Take a trip to Netflix’s ‘Murderville,’ where celebrities and comic improvisation meet  


Winter is the perfect time for stupid television, where few brain cells are required to follow the plot and aimlessly staring at the TV will suffice. This is exactly how I would describe Netflix’s newest comedy show “Murderville,” a comedic improvisation show where Detective Terry Seattle (Will Arnett) and a celebrity guest attempt to solve a murder by winging their way through a nonexistent script.  

In episode one of “Murderville,” the audience witnesses comedian Conan O’Brien improvise his way through a magician’s murder. Detective Terry and his police chief ex-wife Rhonda Jenkins-Seattle (Haneefah Wood), along with a slew of other actors (Erinn Hayes, Lilan Bowden, Philip Smithey), take Conan on whirlwind adventure that begins with a saw and ends with Conan being surrounded by women screaming “Mama! Mama! Mama!” after he attempts to welcome himself in a mother-only meeting.  

The premise of the show is highly entertaining for obvious reasons. Watching celebrities improv their way through Will Arnett’s hilarious stunts is to die for. In a scene where Detective Terry and Conan interrogate a rival magician (David Wain) as a suspect, Terry is quickly drawn into the magic tricks that the magician performs while in handcuffs. After a mediocre card trick, Terry jumps out of his seat and screams in awe. Conan, having no idea what is happening, is unable to hold back his laughter. In another scene Detective Terry orders food for himself and Conan, settling on a sloppy jalapeñjoe. When the food arrives, he dumps an absurd amount of hot sauce on Conan’s sandwich, which he is forced to eat to not disrupt the flow of the scene.  

In episode two, “Triplet Homicide,” starring Former NFL player Marshawn Lynch, the suspect looks directly at the camera. Odd for someone who just murdered their mother, right? Well here’s the catch … she has triplet sons. The interrogation is spearheaded by Lynch, who attempts to decide which suspect truly committed the crime. The dynamic between Detective Terry and Lynch is impeccable. Not having a comedic background, the audience is able to see how Lynch’s improvisation is far different than someone like Conan, who has prior comedy experience. Either way, I loved both!  

Aside from the plotline and Will Arnett’s incredible acting, watching how the celebrities improvise is the best part of the show. Moments like Conan losing it and Marshawn Lynch asking for his name to be changed to Bagabitch had me laughing out loud. I had never seen a television show solely based off of improvisation, making “Murderville” a highly pleasant and new experience. I do wonder how it is produced, but the outcome is marvelous! 

If you’re looking for a laugh without having to put too much effort into understanding a plot, “Murderville” is perfect for you. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for some comedic relief, while also being able to see some comic improvisation at the same time.  

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars  

Leave a Reply