PLATONIC: SEASON ONE
Starring: Rose Byrne, Seth Rogen, Luke Macfarlane, Tre Hale, Carla Gallo, and Andrew Lopez
Creators: Nicholas Stoller and Francesca Delbanco
When people talk about modern day comedic actresses, they often omit Rose Byrne, and I've never understood why. In Platonic, Byrne reignites the on-screen chemistry she shared with Seth Rogen in the Neighbors franchise, picking up right where they left off. The series refreshingly puts a spotlight on adult friendships and the evolution of them, without relying heavily on the "will they?,won't they?" of it all. It struggles to maintain early momentum, and it can be a little too quippy at times, but Platonic has enough charm within to make for a fun watch.
I really wanted to laugh more during Platonic’s first couple of episodes because Rose Byrne (Sylvia) and Seth Rogen (Will) are both so charming. They have a natural chemistry that, when it clicks, makes the show laugh-out-loud funny; however, it takes half the season to get to that point, so I did nothing more than politely chuckle for four or five episodes. Luckily, there is a sincerity that carried me through the slow comedic start, so when the laughs eventually catch up to the show’s heart, it becomes thoroughly entertaining. I just wish it didn’t take so long to get there.
Platonic is a show divided against itself. Depending on where you are in life, you’ll be taken by either Seth Rogen’s typical schtick or Sylvia’s (Rose Byrne) arc as a mother going through a mid-life crisis, but probably not both. Similarly, the humor flips between great Apatow-style improv and awkward cringe. When it hits the things I relate to, it’s great; during the other parts, I was somewhat disengaged. That said, Byrne and Rogen have terrific chemistry, and it’s not a bad show at all. It’s just trying to reach too wide of a demographic, so there are some inconsistencies in the viewing experience.
Platonic, while not technically a rom-com, certainly has the charming vibes of one, probably due to the fact that director Nicholas Stoller brings his sensibilities to this damn entertaining show. At the heart of it is Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen, whose chemistry is hard to take your eyes off of as they guide the show into something much more worthwhile. I can’t say I laughed hysterically, but I was fascinated by the show’s commentary on modern gender dynamics, which made for a welcoming series.