Every so often a great idea comes about that makes you think, “why didn’t I think of that?” Well, in the case of Murderville on Netflix, that great idea is a “remake/reimagining” of a British TV series called Murder In Successville, which is a police procedural where everyone has the script but the rotating guest star. Adding to it is that it’s a comedy, so you get moments of hilarity just based on the guest star’s reaction. The rotating list of guest stars for the first season of Murderville is impressive and they each add their own bit of comedic timing or reaction to the proceedings. For the first season, they have Conan O’Brien, Marshawn Lynch, Annie Murphy, Ken Jeong, Kumail Nanjiani, and Sharon Stone guesting with star Will Arnett.

It has Krister Johnson as the Writer, Executive Producer, and Showrunner. The series follows Terry Seattle (Arnett) and the guest star as they have to improvise their way through the case. Each case has a group of suspects that ranges from a magician’s assistant to triplets all played by Rob Huebel. At the end of the episode, the guest star has to guess who the actual killer was, and the police chief barges on the scene to tell them if they’re correct or not.

It’s ingenious and leads to some true moments of hilarity, particularly when Terry has to radio instructions to his new partner for the episode. Without spoiling anything, the show’s guest stars are all awesome, but the surrounding cast really does a perfect job of setting them up. Without the performances like Rob Huebel or David Wain and others, the show wouldn’t be nearly as funny. It’s a testament to the comedic abilities and timing of all the guest stars also.

A Higher Level Of Police Procedural Comedy

Murderville. (L to R) Lilan Bowden as Amber Kang, Will Arnett as Terry Seattle, Marshawn Lynch as Guest 105 in episode 105 of Murderville. Cr. Darren Michaels/Netflix © 2021

The show just feels wholesome, even with Marshawn dropping F-bombs, it doesn’t ever feel like the person is improvising like it’s an episode of Impractical Jokers. Part of that is the editing. The way the show is edited, it takes a lot of the issues tons of improvising would. I’m guessing they had plenty of takes and retakes on the show when shooting, and these are the best ones, but when you get people as talented as the guest stars and others on the show, that’ll come naturally. I was really impressed with Marshawn Lynch, in particular, it looks like he’s having a blast on the show, and being the only “non-actor” he does a great job.

The potential for the show is limitless, because like other murder mystery shows like Psych, there are always cases to draw stories from. I’m not sure how many triplets are getting charged for the murder of their parents these days, but stuff like that always comes up in human history.

I was very impressed by this first season of Murderville. The show has heart, the jokes land, and it’s just a fun idea to rotate in talented guest stars to play off the comedic chops of other talented people. Hopefully, Netflix renews the series for more, there are plenty of possibilities for Terry Seattle and Co.

Murderville releases on Netflix on February 3rd, 2022.

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