The effortless chemistry between Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen more than makes up for the shortcomings in this very funny series.
Plot: A platonic pair of former best friends approaching midlife who reconnect after a long rift. The duo’s friendship becomes all consuming–and destabilizes their lives in a hilarious way.
Review: A question that has been used as fodder for countless romantic comedies over the years is whether a man and a woman can be friends without becoming sexual. Rob Reiner’s classic When Harry Met Sally posed this question and answered it with a resounding “no”. The new show Platonicstarring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and others may prove to be a different story. Reuniting the stars of the two Neighbors films, Platonic is a relationship comedy about two people in very different places who rediscover a friendship that helps them reassess parts of their lives that they otherwise could not contend with. It is a sweet and funny series that benefits from the charm and effortless chemistry between Rogen and Byrne and may end up being one of the funniest new series of the year.Platonic
opens with Sylvia (Rose Byrne), a stay-at-home mom and former lawyer, as she contends with the monotony of her early forties. She loves her husband Charlie Macfarlane and her three children, but they live in a small home with only one bathroom. She learns out of the blue that her ex-best friend Will (Seth Rogen), who she used to be best friends with, has recently divorced. Sylvia and Will fell out years ago and haven’t spoken since, but she invites him to coffee. While the first few moments are a bit stiff, Sylvia, Will, and their friends quickly remember how much fun they’ve had together. Will still lives his life like a twentysomething, while Sylvia is in need of energy and spontaneity. Over the ten episodes of Platonic, the duo get into a lot of trouble as they egg each other on to make changes in their lives while still getting on each other’s nerves as only the best of friends can.From the moment she appears on screen, Rose Byrne is immediately relatable as Sylvia. Byrne’s charm is evident as the fun person she was before kids and carpools took over her life. Byrne transforms as well when she appears on screen with Seth Rogen. Rogen has mastered the art of playing different variations of a character without them feeling redundant. Both actors play off each other here as believable friends, with a similar dynamic that they shared in their previous big-screen appearances. The two actors’ conversations, which are frequent in this series, are funny and feel like they were recorded having real conversations. The series is a progression of multiple plotlines and sequences that follow Sylvia and Will as they make bad decisions, regret them, fight with each other and then reconcile. This pattern should get old, but I enjoyed the
Platonic rhythm more after each episode.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nnn02jJf5ys
Created by married couple Francesca Delbanco and Nicholas Stoller,
Platonic is weakest when focused on the individual lives of the characters, especially that of Will. Seth Rogen is able to make almost anything entertaining, but Will’s life in this series is bleak and sad for the most part. Stoller, who lives in Los Angeles, with her three children, probably based Sylvia’s story on their own experiences. It’s more grounded in reality and funny than Will’s storyline. The dramatic differences in the lives of the characters can make it seem impossible that they would maintain their friendship. I laughed at their over-the-top misadventures involving everything from UFOs to bearded dragons. Platonic
is an enjoyable romantic comedy without sex. It works better than I thought. It’s a lot of fun to hang out with Rose Byrne, Seth Rogen and their half-hour segments. The series would have been improved if it had avoided any discussion about the romantic side to any girl/guy relationships and instead treated these characters like friends. The story arcs in this series are not as compelling as they could be, but the hilarious moments in every episode compensate for that. AppleTV+ is cornering the market on series that evoke smiles and feel-good moments, and Platonic is a solid addition to that roster.Platonic is
now streaming on AppleTV+.8