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Ready for Our Closeup

Kudos to the writers of 'The Afterparty' for recognizing that custom installers belong on the screen.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I sat down to watch the first three premiere episodes of The Afterparty — Apple TV+’s new comedy/mystery/genre-busting new show. The premise of the show is that, after their 15-year high school reunion, a group of people get together at the most successful alumni’s mansion for an afterparty, where the host falls to his death. Each episode then showcases one suspect’s version of the story, with each episode presented in a different film genre — the first three being rom-com, action, and musical.

However, the genre blending and switching is not the most unique aspect of the show. That honor belongs to having a main character be a custom installer! Yes — one of us in a major studio production.

The only problem is that he isn’t a very good custom installer, and his faults lie right in line with common misconceptions about the industry.

Still, it’s nice to be seen, right?

The integrator, Yasper, as played by Ben Schwartz is quite likable, but working in the custom installation business is merely a placeholder until his music career takes off. Perhaps that explains why the whole-home install he did for Xavier, the doomed, famed alumni, left his famous client with a remote that does not work. Worse, it is a remote that Yasper knows does not work.

Still, it’s nice to be seen.

Apple TV+ – The Afterparty – Yasper
The custom integrator and budding musical artist Yasper, as played by Ben Schwartz.

Later, when the story moves from the reunion to Xavier’s mansion, Yasper tries to help his friend listen in on another room using the home’s AV system. Only problem is that the process to do so is too confusing for anyone to learn and can only happen after Yasper does it himself by comically hitting a wall-mounted, non-discernible touch panel a whole lotta times.

And his best friend in the show is an escape room designer, which makes me wonder if the writers think custom installers are an equally esoteric profession.

So, it’s nice to be seen?

Kudos to the writers of The Afterparty for recognizing that custom installers belong on the screen. And credit also to Schwartz, who makes Yasper likeable enough to see how he could get his business off the ground. But, ouch — the rest of it hurts to see our industry portrayed that way.

With all of the home improvement shows on HGTV and the like, how has there never been a show dedicated to the spectacular smart home entertainment systems we produce? Surely that is more relatable than giant specialty fish tanks (no offense to Tanked fans).

More From the Editor: ‘Get Back’…To Better Management

With the pandemic, voyeurism is at an all-time high — MTV even brought back its celeb home tour show Cribs, which briefly features our work in home theaters and studios. Isn’t it time for this industry to get the full focus? Plus, there are plenty of television-ready characters in this industry that audiences would love — ones that know how to install an easy-to-use AV system that don’t take an engineering degree to use. And with remotes that work.

Really, the show sells itself. If you have ties to anyone at HGTV, Hulu, Netflix, or the like, drop me a line. I am ready to pitch!

Anthony Savona is the content director for Residential Systems and the VP/Content Creation for Future plc’s B2B — AV Tech Group, which includes industry-leading brands such as Systems Contractor News, Sound & Video Contractor, AV Technology, AV Network, Mix, and TWICE