‘Platonic’ review: Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star in easy-to-love, hard-to-love Apple series

‘Platonic’ review: Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star in easy-to-love, hard-to-love Apple series

Paul Sarkis/Apple TV+

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne in “Platonic”, premiering on Apple TV+.


“Platonic” is one of those do-it-all streaming series, where the prevailing sense is that once top talent agrees to play, they could get away with doing anything — or in this case, practically nothing. Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne thus spend time bantering and fighting, in a show that ostensibly explores male-female friendships, but really plays more like a lighthearted ode to a stoner aesthetic.

Sylvia de Byrne and Will de Rogen were once best friends, before falling out when she told him she couldn’t stand the woman he was going to marry. When she learns that they are going to divorce, she reaches out to him somewhat impulsively, and after an initial awkwardness, they stumble again to date, in a way that disrupts both of their lives.

For Sylvia, a stay-at-home mom of three, this dynamic first irritates and then arouses the suspicion of her husband (Luke Macfarlane), a successful lawyer who doesn’t really get jealous until people refer to Will as being his wife. boyfriend.”

As for Will, he has work issues with the buddies he runs a brewery with and begins to act out his new celibacy by dating a 25-year-old woman, causing him to wonder if he’s becoming some kind of environment. -aged shot.

Counting Rogen and Byrne among its producers (naturally), there really isn’t much more to “Platonic” than that. The conversations within the show go on for long stretches, as the two days drink and do drugs and turn to each other for advice, while constantly reassuring everyone that no, she’s married. and nothing bad happens.

The cavalier beat is intermittently fun, if not as funny as something like “Shrinking,” another Apple TV+ show that deals with the same kind of midlife crisis-adjacent issues with a clearer sense of purpose.

“Platonic”, on the other hand, doesn’t even really delve into the notion of male-female relationships and how they are perceived as we age, or how Sylvia and Will have achieved the level of intimacy they once enjoyed. and rediscover quickly enough.

That said, the show’s pleasures come down to overall vibes more than belly laughs, as well as smaller moments, like the music to “Working Girl” playing when Sylvia re-enters the workforce. Basically, the audience is left to serve as spectators as Rogen and Byrne chat about the odds and ends, in a way that’s refreshingly natural yet devoid of any sense of urgency.

Byrne has become a valuable collaborator for Apple, with her other series, “Physical,” returning for a third and final season in August. Rogen left his own mark on streaming primarily as a producer, including Amazon’s hit superhero satire “The Boys.”

Yet “Platonic” operates in such a minor key that it’s hard to escape the feel of yet another vanity project to feed the hungry streaming altar. The net effect is a sight, perhaps deservedly, quite easy to like and almost impossible to like.

“Platonic” premieres May 25 on Apple TV+. (Disclosure: Lowry’s wife works for an Apple unit.)

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