THE AFTERPARTY: SEASON TWO
Starring: Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Zoe Chao, Elizabeth Perkins, Zach Woods, Paul Walter Hauser, Poppy Liu, Anna Konkle, Jack Whitehall, Vivian Wu, Ken Jeong, and John Cho
Creator: Christopher Miller
Talk about a sophomore slump... Season Two of The Afterparty is sadly underwhelming in every way. The new cast may boast more star power, but their characters and the mystery they’re tasked with solving are less interesting. As for the returning cast, the most notable thing is how annoying they’ve made Zoe Chao’s Zoë. Even the well constructed genre episodes that made Season One work so well are done half-assedly. Sure, there’s one entertaining episode surrounding Tiffany Haddish and Michael Ealy, but it’s not enough to bring me back for a potential third season.
As someone who very much loved the first season, it brings me no pleasure to say that Season Two of The Afterparty is a disappointment. It still has some of the charms and quirks of Season One, and the genre hopping is still fun to watch, but the mystery isn’t nearly as captivating, it’s not quite as funny, and the cast is not as unique (aside from Sam Richardson, whose talent Hollywood needs to embrace finally). Overall, the cohesion just isn’t there, and it breaks my heart to say that.
Season Two of The Afterparty is an excellent example of what can happen when a network (or streaming service) decides to grant an unplanned second season to a surprising hit miniseries. I mean, man…talk about a sophomore slump. Almost nothing works or hangs together cohesively this time around, from the cast chemistry to the mystery to the different takes on various genres. It’s almost like they decided to lean into an anthology approach, which means neither the central story nor the characters are compelling on an episode-to-episode basis. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a show drop off this badly. Also, Hollywood…less Tiffany Haddish, please.