‘The Afterparty’ review: Tiffany Haddish stars in a comedic murder mystery

Produced by “The Lego Movie” group of Phil Lord and Chris Miller (with Miller directing), the eight-part program starts with the death of a famous celeb vocalist (Dave Franco) throughout the after-party at a 15-year high-school reunion.
Who might have pressed him to his death? Any among a variety of previous schoolmates appears to harbor an intention, with each investing an episode stating their story to an investigator (Tiffany Haddish) racing to resolve the secret prior to her employer can dispatch a higher-profile police officer to take control of the examination.

The format indicates seeing occasions unfolds from various angles, while getting brand-new little bits of details along the method. However the fundamental whodunit and developing path of breadcrumbs do not truly show that attracting, with the very best product originating from the old high-school crushes, complaints and missed out on chances that get reworked.

Tiffany Haddish and cast had a blast filming 'The Afterparty'

Armed with a good cast that also includes Sam Richardson (“Veep”), Zoë Chao, Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer and Jamie Demetriou, Miller does engage in some amusing flights into the absurd as the different characters — and their sometimes-wild imaginations — take center stage. The more outlandish flourishes range from a fight scene that seemingly goes on for about five minutes to an animated sequence.

Still, not only is the “Rashomon” wrinkle overused (see the recent movie “The Last Duel” as well), but the high-school reunion also feels pretty exhausted as a backdrop — a conceit that offers a built-in excuse for assembling a group of actors who are all roughly the same demographically desirable age. Indeed, Fox tried almost the exact the same premise with the 2005 drama “Reunion,” which didn’t last long enough to finish the story.

So while Apple is promoting the show as “genre-defying,” it’s truly more “genre-embracing.” Haddish likewise seems to be working a little too hard at wringing humor from what could easily be a straight-arrow part, which frankly proves a bit of a distraction from the focus on the victim, his peers and getting to the truth of who murdered him.

Even with its flaws “The Afterparty” goes down easily enough, however as possible binges go, it’s barely a VIP ticket — less the things of consultation watching than merely, well, an afterthought.

“The Afterparty” premieres Jan. 28 on Apple television+. (Disclosure: My better half now works for a department of Apple.)

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.