Afterparty Review

Afterparty Review

Milo Shenn, Staff Writer

Although much of it goes over the head of the typical viewer, a high amount of intentionality goes into the process of creating a story. Every setting, object, and character has to be completely consistent, or at least consistent to a point where the audience can understand the majority of their actions. 

Recently, on both a recommendation and a whim, I chose to begin watching the AppleTV+ show The Afterparty, a murder mystery involving the death of a celebrity at the afterparty for his high school’s 15 year reunion, and the subsequent police investigation. The majority of the episodes are composed primarily of one character’s retelling of the night. However, they all vary in tone and style, all being reflective of the narrator’s personality. However, while the editing changes, the same core events remain consistent throughout. The way that the show utilizes this lies in the way that small details and dialogue change from story to story. The reasons for this vary from a character’s narcissism changing what events they focus on to them viewing certain things as more or less important depending on their information to lying to clear them from suspicion. The audience is expected to pick up on certain differences, and I will testify that once you notice one inconsistency, there’s very little stopping you from snowballing down the slippery slope. It’s impossible to escape the sense that every detail, line of dialogue, and shot composition is intentional. Such sense strongly supports the show, and, the genius part is, much of it is not actually present. By allowing the audience to know how important every small detail is, they’ll build connections on their own. This process means that the audience can actually gain more out of an episode that was initially present. However, the show is not without its flaws. 

Although I only watched one or two episodes a day, I can imagine that the show could be hard to binge. Although the majority of the episodes are around thirty minutes, which I will say I am grateful for, since it allows me to more comfortably get through one before going to bed, they all share a similar structure. What doesn’t help is the fact that, barring the pilot, finale, and another exception, all episodes share the same structure. While the way it’s presented varies, and some events change, it could get tiring watching several in succession. 

While I typically give some sort of story overview, I genuinely think that the show would be much more enjoyable if one was able to pick out all the direction, dialogue, prop, and other details they discovered on their own and have a unique experience coming to their own conclusion. It’s available on AppleTV+, and I would recommend lending it some of your time if possible.