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Platonic review: Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen deliver comedy gold for Apple TV+

Sylvia (Rose Byrne) and Will (Seth Rogen) in Platonic. (Apple TV+)
Sylvia (Rose Byrne) and Will (Seth Rogen) in Platonic. (Apple TV+)
  • 📺 Where to watch Platonic: Apple TV+ from 24 May

  • ⭐️ Our rating: 4/5

  • 🍿 Watch it if you liked: When Harry Met Sally, As Good As It Gets, Longshot 

  • 🎭 Who's in it?: Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen 

  • How long is it? 10 x 30 minute episodes

  • 📖 What’s it about? Former childhood best friends reconnect as adults and try to get past the rift that led to their falling out.

Re-kindled friendships, relationships during a life crisis, and the easy chemistry of purely platonic connections bring a different kind of dramedy to audiences who drop into this new Apple original.

Headlined by Bad Neighbours duo Rose Byrne (Spirited) and Seth Rogen (The Fabelmans), Platonic is a cleverly constructed journey down the rabbit hole of forty-something old friends, Sylvia and Will. It's packed full of wry observational comedy, pithy one-liners, and grounded performances from its central duo who trade middle aged war stories, serrated sucker-punch put-downs, and the occasional casual late night text conversation.

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Creators Francesca Delbanco and Nicholas Stoller establish their premise in the opening two minutes, as Sylvia and her husband Charlie (Luke Macfarlane) are trying to decide what their family should watch.

Between Inside Out — suggested by eldest daughter Frances (Sophie Leonard) — and John Wick thrown in by their youngest Sam (Max Malenko), things are going nowhere.

Charlie (Luke Macfarlane) in Platonic. (Apple TV+)
Charlie (Luke Macfarlane) in Platonic. (Apple TV+)

However, what these opening minutes do is set the bar for everything that follows, as those initial exchanges define their family dynamic and establish dramatic dilemmas, before coming in with a scene-closing social media alert, which subtly introduces audiences to the central premise.

From that point on supporting characters prop up the scenes inbetween, as Sylvia and Will go from awkward re-connection coffee to a gradual re-kindling of an old school friendship which might just be more than that.

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With a solid ensemble behind them, including Carla Gallo as Sylvia’s best friend Katie, and Andy (Tre Hale), a co-owner of the bar Will runs who dresses him down at every opportunity, Platonic feels like an R-rated Rob Reiner pastiche with Nora Ephron overtones.

Will (Seth Rogen) and Sylvia (Rose Byrne) in Platonic. (Apple TV+)
Will (Seth Rogen) and Sylvia (Rose Byrne) in Platonic. (Apple TV+)

Easy comparisons to When Harry Met Sally can be made, while Seth Rogen remains an eminently watchable everyman actor, always able to get audiences on side with his flawless, but understated comic timing.

With Rose Byrne as his tag team partner to temper Rogen’s more outlandish antics, Platonic effortlessly delivers some pertinent points about getting older, but does so from a supremely switched on perspective – making the show instantly relatable.

What other critics thought of Platonic

The Hollywood Reporter: Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne Reunite in Apple TV+’s Sharp, Funny Friendship Comedy (5 min read)

Entertainment Weekly: Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne elevate this blithe buddy comedy (4 min read)

This is another slice of solid gold for Apple subscribers looking for a companion piece to the recently released Shrinking, that confirms that good ideas rarely get old: they just get rebooted.

The first three episodes of Platonic are out now on Apple TV+, and new episodes will air weekly, every Wednesday.