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"After Party" and "The Woman from the House Opposite the Girl in the Window" laugh at the genre - Walla! culture


"The Woman from the House Opposite the Girl at the Window" and "After Party," two series that are coming up today try to do something similar: use the conventions of murder stories and at the same time make fun of them. Review


"After Party" and "The Woman from the House Opposite the Girl in the Window" laugh at the genre

Two comedies that are coming up today are trying to do something similar: use the conventions of murder stories and at the same time make fun of them.

Netflix's "The Woman from the House Opposite the Girl in the Window" fails miserably, while Apple TV's "After Party" is imperfect and yet full of brilliance and pleasure.

Ido Yeshayahu


Friday, 28 January 2022, 00:09

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Teaser for the "After Party" series (Apple TV Plus)

One of the most talked about and successful series of 2021 was "Only Murders in The Building," which will arrive in Israel this summer with the arrival of Disney Plus.

The crime comedy starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez has followed three crime-plaguing fans who themselves fall into a murder case, and decide to create a podcast from their own attempt to get to the root of the new mystery.

The series was a kind of parody of a real crime plot, and at the same time used them as a template for a story that unfolded.

So do - with very different degrees of success - two new crime comedies that come by chance at the same time.

The one, which airs today (Friday) on Netflix, already declares its intentions in its name: "The Woman in the House Across the Girl from the Window", a familiar and silly stanza in parody films that fight several familiar titles to One name and too long.

In this case, as you can understand, these are bites towards suburban crime thrillers - usually ones that start as popular and banal flight books that can be chewed, swallowed and forgotten quickly, and that Netflix is ​​buzzing with.

Ignoring the name, on paper there are good reasons to get excited for the "woman from home."

First, it stars the beloved Kristen Bell ("The Good Place," "Veronica March"), which usually ensures some quality control.

Second: The last time a parody series on the super-popular genre on Netflix itself came up on the streaming service, we won the masterpiece "American Vandal".

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Thank God for Kristen Bell.

"The woman from the house opposite the girl in the window" (Photo: Colleen E. Hayes / Netflix)

Ido Yeshayahu in a conversation with Iris Cole about crime comedies and series of plagues

It is of course a complete mistake to rely on a specific series from the past to conclude otherwise only because they share a general idea and a broadcasting platform, and this error becomes clear in full force already in the first minutes of "The Woman from Home". The plot follows Anna, a woman who lives on a mixture of wine, pills, casseroles and a well-developed imagination, who cultivates an obsession with the handsome neighbor who has moved to the house opposite, until she witnesses a murder in his house. Or maybe not? The protagonist's illusions are the point of view of "The Woman from Home," including her narration, so we have no way of understanding what she really saw and what was the product of her imagination, and the truth, as a detective story of the series works reasonably. It has eight half-hour episodes (all of which were sent for review ahead of time) and they go through as quickly and lightly as the awful series she relies on - mostly thanks to Kristen Bell's built-in cuteness and charm.

But that's not the whole point, of course.

In her other layers, which are also projected on the plot level, "The Woman in the House" is simply puzzling.

It is not clear what she wants to be.

Is it a true suspense story - and most of the time routine - or a parody of the "serious" kind in the tradition of Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker films ("Pleasant Flight", "The Gun Dies of Laughter" and many other classics), where everything is fateful and very ridiculous at the same time?

On the one hand, it is constructed as works of the kind it mocks, including those whose name is explicitly mentioned - the suspenseful music, the cool filter, the appealing photographic angles, etc.

On the other hand, it includes elements that can only be assumed to be humorous: the huge glasses of wine that Anna drinks from them, her obsessive fondness for stews, her phobia of the rain;

And every few episodes there comes a ridiculous scene that is presented with severity - Anna's shirt gets stuck on her head while trying to undress in a hot scene, some scene with a puppet or the narration that opens the series.

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A huge glass of wine, what a laugh.

"The woman from the house opposite the girl in the window" (Photo: Colleen E. Hayes / Netflix)

These are puzzling moments not only because they are rare, these because despite the lightness with which the series flows, its tone is very heavy.

There is a terrible tragedy in Anna's past, of the kind that has become a worn-out cliché in the genre and one can understand why it has been applied here as well, but "The Woman in the House" squeezes it out in forms between them and comedy.

Mostly the series seems to use this classification to present a plot that can be overlapped.

Most of the time it progresses as required by the rules of the genre, and then here and there reveals an improbable detail or scandalous development that we would not have lived with in peace had it not been for a "parody."

The reason "Only Murders in the Building" became a big hit was her ability to dance at both weddings with equal effectiveness.

Both an interesting detective story that develops excellently and a comedy that cultivates interesting characters that are fun to be around.

"American Hooligan" was even more brilliant and sophisticated: not only did it operate on those two levels, but it added a deep and thought-provoking layer to its Z-generation heroes.

