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Home > Platonic (2023): A Review

Platonic (2023): A Review

Platonic 2023: A Review. Two hands pinkie shake as best friends do.

Platonic: Sweeter than a Nursery Rhyme to a Doberman’s Ears

Apple TV+’s new series Platonic follows in the buddy comedy tradition but gives us a delightfully hilarious, updated twist on the genre by pairing opposite-sex friends who are well out of their teens and now in their more mature 40s. Former Neighbors’ (2014) costars Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen reunite, and their palpable chemistry remains strong. The Platonic series dispels the notion that males and females cannot be friends because sex always gets in the way. Furthermore, it seeks to answer the question: what happens when a male and female build emotional intimacy with someone other than their partner?

An Awkward Reunion 

In Platonic’s opening, the audience meets Sylvie (Rose Byrne), a 40-something mom of three navigating life and trying to make her brood happy. Through Instagram, she learns that her former best friend, Will (Seth Rogen), is getting divorced. Due to Sylvie’s disapproval of Will’s then fiancé, the two haven’t spoken in five years. Sylvie’s lovingly supportive husband, Charlie (Luke Macfarlane), encourages her to reconnect with Will. And like the start of all good buddy comedies, we get the sense that Sylvie plays life by the rules to her detriment and needs to learn from her more laid-back friend, Will.

Meanwhile, Will is a 40-year-old brewmaster who proudly proclaims that he drinks for a living, directly contrasting Sylvie’s mother-of-three lifestyle. Platonic creators Francesca Delbanco and Nicholas Stoller do a solid job of escalating tension early on when these two have an awkward reunion at a coffee shop. It encapsulates the letdown when finally reconnecting with an old friend, and the once familiar bond has been shattered, never to be recovered. Even though this meeting between Will and Sylvie is painful to watch, it’s executed perfectly, and the tension delightfully builds to a colossal reward later when Will and Sylvie have their humorous, raunchy rapport in check.

Seth Rogan and Rose Burns in car driving in Platonic.

The Entourage 

Some of the best moments come from the supporting cast of Sylvie and Will’s separate entourages of friends. For example, during a discussion of When Harry Met Sally, one of Will’s brewery workers, Omar (Vinny Thomas), disputes the idea that males and females can only be friends if one is ugly. His evidence for why that’s false is based on how he can be best friends with his aunt, “A perfect 10,” he coos. Then, when the discussion evolves toward if one can tell whether a woman has birthed kids, Omar brings up the termite queen who has thousands and thousands of offspring but you can’t tell by looking at her. It’s a wonderfully bizarre comment that will forever color how viewers see termites. 

Takeaways

The initial pacing of the pilot feels a bit sluggish, as the world they’re in is being established, but it starts to pick up speed about halfway through. This may be too long for some viewers who are used to bigger laughs earlier on, but it’s a must-watch series once they get past the first fifteen minutes. Moreover, what makes it unique and sets Will and Sylvie’s dynamic apart from other buddy comedies and adds a dose of realism is how they are not diametrically opposite personalities. 

Furthermore, Will and Sylvie are both struggling in their careers, albeit in different ways.

Sylvie may have a law degree, but she’s not using it and has been out of the workforce for 13 years due to her decision to be a stay-at-home mom, a choice she’s now questioning. Will is also grappling with not being seen as ambitious enough in his career, which he thinks ultimately led to his divorce. Besides the realistic unpacking of their struggles on the career front and watching the comedic shenanigans that ensue, perhaps the most important reason to watch is the opportunity to witness Rose Byrne singing “Ring Around the Rosie” to a vicious Doberman. That alone is worth the price of admission. 

Platonic’s first three episodes are now available to stream on Apple TV+. 

Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne ride scooters down the street in Platonic.

Platonic (2023) Official Apple TV+ Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Laura is a screenwriter and script consultant based in New York. She has a penchant for absurd comedy and psychological thrillers.