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The Afterparty (TV series)


The Afterparty (TV series)


The Afterparty is an American comedy murder mystery anthology television series created by Christopher Miller that premiered on Apple TV+ on January 28, 2022. In March 2022, the series was renewed for a second season, which premiered on July 12, 2023. In October 2023, it was announced that the series would not return for a third season.

Premise

The first season takes place at a high school reunion after-party with each episode "a different character's perspective" of what happened that night. Critic Olivia Rutigliano noted that it is an example of "the millennial whodunnit," a new subgenre of murder mystery in which the investigation is a vehicle for characters to find second chances, personal fulfillment, and a departure from boring or oppressive daily life (through the feeling that their life has become a new genre).

The second season takes place the day after a wedding, following the same formula of each guest's perspective of the preceding after-party and the events leading up to it.

Cast and characters

Main

  • Tiffany Haddish as Detective Danner, a police detective investigating the murder of Xavier. After leaving the police to become an author and private detective, she returns to help solve the murder of Edgar.
  • Sam Richardson as Aniq Adjaye, an escape room designer and the primary suspect who attempts to use his escape room skills to clear his name after being accused of Xavier's murder, and later to investigate Edgar's murder.
  • Zoë Chao as Zoë Zhu, She was Aniq's high school crush, and following her divorce from Brett, later his girlfriend.

Season 1

  • Ike Barinholtz as Brett, a volunteer firefighter and Zoë's ex-husband
  • Ben Schwartz as Yasper E. Lennov (guest season 2), Aniq's best friend and Xavier's former bandmate, who hopes to restart his music career
  • Ilana Glazer as Chelsea, a veterinary clinic receptionist who blamed Xavier for her ostracization by the whole school
  • Jamie Demetriou as Walt Butler (guest season 2), a partygoer whom no one seems to remember from high school
  • Dave Franco as Xavier, a pop icon and movie star who is the murder victim. While publicly mononymous, his real full name is later revealed to have been "Eugene Xavier Duckworth, Jr.".

Season 2

  • John Cho as Ulysses Zhu, Grace and Zoë's absentee uncle and Feng's half-brother
  • Paul Walter Hauser as Travis Gladrise, Grace's ex-boyfriend and a citizen detective
  • Ken Jeong as Feng Zhu, Grace and Zoë's father, and food truck owner
  • Anna Konkle as Hannah Minnows, Edgar's adopted sister
  • Poppy Liu as Grace Zhu, Zoë's newlywed sister who becomes the prime suspect in Edgar's murder
  • Elizabeth Perkins as Isabel Minnows, Edgar and Hannah's mother
  • Jack Whitehall as Sebastian Drapewood, Edgar's childhood friend, business partner, and the best man A young version of Sebastian is played by actor Shylo Molina in episodes 4 and 5.
  • Zach Woods as Edgar Minnows, Grace's newlywed billionaire husband who is the murder victim
  • Vivian Wu as Vivian Zhu, Grace and Zoë's mother

Recurring

Season 1
  • John Early as Detective Culp (guest; season 2), Danner's partner
  • Tiya Sircar as Jennifer #1, a pregnant mean girl
  • Ayden Mayeri as Jennifer #2, another pregnant mean girl who goes missing upon Danner's arrival
  • Genevieve Angelson as Indigo
  • Kelvin Yu as Ned, Jennifer #1's husband.
  • Everly Carganilla as Maggie, Zoë and Brett's daughter

In addition, Christopher May and Miracle Laurie co-star as Mr. Shapiro and Quiet Heather, respectively, a science teacher and former student who, as a running gag during the first season, are caught having intimate relations in each of the stories.

Season 2
  • Will Greenberg as Judson, Sebastian's cousin who is Jaxon's brother
  • John Gemberling as Jaxon, Sebastian's cousin who is Judson's brother
  • Zack Calderon as Kyler, the wedding videographer
  • Jade Wu as Ruth, an aunt of Grace and Zoë's

Special guest stars

  • Channing Tatum as himself (season 1), who co-starred with Xavier in the Hall & Oates biopic
  • Will Forte as himself (season 1), who co-starred with Xavier in a dramatic film adaptation of the board game Hungry Hungry Hippos and was due to reprise his role in the sequel before Xavier's death
  • Gemma Chan as "Zoë" (season 2), an actress cast as Zoë in Danner's film X Marks the Murder Spot
  • Keke Palmer as "Danner" (season 2), an actress cast as Danner in Danner's film X Marks the Murder Spot
  • Elijah Wood as "Yasper" (season 2), an actor cast as Yasper in Danner's film X Marks the Murder Spot
  • Jaleel White as himself/"Aniq" (season 2), cast as Aniq in Danner's film X Marks the Murder Spot and Danner's fiancée. White's casting serves to pay off a recurring gag of characters comparing Aniq to Urkel, whom White played on Family Matters

Episodes

Season 1 (2022)

Season 2 (2023)

Production

Development

Miller conceived of The Afterparty in the early 2010s, where he wanted to make a murder mystery showing the different perspectives of the murder from its witnesses, inspired by his love of the murder-mystery genre and Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon. The high school reunion aspect was added after Miller attended a high school reunion himself, thinking it would be a unique setting for such a concept. Miller initially wrote it as a feature-length screenplay on his own while he was making Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street with Lord. In June 2013, the project was set-up at Sony Pictures as a film titled The Reunion, with Miller as sole writer and director, while producing the film along with Lord, Jonathan Kadin, and Hannah Minghella. However, the film never came to fruition due to commitments with The Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street. Lord and Miller were still optimistic in making The Reunion while promoting The Lego Movie, so when Miller considered making the project in later years, he made the decision to make it as a mini-series. Miller felt that expanding the concept into a series would allow him to properly develop the characters. Doing so also gave Miller the idea to present each version of the event as a separate genre in line with the respective POV's of each witness.

