People love a good crime show. Just look at all those procedurals that still dominate the networks, or the true crime fad that has ruled streamers for the last seven years and counting. I don’t know what it says about human nature, or about America, or whatever, but we clearly love feasting on these sordid and salacious morsels from the comfort of our sofa.
Do we maybe want to laugh alongside them, too?
That seems to be the concept beneath Murderville, an upcoming Netflix comedy starring Will Arnett that parodies the crime procedural in a unique way. The show is scripted, except for one crucial role. Every week Arnett will be joined by a notable guest star, who has no script and has to improv their way through their episode. It’s not quite a high-wire act—the show’s not live, so they should be able to edit over any awkwardness—but it still has test one’s comic ability to be the only person improvising in a scripted show.
Fortunately the six episodes are stacked with experienced comic pros—and a couple of wildcards. The six guests include Conan O’Brien, Kumail Nanjiani, Annie Murphy, Ken Jeong… Sharon Stone… and Marshawn Lynch? So that’s two stand-up comics / sketch actors, one of the best recent sitcom actresses, a legendary talk show host and comedy writer who’s probably one of the funniest people to have ever lived, a top actress from the ‘90s, and a football player. Stone has been very funny in the past, and Lynch has a few acting roles under his belt, including memorable spots on The League and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so it’ll be really interesting to see how they acquit themselves in an semi-improvised environment.
Alongside Will Arnett as Senior Detective Terry Seattle, the regular cast includes Haneefah Wood, Lilan Bowden, and Phillip Smithey. And if the concept and name sound a little familiar to you, perhaps it’s because you’ve seen the BBC3 show it’s an adaptation of, Murder in Successville. Murderville premieres on Netflix on Feb. 3.