Friday, January 28, 2022

REVIEW: 'The Afterparty' - Everything In Yasper's Life Is Devoted to His Musical Ambitions and Desire for Stardom in 'Yasper'

AppleTV+'s The Afterparty - Episode 1.03 "Yasper"

Yasper explains how he tried to get Xavier to help him get his music career off the ground. His version of the events is a toe-tapping musical.

"Yasper" was written by Jack Dolgen and directed by Christopher Miller

A camera was introduced in Xavier's bedroom. And just as quickly, the footage is deleted. Now, that's incredibly disappointed. It possibly suggests that it was revealed too soon in the narrative to have much value. But it also comes across as a waste of time slightly. Of course, it's sensible for Yasper to know that the camera exists considering he wired the entire audio system in the house. However, he also comments on it coming from a different company that didn't do nearly as good a job as he would have. So much of Yasper's essence is pumping himself up. He has his moments of being a good friend to Aniq. That is more genuine than any other connection he possibly has in this world. And yet, he dreams of being a star. He believes Xavier can bless him as the next big musical sensation. All it takes is the right track. That's all that he cares about. It's exhausting for Danner to listen to it. It's insanely fun and ridiculous for the audience though. That dichotomy must be noted. All of this could be seen as one big stalling technique. Yasper's perspective doesn't really advance the overall narrative all that much. Sure, it points more suspicion at Chelsea. She was nervous about confronting Xavier. Yasper inspires her to do exactly that. She actually admires that quality in him. That confrontation will likely be revealing. That's an answer that will come in the future. Right now, it's all about Yasper. He volunteers to go into the room with Danner in order for Aniq to talk with his fellow suspects. He makes a connection between the handwriting on the note in the bathroom and what is written on his neck. He confides in Zoe about it all being a test. Walt notes that someone smart could switch up their handwriting if they know what Aniq is up to. That may be a telling detail as well. Walt has largely resided in the background of this story. A couple characters exist in order to do the same thing in each individual story. Ned is all about pranks. Walt just wants to be noticed and remembered. The Jennifers are the popular girls who want to be invited and praised. That's simplistic. It offers continuity though. It still takes awhile before anyone notices that Jennifer 2 is missing. That could reveal that the killer isn't solely focused on Yasper. It could be part of a much bigger plot. Everyone remaining locked down could throw them into even more danger. That's the fear. People's minds go to the extremes right away. Jennifer 1 believes her best friend has also been murdered. That's a bigger travesty. Meanwhile, Aniq is just concerned about proving someone else is the killer. It's impersonal to him whomever he can shift the blame onto. Right now, Chelsea looks guilty. But the explanation probably won't be that simple. Again, the camera could have revealed it all. And then, the footage is deleted. It's not actually done out of malice or trying to cover up the crime. It's simply incompetence on Detective Culp's part. Danner is furious. She has to continue her routine. Yasper breaks out into musical moments. All of those sequences are delightful. They are absolutely over-the-top and silly. They all carry deep emotions to them as well. Yasper wants to help Aniq as he fears he missed his one shot with Zoe. Yasper grows excited by Xavier giving him the bare minimum acknowledgement. And then, Yasper is paralyzed with fear over the uncertainty that awaits him if this isn't the musical moment he has long waited to achieve. It's all incredibly nuanced and playful. It allows all of the stylistic flourishes to be on display in a bold and expressive way. Playing with tropes is a lot of fun for the creative team. It can be for the audience as well because we notice the tricks and common practices. They have to be centered in their own story though. Each individual focus provides more insight to that core character. They may not be perfect. They may be monsters actually. But it offers more emotional dimension that allows everything to be seen with more nuance. That's a blessing offered to a few and makes them engaged in how the central mystery develops as the focus shifts to the next person in Danner's lineup.