‘Murderville’ is star-studded comedy gold
Bella Laufenberg | Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Will Arnett, widely known for his roles as Gob in “Arrested Development” and as the titular character in “BoJack Horseman,” is now starring in a new Netflix comedy show called “Murderville.”
“Murderville” is based on a British sitcom called “Murder in Successville,” as all good American television is, such as “The Office.”
The central action of the show follows Detective Terry Seattle (Will Arnett), who spends each episode solving whatever murder falls upon his desk on a given day. But “Murderville” is no conventional police drama. The twist lies in the fact that the episodes’ celebrity guest stars — ranging from NFL player Marshawn Lynch to “Schitt’s Creek” star Annie Murphy — are not given scripts and therefore must improvise their way through the investigation. This use of improv really makes the show unique and truly gives each guest star a chance to make their episode special, sprinkling in their own personality along the way.
Each episode begins with Detective Seattle stumbling into the office, mumbling about whatever trouble he got into that morning. He is greeted by his captain and ex-wife Rhonda Jenkins-Seattle, played by Haneefah Wood, delivering him a new partner. Seattle and the celebrity guest proceed to have an interview of sorts until Rhonda appears to deliver the news that “There’s been a murder!”
As Seattle and his new partner attempt to interrogate suspects and solve the murder with which they’ve been presented, they always seem to get into hilarious hijinks along the way (usually involving horrible disguises and earpieces, both surefire ingredients for comedy). At the end of each episode, it is up to the celebrity guest to announce who committed the murder. Trust me, they do not always guess correctly, but rest assured, Captain Rhonda always serves justice to the true murderer… and fires the celebrity guest.
Along with new characters and situations with each new episode, the show also features some more continuous plotlines, among them the tension between Seattle and his ex-wife and Seattle’s dead partner. “Murderville” strikes a good balance between original and running jokes and narratives.
I am a huge Will Arnett fan, and I can safely say that this series lives up to his hilarious reputation. His comedic timing in this show is extremely similar to his work in “Arrested Development” — his performances are littered with sneaky puns, deadpan sarcasm and lots of (poorly hidden) laughter. Perhaps next season, “Murderville” can feature Arnett’s old “Arrested Development” co-stars, Jason Bateman (Michael Bluth) and David Cross (Tobias Funke)… or I might just need to re-watch “Arrested Development” for the fifth time.
Reminiscent of crime shows but with no gore, “Murderville” is the perfect sitcom watch for both crime junkies and comedy lovers.
Starring: Will Arnett, Haneefah Wood
Favorite Episode(s): “Triplet Homicide” (featuring Marshawn Lynch)
If You Like: “Arrested Development,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Where to Watch: Netflix
Shamrocks: 4.5 out of 5