The Afterparty season two
The second season of The Afterparty follows Aniq (Sam Richardson), the prime suspect in the previous season’s murder mystery, along with his girlfriend Zoë (Zoë Chao), as they attend the wedding of Zoë’s sister Grace (Poppy Liu). Aniq hopes to win over Zoë’s parents, but his chances of receiving their blessing are thrown into jeopardy by an uncomfortable wedding service and the significantly more uncomfortable discovery of groom Edgar’s (Zach Woods) dead body the next day. Soon realising that Edgar was murdered, Aniq once again calls upon the skills of Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish) to help him solve the mystery – and perhaps smooth things over with Zoë’s family in the process.
This season follows the same format as the first – every suspect gets an episode to tell their side of the story, and each episode is a pastiche of a different genre. This gimmick helps keep the sleuthing fresh visually and structurally, while also providing a vehicle for character exploration and plenty of jokes. The style parodies are very loose and silly, but also carefully paced and structured to ensure the show’s core storytelling conceit doesn’t overstay its welcome.
The Afterparty also embraces its own absurdity, playing in its often-ridiculous comedic narrative space with absolute sincerity and revelling in its silliness. There’s also a deceptively delicate balance between punchlines and pathos too: while the genre-bending unreliable narrators often become caricatures of themselves by design, the characters still manage to be three-dimensional enough to ground the character drama and murder mystery and make for a satisfying and funny whodunnit experience.
This balance is helped greatly by strong performances across the board. All the actors clearly understood the assignment here, leaning hard into the various tones established by the scripting and cinematography and playing their parts without a hint of irony. This is no mean feat considering how many different cinematic styles get riffed on across the show, but the cast all rise to the challenge, facilitating the various shifts and helping the story flow seamlessly across different pastiches without losing momentum.
Overall, season two of The Afterparty is a lot of fun, marrying its mystery and comedy in a union that brings out the best of both parts (and also lasts longer than Grace and Edgar’s marriage). It’s a deliberately ridiculous piece, but it commits to its own absurd comedy with an impressive amount of gusto and passion.
The Afterparty season two is released on Apple TV+ on 12th July 2023.
Watch the trailer for The Afterparty season two here: