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One in all Apple TV Plus’ finest hidden gems is again for season 2

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One of many greatest issues with fashionable streaming companies is how straightforward it’s to overlook stuff. There’s simply a lot that even the nice exhibits can cross proper by you. And it’s simply as true for a platform like Apple TV Plus as it’s for extra stuffed companies like Netflix. With the entire concentrate on massive, splashy initiatives like Foundation or Severance or the latest movie from Martin Scorsese, it’s not laborious for one thing like The Afterparty — a unusual homicide thriller that performs round with movie historical past — to fly underneath the radar.

Properly, excellent news in the event you did miss it: season 2 kicks off in the present day, making it a good time to leap in.

Season 1 came about within the aftermath of a celebration that adopted a highschool reunion, the place the host — a pop star named Xavier (Dave Franco) — died underneath mysterious circumstances. What made it attention-grabbing, although, wasn’t essentially the thriller itself however the present’s construction. As Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish) interviewed every witness, viewers have been in a position to see how occasions unfold from totally different views.

The twist is that every episode isn’t solely centered on a selected character’s tackle the night but in addition portrayed in a unique model, suiting their character. One episode is sort of a Quick & Livid film, one other a poppy musical with annoyingly catchy tunes. There’s even an animated one. It’s an especially enjoyable gimmick and lends the present — which is ostensibly a few tragic homicide — some levity. What was stunning about season 1 was the way it managed to stability having an intriguing thriller with additionally being a hilarious comedy.

Season 2 tells a brand new story however with some key returning characters. Bumbling escape room designer Aniq (Sam Richardson) and his girlfriend Zoë (Zoë Chao) are attending Zoë’s sister’s wedding ceremony, when — shock — the groom, a tech genius, is discovered {dead}. Ultimately, they pull Danner in for some assist. This setup mimics the perfect detective tales — assume Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, or relative newcomer Benoit Blanc — in order that we’ve got the identical heroes however are put in a brand-new state of affairs.

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The second season works for a number of causes. To start out, the brand new forged is nice. There’s Zach Woods because the eccentric genius who isn’t with out his pet lizard, John Cho because the annoyingly worldly uncle who by no means misses an opportunity to let you know the place he’s traveled, Elizabeth Perkins because the groom’s seemingly cold-hearted mom, Ken Jeong as a struggling entrepreneur simply making an attempt to maintain his household above water, and Anna Konkle because the groom’s misfit adopted sister. That’s only a style, and so they slot in effectively with the unique forged, significantly Haddish as she delves into every of their tales.

However the present has additionally expanded its scope to embody a larger vary of genres to parody. Issues begin out easy sufficient within the first episode, a rom-com sequel centered on Aniq, however from there, The Afterparty delves into movie noir and Victorian-era romance whereas additionally paying homage to filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock and Wes Anderson.

Now, don’t get me mistaken: this isn’t some extraordinarily advanced homicide thriller that can maintain you up at night time. However The Afterparty’s second season does simply sufficient to be a compelling whodunit whereas additionally being goofy, foolish, and playful. It’s half-hour each week the place you’ll be able to simply have some enjoyable whereas additionally preserving an eye fixed out for clues. I’ve seen the entire new season (excluding the finale) and, whereas there are some apparent moments, there are additionally genuinely stunning twists that stored me guessing — and curious the place this oddball crime-fighting group is headed subsequent.

Season 2 of The Afterparty is on Apple TV Plus now, with new episodes on Wednesdays.

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