“The Afterparty” is a hilarious genre-bending murder mystery


Courtesy of Apple TV+

Photo courtesy of Apple TV+ “The Afterparty” is available to stream now on Apple TV+. The new murder-mystery series is simultaneously experimental and entertaining.

Ian Lloyd, Staff Writer

“The Afterparty” is a thrilling and comedic new addition to Apple TV+. The murder mystery show was created by Christopher Miller, the mind behind “Clone High,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” and “The Mitchells vs. the Machines.”

During the afterparty of a high school reunion, a small group of former classmates finds themselves suspects in a murder case. Each episode follows the night’s events from the different perspectives of each of the main characters. The overarching story focuses on Aniq (Sam Richardson), the main suspect trying to clear his name, and Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish), who is trying to tie this entire mystery together before her superiors show up.

The coolest thing about this show is how it bends its own genre episode to episode. Since all of these thirty-minute segments are told from the eyes of different characters, each one shows a completely different interpretation of the night. One is presented as an action film with an intense chase scene. Another is shown as a musical with multiple choreographed numbers.

With this radical new take on the television formula, “The Afterparty” hardly feels like a murder mystery. Not much weight is given to the murder itself because the victim, Xavier (Dave Franco) is unliked by all the characters as well as the audience. This creates a lighter atmosphere that is more focused on comedy and storytelling rather than dramatic intrigue.

As each episode progresses, more puzzle pieces to the narrative fall into place. The story opens with a heap of questions that slowly receive ridiculous answers. With each perspective on the night’s events also comes a lot of mixed-up information. One character might lead the audience in a direction that is then completely flipped on its head by new context from another character’s flashback.

The entire ensemble cast matches the comedic energy in really fun ways. Each character had noteworthy moments and great comedic bits, but I want to highlight a few of my favorites. Aniq is a lovable goof who tries using his profession of creating escape rooms to help his chances at solving the murder. Chelsea (Llana Glazer) is the former class president who is now ridiculed by her old classmates for being a drunken mess.

However, there was one performance that stole the entire show, and this was Ben Schwartz as Yasper, the former bandmate of Xavier. He brings such a kinetic performance and distinct voice to the role that only gets better as the show progresses.

“The Afterparty” is a rare example of a modern television show that is not afraid of being a comedy first and foremost. It’s full of laughs and actual stakes to entice the viewer to press play on the next episode. Each episode feels like a treat as we get to see how the filmmakers will create a perfect retelling for each character. As a whole, “The Afterparty” is an absolute delight from start to finish that is worthy of a solid 8 out of 10.

Christopher Miller and his business partner Phil Lord have been consistently pushing the format of what movies, TV shows and animated projects can do for the last twenty years, and this newest show from the duo did not disappoint. I’m more than excited to see what they do next as well as the eventual second season of “The Afterparty.”