylvia out of buying a (possibly haunted) house that’s in need of dire remodelling in exchange for her helping him liberate his pet lizard from his ex-wife’s house.
It’s the perfect setup for a romcom; however, this Apple TV show makes it clear that theirs isn’t that kind of friendship. Whereas Will’s friends namecheck When Harry Met Sally as proof that men and women can’t just be friends, this claim is immediately shrugged off as nonsense. Rather, Platonic uses its central relationship to explore themes of change and growing older. It’s a midlife coming-of-age comedy. However, while the script has big ideas, the show nevertheless plays out like any other Seth Rogan outing.
The leads share a natural chemistry on-screen. Reuniting after starring in Neighbors (with director Nicholas Stoller likewise returning for this show), the pair’s rapport shines through. Rogan and Byrne are so incredibly likeable that it’s difficult not to be won over by their dysfunctional shenanigans. In between bizarre moments like trying to steal the collar off a dog while high or breaking into the ex-wife’s house, both actors can deliver more dramatic moments when required, too.
But even when the friends are screaming at each other in the street, Platonic never takes itself too seriously. It’s still very much a Seth Rogan comedy, in which weed jokes and half-baked social commentaries reign supreme. A handful of dated pop-culture references (the first scene expects a lot of laughs from mentioning The Emoji Movie) mixed with an obnoxious serving of pop music to appear relevant only adds to the tropey clichés that make up the script’s style of comedy.
Though Platonic doesn’t go very far with its subversion of the romantic comedy, the leads do a splendid job of humanising the characters. However, one’s overall enjoyment of this show hinges entirely on how much of Rogan’s humour they can withstand.
Platonic is released on Apple TV+ on 24th May 2023.
Watch the trailer for Platonic here: