Defying Comedy Clichés
TV SERIES REVIEW
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 10 x 30m episodes
Showrunner(s) / Director(s): Nicholas Stoller, Francesca Delbanco
Cast: Rose Byrne, Seth Rogen, Luke Macfarlane, Tre Hale, Carla Gallo, Andrew Lopez
Where To Watch: Available now on Apple TV+
RAVING REVIEW: PLATONIC is a hilarious venture into adult friendships as we follow the wild lives of the primary characters, Sylvia (Rose Byrne) and Will (Seth Rogen). The series takes us on an emotional journey filled with comedy coupled with the nuance of character exploration and evolution.
The narrative of PLATONIC is centralized around Sylvia and Will. Sylvia grapples with the contrast between her domesticated existence and the enticing thought of resuscitating her once-thriving law career. Conversely, Will, an entrepreneur who owns his brewery, constantly battles his inner (and outer) demons.
Pushing the boundaries of the norm, PLATONIC advocates for the significance of friendships in an adult’s life, challenging societal constructs that often sideline couples following marriage and the onset of parenthood. The series portrays the many layers that construct friendships and how they can survive through their lowest moments.
PLATONIC shines through with its down-to-earth charm; sure, there are a lot of stupid funny scenes, but what else would you expect with this mix of talent? The relaxed comedic tone of the series, complemented by profound character evolution, crafts a narrative that keeps the audience engaged. With each episode only being 30 minutes, it's super easy to digest but also offers more than a standard film would.
The plot thickens, setting off a cascade of unexpected events and going down memory lane from their shared past. There are a lot of moments that intentionally play with your mind; the show makes you think you’re seeing something you’d expect and then pulls the rug out from under you all in one swift movement.
PLATONIC extends its narrative scope beyond the main characters. It includes the surrounding cast by showing the contentious relationships between Will and his business partners, Andy (Tre Hale) and Reggie (Andrew Lopez). It also explores Sylvia’s introspections on her professional ambitions vs. her personal life, which she’s grown to love. Her husband Charlie (Luke Macfarlane) and his struggle with insecurity, brought on by Sylvia's rekindled connection with Will, further add an element of conflict to the story.
Even though PLATONIC starts with a slight imbalance, it quickly gets into its groove, resulting in one of the most consistently solid comedy series I’ve seen. It explores the interpersonal dynamics between the characters, paying particular attention to Sylvia's relationship with her husband while subverting the typical clichés you would expect.
PLATONIC resonates with the social evolutions of today's society and takes on issues pertinent to the post #MeToo landscape. This is seen throughout the series in subtle but important ways; you can tell that the creators put thought into this and didn’t just throw it in for the sake of it being there.
One of the most noticeable aspects of PLATONIC is the ensemble cast and crew reunion from previous projects. This includes but isn’t limited to artists Byrne, Rogen, Nicholas Stoller, Luke Macfarlane, Guy Branum, and Carla Gallo, who lend their comedic expertise to this Apple+ offering, which allows you to see the comfort that so many have working with each other. It makes their performances that much more natural.
In collaboration with his wife, Francesca Delbanco, Stoller creates an engaging, relatable, and humor-filled series in PLATONIC. It embarks on an insightful examination of friendship, personal development, and life's unexpected yet delightful chaos, striking a chord with many viewers.
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[photo courtesy of APPLE TV+]