Murder Mystery Puzzle

I am absolutely delighted by The Afterparty. It’s a murder mystery tv show from the guys behind The LEGO Movie set at the afterparty of a high school reunion and told through a mishmash of genres depending on the suspect’s point of view. And honestly, if that doesn’t hook you, I’m not sure what will.

Because even without the fun genre-shifting alibis (you’ve a musical, a thriller, cartoon, amongst others) it’s also an exceptionally well-told murder mystery. The suspects are all compelling and Tiffany Haddish’s Detective Danner is a great solver who, like Hercule Poirot and Benoit Blanc before her, does a real good job of anchoring the plots and bringing the audience along for the ride. Plus, the mystery is a puzzle you can figure out too!

That the puzzley mystery bit is done so well is such a delight; there’s a part of me that wants to rewatch the episodes now to check out the clues I missed. That you can actually do that, even before the Big Reveal at the end, is part of the fun. I appreciate the deft plotting that can let the audience play detective at home. This isn’t like Sherlock where he picks up on things that you can’t see; you and Danner have all the same clues, it’s just a matter of putting it together.

There’s fun in some mysteries coming together with last-minute reveals (see again: Sherlock), or ones where it just keeps unfolding (Lost), and of course finding multiple answers to one set of clues (Clue), I do really enjoy being able to figure out the puzzle. The improv show Murderville does a similar job of giving you clues that you (and the celebrity guest star) have to catch to figure out the mystery. There’s an interactivity there that makes it a really fun watch.

It turns out that there’s a subreddit for The Afterparty and the folks on it have been rabidly putting together clues from each episode and someone had put together an incredibly well-thought-out case against one of the suspects. It looks like a lot of fun, being able to find clues and make a case — the show itself is a puzzle. There’s a second season announced, and I think maybe this time I’ll be taking notes, see if I can’t formulate my own solution before it’s done.

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