The Afterparty is a new comedy mystery that follows several suspects of a murder the night of their high school reunion. Each episode is told from a different person’s perspective gradually revealing what happened piece by piece. What is unique is that the episode is also told in a genre related to the speaker’s personality and intentions. We’ve already heard from lover boy, Aniq, tough as nails, Brett, and aspiring musical artist, Yasper. In this week’s installment, we dive into the past of former class president, Chelsea.
It is great to finally explore Ilana Glazer’s character since so far, she’s only had a small part in the previous narratives. Also, because many people remember her wanting to seek revenge on Xavier for ruining her life. Ever since the notorious St. Patrick’s Day party, which we have no details about, Chelsea has become a hot mess and pariah to all her former friends.
With the running theme of payback, The Afterparty tackles the thriller. Chelsea stalks her prey throughout experiencing near misses, inopportune timing, and plenty of awkwardness around her target. But the hunter is also the hunted with someone legitimately threatening her. The music and lighting lend themselves to drumming up suspense with jump scares from the unseen stalker. It also plays with her mental state and her descent into madness when she questions whether her pursuer is real. There is a fake out but it’s impressive how much the series can make the trivial so tense.
What really stands out is Chelsea’s personal journey. We find a conflicted soul for her past misdeeds including being a homewrecker. There’s a real sincerity Glazer instills in the character as Chelsea tries to make amends with Zoë. It’s not about seeking forgiveness but merely being able to say her piece in order to move on. The entire night serves as a new beginning with her coming to terms with the past and being able to finally take control of her life. Though her plan for revenge hits a snag (Xavier has already done what she wanted), there is some sweet comeuppance in song form.
The episode of The Afterparty delivers a moving story, but fails to really progress the murder mystery. The pacing on that front is slower with Jennifer #2 yet to be found. There are fascinating avenues to pursue as we enter the second half. Who was Chelsea’s text harasser? Aniq is still the main suspect and now he has even more motive. We can’t finish without exploring the infamous St. Patrick’s Day party, can we? Especially since we find out Aniq and Xavier had beef afterwards.
In “Chelsea,” Ilana Glazer stars in an amusing multi-genre tale that finely weaves the suspense thriller with self-discovery.
New episodes of The Afterparty are released Fridays on Apple TV+.
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