Thanks to movies like Murder on the Orient Express and Knives Out, the murder mystery genre is enjoying renewed popularity. A new genre-bending murder mystery comedy ensemble is set to premier at the end of the month—and promises to possibly be one of the best new mystery shows in 2022. Here’s everything we know about The Afterparty.
Xavier (Dave Franco) is a popstar, actor, and celebrity humanitarian who hosts a high school reunion afterparty at his cliffside mansion. But when his body is found at the bottom of the cliffs, Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish) knows he was murdered. Xavier may have had notoriety, but he wasn’t liked. At least, not by anyone at the party. Danner quickly determines that one of the partygoers is a murderer—and she’s going to find out who.
While the premise may not sound unique, the series will be brought to life with the Academy Award winning creative genius of Christopher Miller and Phil Lord. They’re the team behind writing and directing movies like 21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, as well as producers of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The Last Man on Earth. Miller is also directing the pilot for the first time on his own. The show also has a killer all-star cast. Sam Richardson, Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer, Tiya Sircar, Jamie Demetriou, John Early, and Zoë Chao are some of the comedic geniuses joining Haddish and Franco.
The Afterparty was originally slated as a 2013 Sony Pictures project. We don’t know why it never began production, but under Apple TV+, we can now look forward to the combined effort of powerhouse writers Kassia Miller (The Good Place), Anthony King (Silicon Valley), Bridger Winegar (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Jack Dolgen (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), and newcomer Rachel H. Smith.
Rather than present the story in a linear timeline, each episode will be told from the viewpoint of a character. But it’s more than simple storytelling. Each episode will have a different visual format and style, including the genre it’s presented in, all based on the character’s personality. One episode will be a noir and another a romcom—but beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess. This fun style serves the weekly release well, as it’s difficult to predict which character, genre, or format will come next. With Daniel Pemberton (Birds of Prey) composing and Carl Herse (The Last Man on Earth) as cinematographer, we expect each episode to be vivid and immersive.
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The high school reunion dynamic paves the way for a lot of interesting backstory and surprise twists. We see a glimpse into these interconnected narratives when Aniq (Sam Richardson) wakes up with childish marker drawings all over his face. What secrets will Detective Danner uncover as each guest tries uses their history and knowledge to point the blame off of themselves—and squarely onto each other? Everyone disliked Xavier, but we’re sure other vendettas will come to light in shocking and outrageous ways.
The first three episodes of The Afterparty are set to release on Apply TV+ on January 28, with the five remaining episodes releasing weekly.