Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne have worked together on screen several times before and developed great chemistry, which is also very evident in AppleTV’s new comedy series Platonic. Both actors have worked in several comedies and are clearly very comfortable with this genre. Byrne’s most recent success Physical, another AppleTV+ comedy, is set to end later this summer with its third ad final season. But she has already found a new stage to show off her comic timing with Platonic. Seth Rogen fans have also been waiting for ages to see him in an out-and-out comedy series, and finally, their wait is over.
Platonic stars Rogen and Byrne as Will and Sylvia respectively, two unsatisfied forty-something friends, who have been estranged for five years due to Sylvia disliking Will’s wife Audrey (Alisha Wainwright). It is created by Nicholas Stoller and Francesca Delbanco. Stoller had previously worked with both the leads on Neighbors and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. If you take the best versions of Rogen and Byrne, put them in an interesting plot and give them the freedom to use their talent and have fun, they will flourish and it is exactly what the creators did in this show. The show’s title may give you the idea that it’s going to be another “will they, won’t they?” story, but that is not the narrative’s primary concern and it’s actually about much more than that question.
The official synopsis says, “Platonic follows a platonic pair of former best friends approaching midlife (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) who reconnect after a long rift. The duo’s friendship becomes all-consuming—and destabilizes their lives in a hilarious way.” As the synopsis explains, this story is more concerned about friendship and the ups and downs that come with it. Both our main characters are facing a midlife crisis. Sylvia is living a monotonous life in a small house with her three kids while struggling to find a new house and a new job. Will, on the other hand, has recently gone through a divorce and is trying to grow the new bar that he runs with two partners: Andy and Reggie.
The two of them rekindle their friendship after Will’s divorce which brings a new energy into both their lives. They start spending a lot of time together while helping each other in finding what they need. Rogen and Byrne are absolutely fantastic together on screen. They have amazing chemistry and immaculate comic timing. They are as convincing as possible thanks to the freedom they have to just go out and use their strengths. It also helps when the characters are so well-written. They have so many layers to them, and each one is peeled in a hilarious manner. The amount of charm that these two manage to bring to the screen is brilliant. They absolutely do complete justice to the scripts, which were fantastic themselves.
The show doesn’t start out with a bang, as it takes its time to find its feet. But a couple of episodes in, it just captures the viewer. The pacing is fairly consistent throughout its ten episodes and the directors do a good job of maintaining the feel-good factor in the narrative. Another element that is easy to miss, is the make-up and costumes. The designers and artists do a great job of making the appearances colorful and it is also a regular sub-theme in the storyline, with occasional talk about suits, hats, hair-dying, etc. The supporting cast also does well in their parts. Luke Macfarlane as Charlie, is easy to overlook, but he steps up when needed and establishes his presence really well. Vinny Thomas as Omar also gives a sweet performance.
Platonic is a clever and addictive comedy that embraces messy and dysfunctional friendships in middle age, with Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne at the top of their game. It gives a modern twist to “Can a man and a woman be friends?” The hilarious dialogue and gratifying story keep you engaged and you can’t help but fall in love with these imperfect yet relatable characters. AppleTV+ has another winner on their hands.
Platonic will stream on AppleTV+ on May 24 with its first 3 episodes.