On June 24, 2020, it was announced that Apple TV+ had given the production an eight-episode straight-to-series order, now titled The Afterparty. The series is created by Miller who is also the showrunner and is expected to executive produce alongside Lord while Aubrey Lee is a producer. Production companies involved with the series were slated to consist of Sony Pictures Television and TriStar Television. On March 2, 2022, Apple TV+ renewed the series for a second season. On April 27, 2022, it was revealed that the second season would consist of ten episodes, two more than the first, and will revolve around a murder mystery at a wedding. It was also revealed Anthony King would be serving as co-showrunner along with Miller.

On January 24, 2023, The Afterparty executive producer Katie Miller announced via Instagram Live that a third season had entered development, beginning "Day 1… [of] The Afterparty S3" and its writing room; consequently, the second season finale of The Afterparty, aired September 6, 2023, ended with a teaser for a third season following a murder following the after-party for the premiere of X Marks the Murder Spot, Danner's film about the events of the first season, featuring Jaleel White as himself and Gemma Chan, Keke Palmer, and Elijah Wood as unnamed actors starring in Danner's film, with the idea of them reprising their roles in a potential third season.

On October 13, 2023, it was revealed that Apple TV+ had cancelled the series and would not order a third season.

Casting

In November 2020, the cast was announced, including Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer and Dave Franco. After the first season finale aired, Schwartz revealed that he was told he would be the murderer upon being cast, and that he kept it secret from the rest of the cast until the table read for the episode.

Upon the second season renewal announcement, it was reported that Haddish is set to reprise her role as Detective Danner, but a new cast of suspects for the second season. In April 2022, it was announced that Richardson and Chao are set to reprise their roles for the second season, with Elizabeth Perkins, Zach Woods, Paul Walter Hauser, Poppy Liu, Anna Konkle, Jack Whitehall and Vivian Wu joining the starring cast as, respectively, Isabel, Edgar, Travis, Grace, Hannah, Sebastian, and Vivian. In May 2022, it was reported that Ken Jeong and John Cho were cast as series regulars for the second season. On June 13, 2022, Will Greenberg and John Gemberling joined the cast in recurring roles for the second season.

Filming

On November 11, 2020, Miller, in an Instagram post, confirmed that filming for the series had officially begun. Miller directed all eight episodes in the series, making it the first time he has directed separately after his collaborations with Lord. In another Instagram post, on February 17, 2021, Miller revealed that filming was finished for the first season.

The sixth episode features animation done by ShadowMachine, the animation studio behind BoJack Horseman and the 2023 revival of Lord and Miller's Clone High. The animation was designed by Lindsey Olivares, who previously worked with Lord and Miller on the aesthetic design for The Mitchells vs. the Machines. The animation was done at the same time as the live-action.

Filming for the second season began on May 11, 2022, with Miller again returning as director. In an Instagram post, on September 1, 2022, Jack Whitehall confirmed that filming for the second season had wrapped.

Music

The score for season 1 of The Afterparty was composed by Daniel Pemberton, who previously worked with Lord and Miller on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In an interview with Variety, Pemberton explained the challenge of having to compose in different styles for each of the characters. He states, " It's like I'm scoring 10 films, plus a series, plus loads of incidental stuff, plus producing some songs. There was a lot on my shoulders with this project." Pemberton started work on the project by composing the main theme and the frame story outside of the flashbacks, then the music for the flashbacks. His influences on each include those of Richard Curtis films like Notting Hill for Aniq's rom-com flashback, the music of Howard Shore and Bernard Herrmann for Chelsea's psychological thriller, and the Tyler Bates' drum and guitar-heavy score of John Wick for Brett's action-movie story. The third episode is also a musical, containing three songs written by Jack Dolgen from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and musical comedian Jon Lajoie, who worked with Lord and Miller on writing the songs for The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. The soundtrack album for the season with the score and songs was released alongside the first three episodes on January 28, 2022. The score for season 2 was co-composed by Daniel Pemberton, who returned composing from season 1 and David Schweitzer. The season contains cover versions of Doris Day's Sentimental Journey and Hanson's MMMBop. The third episode that was set as an noir detective film had some music written by Ed Mitchell and Steve Morrell. The soundtrack album for the season with the score and songs was released of September 1, 2023, before the season finale.

Another extended play album was released on February 1, 2022, featuring four songs performed by Franco in character as "Xavier" called R.I.P. Xavier.

Season 1 soundtrack

Season 2 soundtrack

R.I.P. Xavier EP

Release

The Afterparty premiered on January 28, 2022. The second season premiered on July 12, 2023, which was pushed back from its original date of April 28, 2023, with the first two episodes available immediately and one new episode debuting on a weekly basis until the season finale.

Collection James Bond 007

Reception

Critical response

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 90% approval rating with an average rating of 7.6/10 for season one, based on 69 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "The Afterparty sometimes strains to keep the jamboree of yuks going, but its ambitious melding of genres and extensive guest list of actors make for a worthwhile nightcap." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 72 out of 100 based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Rotten Tomatoes holds a 95% approval rating with an average rating of 7.4/10 for season two, based on 38 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus states, "The Afterparty welcomes in a mostly new cast and keeps things festive with its enduringly clever Rashomon-style format, stirring up an entertainment that viewers won't want to end." Metacritic assigned a score of 74 out of 100 based on 14 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Accolades

Notes

References

External links

  • Official website
  • The Afterparty at IMDb

Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: The Afterparty (TV series) by Wikipedia (Historical)


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