Sam Richardson returns for the second season of Apple TV+'s hit murder-mystery comedy.
The Afterparty returns with season 2 on Wednesday, July 12, and only ET has an exclusive sneak peek of the premiere episode, "Aniq 2: The Sequel," which sets up the new murder mystery at the center of creators Chris Miller and Phil Lord's hit Apple TV+ series.
Picking up a year after season 1, the new episodes follow returning characters Aniq (Sam Richardson) and Zoë (Zoë Chao), who are now dating after reconnecting during their high school reunion and attending a family wedding. It's during the weekend getaway that the groom turns up dead, leading them to call on Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish) to help them solve the whodunnit before the police arrive.
However, before all the killing and sleuthing happens, Aniq gets an awkward introduction to the entire wedding party during the reception.
After realizing he's been seated at the singles table, he finds Zoë seated with her family, including her parents, Vivian (Vivian Wu) and Feng (Ken Jeong), and her sister, Grace (Poppy Liu), who has just married Edgar (Zach Woods), who, along with his mother Isabel (Elizabeth Perkins), sister Hannah (Anna Konkle), and best man Sebastian (Jack Whitehall), is also seated with the group. There he learns how he got exiled to a lesser setting during the party.
"Someone sat me at the singles table," Aniq tells Zoë before Hannah chimes in to say, "That was Isabel, my mother."
"Well, this is a family table. Are you family? Because no one told me you two are married," Isabel quickly says. After Aniq confirms that he and Zoë are only dating, she doubles down on her seating decision. "Then I sat you where you were supposed to sit."
This tense moment is then followed by even more awkward one-on-one introductions to the rest of the wedding party, which leads Sebastian and Hannah to have fun at Aniq's expense.
The premiere, which is followed by episode two, "Grace," introduces the season's first "mind film," which is what the creators use to describe the different genres used to retell everyone's version of events while trying to determine who was behind Edgar's murder. In Aniq's case, it's a play on rom-coms, with the family outsider experiencing one awkward moment after another as attempts to have a romance-filled weekend with his girlfriend.
"Rom-com is one of my favorite genres, period," Richardson tells ET about his episode, which offers the most straightforward version of the weekend's events. "The first episode kinda sets the pace," he continues, explaining that while it's "still heightened, it's the closest to reality."
The episode's style also allows Richardson to take advantage of his physical comedy chops. "It's a fun thing to get to play," he says of those moments where "everything goes wrong and everything is heightened and you just can't stop making the wrong moves," which includes "having a giant box on my head, or spitting up some sort of drink on somebody's face."
The second episode, which is also streaming the same day, is told from Grace's perspective, taking on a Jane Austen vibe while channeling Pride & Prejudice. "I think it was so appropriate for the character 'cause she is such a romantic. She does kind of live in this very heightened, like, driven-by-love narrative. She does kind of live in her own head. I think she's very much whimsical, like a dreamer who probably zones out a lot," Liu says.
The actress also notes that Austen's world is a great framework to show the differences between the bride and groom's families. "Jane Austen has such stark and clear class distinctions… Like, there's this snobbery rooted in class," she says.
Echoing that sentiment, Chao says that "season 2 is definitely an extension of season 1." Teasing that "there's a lot at stake" as the series goes "further into the genres," she also adds, "We now have two families and with that comes rich histories. And we get to really go into origin stories that span decades."
The first two episodes of The Afterparty season 2 debut on July 12, with the eight remaining episodes premiering every Wednesday through Sept. 6.