In both cases there is a perfect and clever extraction of the central idea.

In "The Woman in the House," on the other hand, each component detracts from the other.

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Romantic comedy.

Sam Richardson and Zoe Chow, "After Party" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)


The case of the second crime comedy coming today - in this case Apple TV Plus - is already much better.

The Afterparty (hereafter "After Party") is also a parody, this time about the mysteries of the murder of a la Agatha Christie (a room full of people one of whom was murdered - who is the killer?).

But in addition, the series also uses the "Rashomon" format, in which every episode one of the attendees provides a different angle to the same events, and utilizes it in favor of a whole series of homages to a variety of other cinematic genres.

Everyone has a "movie in mind", as defined by the detective investigating the case, and so every episode each experiences the events according to the genre that testifies to his personality: romantic comedy, action, musical, even animation, and yes, also a much more successful version of the thriller The paranoid that the "woman from home" failed with.

It is a clever concept in its simplicity that "After Party" uses to refresh the familiar formula of the detective story - in this case a group of high school graduates who reunite after 15 years in the home of one of them who became a huge star, and when he finds his death

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A clever concept in its simplicity.

Ilana Glazer, "After Party" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

Wishing they would remember him.

Jamie Dmitrio, "After Party" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

Although the series is not perfect, it is incredibly enjoyable. Not only because the zigzags of the genre maintain a constant freshness, but mainly because the cast consists of a spectacular collection of comedians who inhabit one space. Detective Danner is played by the indifferent Tiffany ("Trip Girls"), who investigates the death of Exbair (Dave Franco, "Neighbors"), who in high school was a joke but later became a popular singer, a successful film actor and especially Dosh who did not create the devil. His former classmates - the murder suspects - include the kind-hearted Anik (Sam Richardson, "Whip"), who has been in love with Zoe (Zoe Chow, "Love Story") since high school. Now maybe he has another chance with her, since she's divorcing her tough, goofy husband (Ike Bernholtz, "Losing It," "Mindy"), only the latter is having a hard time letting go of her.

At the same time Yasper (Ben Schwartz, "Department of Gardens and Landscape"), who was Exbier's musical partner in high school, is about to renew his collaboration with him.

The alcoholic and broken Chelsea (Ilana Glazer, "Broad City") asks for revenge for something done to her in high school, and Walt (Jamie Dmitrio, "Stath Lets Flats") just hopes everyone will remember that he also studied with them in school.

If all of this is not enough, the expanded cast includes proven thieves like John Early (Elliott from "Search Mission") in the role of Detective Danner, and Tia Sirker (Vicky from "The Good Place") as one of the gang who enjoys patronizing others.

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Even without the ending it is very enjoyable.

Dave Franco, "After Party" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

Word fights and urine.

Ike Bernholtz, "After Party" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

In view of these names it is requested that "After Party" be one of the funniest series the screen has known, but it is not, and this is perhaps the biggest disappointment regarding it. But the truth is that she's not trying to be the funniest thing, but mostly devoting herself to her concept to flood the personality of each of her protagonists. There is something intelligent and charming about the idea that everyone experiences the world as a different cinematic genre, and the clash between the different versions also illustrates what everyone reveals or hides, whether intentionally or subconsciously. Each perspective includes changes big and small from the other, no doubt additional views will be required to locate them all.

Accordingly, despite the feeling that the comedy does not exhaust the capabilities at its disposal, the actors are far from wasted here.

On the contrary - in the end the series is worth it thanks to its dizzying cast.

They all breathe captivating and humorous humanity into archetypal characters in their essence, everyone also gets a nice slice in the spotlight, and almost everyone is also really funny when required.

The first three episodes alone, which air today (the rest of the five will come weekly), feature an excellent karaoke scene by Richardson, the soul of the series;

Word fights (and urine!) Ripple between Bernholtz and Franco, and a marvelous purposeful display by Schwartz, who does his best role here since Jean-Ralphio in "Department of Gardens and Landscape," and perhaps in general.

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Ben Schwartz and to his left Tia Circer, "After Party" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

The series was created and directed by Christopher Miller, who is from the regular partnership with Phil Lord (who also serves here as a senior producer), who has produced works such as the films "Jump Street", "Lego Movie" and "Spider-Man: The Spider Dimension" they produced.

The two are known for their skill in shattering clichés and injecting energy into genres that seem to be difficult to innovate on, and this is also the case with "After Party".

Since Apple has sent for review all the episodes except the last one, it's hard to judge the main mystery of the series without the last part of the puzzle.

And yet, even in a work that is content with general cuteness and not a breakthrough, as in the way of Lord-Miller - the path there is full of brilliance, pleasure and inspiration.

We already know this is far from obvious.

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Source: walla

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