|Created by||Christopher Miller|
|Directed by||Christopher Miller|
|Music by||Daniel Pemberton|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||31–48 minutes|
|Original network||Apple TV+|
|Original release||January 28, 2022 –|
The Afterparty is an American murder mystery comedy 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.
The series 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).
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, are caught having intimate relations in each of the stories.
|No.||Title||Directed by ||Written by||Original release date |
|1||"Aniq"||Christopher Miller||Teleplay by : Christopher Miller & Kassia Miller|
Story by : Christopher Miller
|January 28, 2022|
|At the afterparty of a high school reunion in the East Bay Area, a prominent pop music icon and star of two big box office films, Xavier, is found dead. Against the advice of her superior, Detective Danner takes on the case. She first questions Aniq, an escape room designer who tells his story in the style of a romantic comedy. In his story, he is in pursuit of his high school crush, Zoë, but is in a love triangle with her ex-husband, Brett, as well as Xavier.|
|2||"Brett"||Christopher Miller||Anthony King||January 28, 2022|
|Danner questions Brett, who tells his story in the style of an action movie, in which he casts himself as a ne'er-do-well hero who is committed to his family despite his divorce. Meanwhile, in the bathroom, Aniq and Yasper look through the garbage to find a discarded note written by one of the partygoers.|
|3||"Yasper"||Christopher Miller||Jack Dolgen||January 28, 2022|
|After Danner's partner Culp accidentally deletes all the security camera footage, Danner interrogates Yasper, Xavier's former high school ska bandmate, who tells his story in the style of a show stopping musical. Meanwhile, after noticing the handwriting on the discarded note matches the handwriting on one of the drawings on his face, Aniq asks the partygoers to write something to see if their handwriting matches the note, but then notices the disappearance of one of the partygoers.|
|4||"Chelsea"||Christopher Miller||Bridger Winegar||February 4, 2022|
|Danner interrogates Chelsea, who tells her story in the style of a psychological thriller. In her story, she gets mysterious text messages from an unidentified number. It is also revealed that she also once had an affair with Brett, and an unknown incident at a St. Patrick's Day party in high school made the whole entire school ostracize her and claim her to be crazy. Danner wants to know more about said party, but Chelsea does not go any further, claiming it to be in the past and wanting to move forward with her life.|
|5||"High School"||Christopher Miller||Nicole Delaney||February 11, 2022|
|Danner wants to know about the St. Patrick's Day incident, so Walt volunteers to tell the story, in the style of a teen drama, as unbeknownst to everyone, the party occurred at his house. Yasper breaks up his ska band with Xavier, embarrassed by his new eccentricities. Believing Aniq to be the cause, Xavier pushes him into the pool in frustration, ruining his chance at getting with Zoë. He also lies about having slept with a drunken Chelsea, after she turned him down. A drunken Aniq is later arrested for destroying Xavier's car in revenge, costing him his scholarship. In the present, now looking even more guilty, Aniq reveals the discarded note, only for them to realize they're just lyrics written by Xavier.|
|6||"Zoe"||Christopher Miller||Phil Lord & Rachel Smith||February 18, 2022|
|Zoe's interrogation is set to a deranged animation. In her story, Zoe's different inner selves attempt to be the more dominant personality. At one point, it is revealed that Jennifer 2 was the one sending Chelsea the anonymous texts. Meanwhile, Aniq and Yasper attempt to eavesdrop on her interrogation, but Yasper's phone is low on battery, so they try to find a charger that is not in use. In their search, they get trapped in a secret room. Culp catches them spying and tells Danner that the police captain has taken her off the case.|
|7||"Danner"||Christopher Miller||Anthony King & Christopher Miller||February 25, 2022|
|While waiting for the ringer, Germain, to arrive, Danner relates to Culp how she came to be a detective in the first place, in the style of a police procedural. She talks about a particular high-profile case that Germain kept insisting her to stay away from, with her actions helping to prevent someone from being blamed for the crime. Meanwhile, Zoë discovers that Aniq and Yasper have been listening in and Aniq shares his AirPods with Zoë so they can have a listen. They overhear Danner's worry that Germain taking over the case will guarantee Aniq's arrest. After an epiphany, Danner says she finally knows who killed Xavier, but they would have to talk to one more eyewitness, who's none other than Zoë and Brett's daughter, Maggie.|
