The Afterparty: Feng
August 24, 2023 1:25 PM - Season 2, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Zoe's father reluctantly agrees to sit with her, Aniq, and Danner as they review found-footage-style videos from the weekend.
posted by rednikki (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
WOW. Ken Jeong was a revelation in this episode. I've never seen him do anything serious. But he was able to deliver so much with just micro-changes in facial expression. This has entirely changed the way I think about him, and I'd like to see him in more drama or at least dramedy.

For those who haven't seen it, per an interview posted with last week's episode, the style of this episode is a nod to the John Cho film Searching. (If you haven't seen that film, you are in for a treat if you like suspense.)
posted by rednikki at 1:29 PM on August 24, 2023 [2 favorites]

I seriously want some baobing. As previously mentioned in another thread, we have an amazing dessert franchise called Vampire Penguin around here with amazing shaved ice, I wonder how this compares? it looks delicious and Edgar had no taste.

I prefer Ken Jeong when he's not being a total asshole, and also when he's not being totally insane, so this is a much more preferable character for me for him. He needs a bit more grounding for me to be into him (anyone else ever see The DUFF?).

Even Urkel loves it!
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:49 PM on August 24, 2023

I discovered baobing from this episode and I now have a mission in life to find some
posted by dis_integration at 8:17 AM on August 25, 2023 [3 favorites]

This episode dragged for me. I could have used A LOT a lot less vertical video and the Gen Z guy who was at fault for it.
posted by emelenjr at 10:58 AM on August 25, 2023 [1 favorite]

Did anyone else catch that Feng did not pick up the same whiskey glass he put down when he made Edgar try the bing? Ulysses was bartending, but...was the switch intentional or accidental!?
posted by Maecenas at 1:22 PM on August 25, 2023 [4 favorites]

Holy crap Maecenas, I did not catch that (and I was proud of myself for catching the same plot point in another recent movie). I just went back and rewatched. Yes, Ulysses offers the glass to Feng, who picks it up without taking a sip and walks over to Edgar, then picks up the other glass when he leaves. Was Ulysses trying to kill Feng?
posted by Roommate at 2:33 PM on August 25, 2023

Did anyone else catch that Feng did not pick up the same whiskey glass he put down when he made Edgar try the bing? Ulysses was bartending, but...was the switch intentional or accidental!?

There are shenanigans with this drink (and with other glasses) in almost every episode! In Hannah's story, she and Edgar are sitting in armchairs with their drinks on a little table in between them; the camera swings away from them for a second when she tries to get Edgar to look at something, and then she asks Edgar for a toast. Did she do something to the drink while Edgar's attention was elsewhere?

In some versions of the afterparty scene, Travis holds the same type of whiskey glass. But in his own version, he has a bottle instead (and, notably, we see Edgar notice something on the rim of his glass and then rub it).

I'm not sure if/when one of the blue pills (we see Isabel dumping them in the toilet in this episode, but weren't they Grace's?) went into one of the drinks, I'd need to go back and watch again. We saw Grace with them in her episode, and I think in Aniq's version.

Am I wrong or is Zoe absent from the afterparty in every telling we've had so far? Sometimes it's hard to tell what is deliberate on this show and what is just scheduling/blocking issues.

Is there anything to the dartboard in this episode with the different color darts in it? I know each character is a different color. The dart pattern is different than when we saw Ulysses playing (they were all black in that scene).
posted by bcwinters at 3:17 PM on August 25, 2023

I actually liked the vertical video on this—as these shows go, I didn't get the John Cho movie reference, but I immediately thought, "oh great this will be tiktoks!" with the phonecamera following mostly Feng around but also catching ALL SORTS of stuff in the backdrops of every shot, never mind also catching Feng's range of emotions when he is not in Sales or Wedding mode. I was looking forward to this from the first minute. (I kinda like watching tiktok and ol' vine compilations when trying to get sleepy.)

I too was very impressed with Ken Jeong's performance in this. The subtletly—the way you can almost tell what he's thinking just by a slight switch in his eyes, yes, and that his emotions weren't simply "doofy" or "scheming"—sometimes they were tender, or sometimes they were delusional, or sometimes they were definitely thoughtful and empathetic. Over the years, since Community, I started out liking him a lot, and then the trajectory has gone south. I've grown very tired of Ken Jeong's schtick. I kinda made myself watch his stand-up just to see wtf; I found it annoying. And he would pop up everywhere for a while, like Fred Armisen, just to chew up and ruin a scene on whatever random show.

But this has reversed that trajectory in my mind, and I'll give him more chances in the future. I have zero opinion of him as a person, but as an actor, now, not so bad! Has potential!

And I liked how the tiktok "camera don't lie" style showed everyone as they actually were acting. E.g. the faint round of applause when Ulysses entered on the horse; Hannah living out her Wesanderson life, and one VERY IMPORTANT "aside" while we were following the camera—but probably a red herring. The slight scratch to the baobing truck!!! snurk. But also catching how his feels surface seeing his brother and wife, or brother and daughter, sharing a moment.

One thing though—Feng didn't seem reluctant at all: he knew if they were going to watch the video, he had to shape the narrative, and do some explaining. Once he was in, he was all in. Aniq and Danner did not ask him to come in or sit down.

What I really like about all these character expositions is that nobody at all comes out as pure evil or good, everyone has lives. Mistakes were made. Some people have motives in whatever direction, but they're all shown as not the tropes you want them to be, but rounded humans, for the most part. Even Fedora Redditman. Even Elizabeth Perkins' character—I bet the next episode has a jawdrop or three, and shows that she's not just the drunk cynic in the corner.
posted by not_on_display at 8:06 PM on August 25, 2023 [1 favorite]

Honestly I think the mother has actual memory issues and the “can’t remember Grace’s name” thing is genuinely unintentional

Also a friend of mine raised the possibility that both Feng and Ulysses might have been trying to poison each other, and Edgar got caught in the crossfire by accident
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:49 PM on August 25, 2023 [1 favorite]

Why is the baobing served in such huge portions?
posted by soelo at 8:36 AM on August 26, 2023

Because it’s largely air and melts down into nothing
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:25 PM on August 26, 2023

On a related note, I could not find baobing here, but did find bingsoo at a local restaurant, so I just went out to try that. The shaved ice was quite refreshing and shaved into itty bitty bits like the aforementioned VP place, and covered in strawberries and sauce. Not quite the same as VP, but still pretty good, and not a 30+ minute slog into the city to find it either!
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:05 PM on August 26, 2023 [1 favorite]

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