Why crime show fans should watch Netflix’s Murderville

Murderville. (L to R) Will Arnett as Terry Seattle, Conan O'Brien as Guest 101 in episode 101 of Murderville. Cr. Darren Michaels/Netflix © 2022
Murderville. (L to R) Will Arnett as Terry Seattle, Conan O'Brien as Guest 101 in episode 101 of Murderville. Cr. Darren Michaels/Netflix © 2022 /

TV crime shows are a dime a dozen these days. But Netflix’s Murderville is one that any crime show fan who also enjoys some laughs should be checking out.

Created by Krister Johnson, this series debuted on Netflix in February of 2022 with six episodes. Based on a British series, it’s a unique hybrid of crime show, sitcom, and improv comedy and the results are wonderful. Here’s what fans should know about the Netflix show and why they should check it out.

What is Murderville about?

On the face of it, Murderville is a typical half-hour procedural show. Will Arnett plays Detective Terry Seattle, a classic world-weary homicide cop. He narrates cases, makes bad puns over dead bodies, and clashes with Police Chief Rhonda Jenkins-Seattle (Haneefah Wood), who happens to be his soon-to-be ex-wife. Their marriage broke apart as Terry had never gotten over the murder of his partner Lori 15 years earlier.

The show has two gimmicks to make it stand out. The first is that every episode begins with Rhonda assigning Terry a new rookie detective, who’s played by a major guest star. They include Conan O’Brien, Marshawn Lynch, Annie Murphy, Ken Jeong, and Sharon Stone. They play themselves, somehow working for the police for no reason.

That would be good enough, but here’s the second gimmick: The guest star is given no script and has no idea what is going to happen. They have to improvise their reactions to the crime scene, the clues, and Terry’s various antics.

This means the actors often break character into laughter, handling things with the guest stars doing their best to figure out the case. The final scene has the main suspects brought together as the guest star guesses who’s the killer. They’re then told whether or not they’re right and the ones who guess incorrectly are fired.

Why crime show fans will love Murderville

The show works as the regular actors play it like a straight crime drama despite the wild stuff going on. Whether it’s interrogating someone who pulls magic tricks or Annie Murphy posing as a man for a sting, the series plays on the regular crime show elements even with the comedy abounding.

Arnett is fun in the main role, as Seattle often appears a goofball who gets suckered into a Ponzi scheme and is still hung up on Rhonda. But he can show his skills and bounces off well with the guest stars.

The murder cases are inventive and all the clues are there for the audience to figure out. The fun is in watching the guest stars put up with the chaos and handle the mysteries.

The show’s first season ran six episodes. There’s also a Christmas special, Who Killed Santa, where Terry works with Jason Bateman, Maya Rudolph, and a surprise third celebrity to solve a holiday murder.

Between the guest stars, the improv style and the fun mysteries, Murderville is one crime comedy any crime show fan will get some great enjoyment out of.

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Murderville is now streaming on Netflix.