|8||"Maggie"||Christopher Miller||Christopher Miller||March 4, 2022|
|After interviewing Maggie, who tells her story in the style of a children's show, Danner seemingly reveals to the group that Brett was the one who killed Xavier, until Aniq steps in to defend him, despite meaning he's the only other suspect left. However, she reveals this to have been a test for Aniq's character, and proceeds to tell them who actually killed him: Yasper. Using several inconsistencies from the others' stories, she deduced that he hid in Xavier's closet and used the loud music as a cover to push Xavier off the building, with Yasper's motive being revenge for Xavier plagiarizing his music ideas and refusing to bless his new music. Danner also realized that Yasper had stolen Xavier's phone, which he used to not only disrupt the security cameras, but attempt to steal Xavier's voice recordings. When the phone is exposed, Yasper admits to his jealously over Xavier's success he felt he deserved and he's promptly arrested, with Aniq devastated by the betrayal. As morning comes, everyone goes their separate ways, Danner brags to Germain that she's solved the case, while Aniq and Zoe now confess their feelings for each other and kiss.|
Miller conceived of The Afterparty in the early 2010's, 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. The Afterparty was set-up at Sony Pictures as a film, 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 Afterparty, 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. The series premiered on January 28, 2022. On March 2, 2022, Apple TV+ renewed the series for a second season. On April 27, 2022, it was revealed 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.
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.
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 upcoming 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.
The score for 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. A soundtrack album with the score and songs was released alongside the first three episodes on January 28, 2022.
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.
|The Afterparty: Season 1 (Apple TV+ Original Series Soundtrack)|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||January 28, 2022|
|Label||Sony Pictures Television Inc.|
|Daniel Pemberton chronology|
All tracks are written by Daniel Pemberton, except where indicated.
|1.||"The Afterparty (Titles)"||0:51|
|5.||"Aniq's Rom-Com World"||2:03|
|7.||"Aniq's Prelude to a Kiss"||1:54|
|8.||"Aniq and the Balloons"||1:08|
|9.||"The Afterparty (Chamber)"||2:48|
|10.||"Brett Scoping the Party"||1:35|
|11.||"Brett's Fists of Fury"||1:36|
|12.||"Two Shots"||Jack Dolgen, Jon Lajoie||Ben Schwartz, Sam Richardson, Jamie Demetriou||2:38|
|13.||"Yeah Sure Whatever"||Dolgen, Lajoie||Schwartz||2:23|
|14.||"Three Dots from Stardom"||Dolgen, Lajoie||Schwartz||3:23|
|15.||"Chelsea's Feeling Threatened"||1:21|
|16.||"Chelsea's Hip Flask"||2:29|
|18.||"Someone's Watching You, Chelsea"||3:48|
|20.||"The Usual Suspects"||0:38|
|21.||"High School Band Breakup"||1:18|
|22.||"Put Yourself Out There, Walt"||1:18|
|24.||"Zoe's Self Hug"||1:11|
|25.||"Danner Training Course"||1:11|
|26.||"Danner's On Patrol"||1:40|
|27.||"Maggie's Kid Eye World"||2:09|
|29.||"I Did Not Kill Anyone"||3:40|
|30.||"One Clue Revealed"||2:13|
|34.||"The Afterparty (End Credits)"||2:04|
|EP by |
Xavier (Dave Franco)
|Released||February 1, 2022|
|Label||Sony Pictures Television, Inc.|
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 89% approval rating with an average rating of 7.6/10, based on 62 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".
At the 2022 Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards, the series was nominated for Best Streaming Series, Comedy, Sam Richardson was nominated for Best Actor in a Streaming Series, Comedy, Tiffany Haddish was nominated for Best Actress in a Streaming Series, Comedy, Ben Schwartz was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Streaming Series, Comedy, Christopher Miller was nominated for Best Directing in a Streaming Series, Comedy for the episode "Yasper", and Miller was also nominated for Best Writing in a Streaming Series, Comedy for the episode "Maggie".