Murderville TV Series Review
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Streaming February 3rd, 2022

Back in 2015 a small British comedy hit our screens.  Murder In Sucessville.

Sucessville is a town filled with celebrity look-a-likes with Tom Davies playing the DI Desmond Sleet. In each episode DI Sleet takes on a new Rookie to find a killer. The Rookie was a different bonafide real celebrity and they had to follow Tom’s (often baffling) instructions and solve a murder with no script to work off.  The resulting carnage became must watch TV resulting in a British Academy Television Award for Best Comedy in 2018.

Fast Forward to 2022 and Netflix have produced their own version: ‘Murderville’.
So has the transition to Netflix been a misfire or is it a Sucessvillle? Lets find out…

Introduction To Murderville

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When I first started watching episode one of Murderville I was worried that the move had made many changes to the well-loved formula. In Murderville, the celebrity (look-alikes) are replaced with normal-ish people. Tom Davies has been replaced with Will Arnett (of Lego Batman fame) as Detective Terry Seattle, and the series introduces an interlinked connecting story arc in the background.

Each episode starts with some scripted dialogue between Detective Terry Seattle (Arnett) and Chief Rhonda Jenkins Seattle (Haneefah Wood,) before introducing Detective Seattle to a slightly bemused celebrity trainee homicide detective. It is here that the unwitting celebrity really discovers the madcap world of Arnett that they are being thrust into. Its fun to see the dawn of realisation that they have no control over what happens next, as Detective Seattle puts the celebrity through some increasingly bizarre initial trust building exercises. These range anything from trying to force out a celebrity secret, through to attempting to see if a celebrity could fall in love with him. Once the trainee detective looks worried enough at what they have let themselves in for, they are interrupted by the Chief, who informs them that there has been a murder. Off they trundle to start crime solving.

It’s here that the Arnett becomes increasingly unpredictable and remember, the trainee Detectives have no script, so are forced to react to whatever situation Arnett creates.  As each episode follows the same format each new trainee faces a stint on their own, with Detective Seattle calling the shots from a distance. It is here that Murderville finds some of its best comedy moments with the increasingly bemused celebrity attempting to follow Arnett’s bewildering instructions such as one Trainee Detective being asked to introduce himself as Todd Carring and then seconds later as Todd Carrington then very shortly after as Todd Carringtonbergsonfield, or being made to stir the soup whilst interviewing a Chef and then having to stir the soup without the ladle.

Once the suspects have been interviewed the trainee detective is then asked to solve the crime and they have to hope that they have picked up on all the clues whilst they tried to get through the process.




Thoughts on Murderville

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The series starts cautiously. Arnett seems to take a while finding his feet as Detective Seattle, and he is not helped by the fact that veteran talk show host/comedian Conan O’Brien is the first celebrity trainee. Conan seems well used to improvisation, so much so that the episode feels a lot more scripted than it should. The good news is though as the episodes progress, the celebrities involved are less versed in improvisation and this leads to some great comedy moments – such as Sharon Stone making fun out of her own reputation and Ken Jeong being locked in a prison cell. The rest of the trainees are Annie Murphy, Kumail Nanjiani, Marshawn Lynch and they all have something in common. They all feature the same terrified ‘what the hell am I doing here’ glazed look and it’s so much fun to watch. A series highlight is an operating table scene that harks back to old fashioned comedy.

Overall, the series doesn’t reach the heady heights of the original and has a fairly toned-down feel in terms of the comedy compared to the BBC version. I guess this is down to the need for Netflix to reach a wider audience across many territories.

It eventually finds its own style and sense of fun, with Arnett and cast gradually ramping up the crazy.

I would give it a ‘recommended’ rating and hope they make another series.

The Silver Hedgehog: Rating

Comedy - 8
Style - 8

8

Recommended

It eventually finds its own style and sense of fun, with Arnett and cast gradually ramping up the crazy.

Credits

Words Garry Llewellyn

Editor JJ

Images: Netflix

End Credits

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Will Arnett

Producer (Executive Producer)

Iain Morris

Director

Jonathan Stern

Producer (Executive Producer)

Krister Johnson

Producer (Executive Producer)

Peter Principato

Producer (Executive Producer)

Marc Forman

Producer (Executive Producer)

Anna Drezen

Writer (Staff Writer)

Hannah Levy

Writer (Staff Writer)

Jack Kukoda

Writer (Staff Writer)

Tannis Vallely

Casting Director

Chadd Gindin

Writer (Staff Writer)

Elizabeth Barnes Keener

Casting Director

Craig Rowin

Writer (Staff Writer)

Andriana Robles

Writer (Staff Writer)

Cast

Sharon Stone

Playing Herself

Will Arnett

Det. Terry Seattle

Conan O’Brien

Playing Himself

Ken Jeong

playing himself

Kumail Nanjiani

Playing Himself

Annie Murphy

playing herself

Lilan Bowden

Amber Kang

Haneefah Wood

Chief Rhonda

Marshawn Lynch

Playing Himself

Philip Smithey

Det. Daz Phillips

Meet Garry

An office worker by day and blogger by night. Garry is the creator and writer of The Silver Hedgehog.  A Sci-Fi geek (don’t mention Terry Pratchett or Isaac Asimov unless you have a spare hour) and avid film fan (noted for watching Titanic 8 times at the cinema 🤩).  Enjoys writing reviews and blogs in his spare time, and is waiting for the day he gets paid for it!

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This site is a non-profit project..

As a small, independent website run by Garry in his spare time,  we need your help to continue providing great content.

Please donate to help The Silver Hedgehog grow. All funds are put back into the website, and help provide new features.

Buy Me A Coffee

Buy Me a Coffee is a service that allows you to make a voluntary one-off donation in the form of a cup of coffee.

1 x coffee = £3.00

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