Each on occasion, a present airs an episode that’s so good it makes you want for a complete sequence identical to it. “Danner’s Hearth,” this week’s scintillating installment of Apple TV Plus’ homicide thriller comedy anthology messaround The Afterparty, is a kind of episodes.
“Danner’s Hearth” is an interlude within the second season’s ongoing thriller a couple of crypto-billionaire discovered lifeless the morning after his marriage ceremony. It’s an episode about Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish), the Poirot-esque sleuth devoted to fixing The Afterparty’s mysteries, with a give attention to why she left the police power between seasons. Persevering with the present’s style parody schtick, “Danner’s Hearth” is an over-the-top tribute to the erotic thrillers of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Suppose Fundamental Intuition however with a ridiculous variety of double entendres. It’s additionally an episode that works by itself, if you happen to’re seeking to check drive the present — there’s some motion within the ongoing thriller case, however the principle draw is in its stand-alone story.
In “Danner’s Hearth,” Detective Danner is on the path of an arsonist (Paul Scheer) and begins a tempestuous affair with Quentin Devereaux (Michael Ealy), a psychiatrist who focuses on pyromania. True to the style, Devereaux and Danner waste no time hooking up whereas discussing the case (“I assume you could possibly name me a pyromaniac, solely as a substitute of fireside…I like intercourse,” Devereaux intones).
Most episodes of The Afterparty are a staff effort, because the writing, set design, and performances come collectively in numerous methods to perform the sequence’ style homages. “Danner’s Hearth” is as shut because it will get to a one-man present. Visitor star Ealy steals the present as Devereaux, relishing each tacky line and displaying a pure knack for bodily comedy, like in a scene the place he and Haddish have a chronic and messy session of erotic binge consuming. The 2 commit wholesale, rubbing noodles in one another’s faces, having enjoyable with condiments, and principally interacting with the meals the best way they’d one another (if the fruit was the third social gathering in a kinky intercourse scene performed for laughs).
Picture: Apple TV Plus
Ealy’s visitor flip is shockingly great things, making a meal out of jokes that appear unremarkable on the web page, like referring to the singer of “We Didn’t Begin the Hearth” as “William Joel.” A journeyman actor with a really lengthy rap sheet and no definitive roles, Ealy offers the form of efficiency that makes you want you could possibly see him on TV each week, even when it isn’t on a season-long erotic thriller parody. In a really efficient alternative, Ealy doesn’t sign which approach his character goes to go if you first meet him. Quentin Devereaux may very well be about as lethal critical as any certainly one of Michael Douglas’ roles within the style being homaged, and his dedication is so thorough it’s a genuinely humorous shock each time Devereaux asks Danner to do one thing like “slap my titty.” Ealy is ideal for this position, however he’s additionally clearly versatile sufficient to take this character’s vitality and switch it right into a automobile for, say, an excellent tackle Bruce Wayne.
Haddish excels within the straight man position to Ealy’s cartoonish eroticism, principally as a result of it permits her to lastly inject Detective Danner with the gonzo vitality she’s recognized for. It’s at all times been odd that The Afterparty forged a wildly energetic entertainer in such a restrained position, however “Danner’s Hearth” lets Haddish do what she does finest: protecting the comedic curler coaster going, and operating with no matter her scene companion throws at her.
Possibly there aren’t sufficient erotic thriller jokes on this planet to make a full sequence primarily based on “Danner’s Hearth,” however for a stand-alone parody? It’s fairly spot-on, whereas being an excellent reminder of 1 comic’s strengths and a showcase for an underappreciated expertise that also deserves to have his day. Add all of it collectively, and you’ve got one of many funniest half-hours of TV thus far this 12 months.