The Afterparty was an under-the-radar comedic gem last year (is Jury Duty the 2023 Afterparty: discuss). Starring Sam Richardson and Zoë Chao as high school besties and never-were sweethearts who reunite at an ill-fated reunion, The Afterparty is a murder mystery in which each episode is done in a different style, suiting the teller of that episode’s tale. Each main character goes through the events leading up to the murder with their own unique spin, such as an animated episode, an action movie episode, a rom-com episode, a high school party episode, and so on. If you haven’t seen it, it’s on Apple TV+, use that subscription for something other than Ted Lasso and Shrinking. The Afterparty is AMAZING.
It's such a good concept executed so well, with such an amazing cast—Tiffany Haddish also stars as the detective, and season one featured Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer, and Dave Franco—that a second season makes me nervous. Never mind TOPPING season one, can they even match it? Well, the trailer is here to give us our first taste of The Afterparty season two, and whether or not the team, led by creator Christopher Miller, of Lord & Miller fame, can at least match the first season.
Right off the bat, the cast is incredible. Richardson, Chao, and Haddish are back, reprising their roles as Aniq, Zoë, and Detective Danner, respectively. They’re joined by Poppy Liu, Ken Jeong, Zach Woods, Elizabeth Perkins, Vivian Wu, Anna Konkle—great to see a Pen15 alum thriving—Paul Walter Hauser, and John Cho. Of the new cast, I am most excited to see Hauser, who has SERIOUS dramatic chops but is ALSO an I Think You Should Leave star, so he has RANGE, and the trailer leans hard on him for comedic beats. There is also a lot of John Cho as “the fun uncle”, and he’s the person I am second-most excited to see delve into the world of The Afterparty
You know who’s missing, though? Jamie Demetriou as Walt. I said I would scream for 92 seconds if Walt didn’t come back, and it appears he does not, so yes, this is me screaming. I have watched The Afterparty enough that I stopped counting, and EVERY time Walt gets funnier. Demetriou—whose sister, Natasia, plays Nadja on What We Do in the Shadows, so comedy is a family business—is one of those actors who can steal a scene with one gesture from the background. (He next appears in Barbie, and he has an hour-long comedy special on Netflix.)
Every second Walt is in the frame he is doing something funny, and over time, Walt has become my favorite character. Demetriou is absolutely perfect as the self-effacing nerd whose name no one can remember. There are so many stand-out moments in season one, but I keep coming back to the Walt compilation as the best of the season.
I am very interested to see what they do with the concept of The Afterparty in a second season, the same way I was interested to see Rian Johnson and Daniel Craig revisit the world of Benoit Blanc, but I truly wonder if anything can capture my heart the way Walt did. I love him.