One of the best things about Murderville is the moment you can see the celebrity guest star go from, “This is going to be so much fun!” to “Okay, this is…a lot.” And to be fair, star Will Arnett is a lot, particularly in episode 4, “Murder By Soup.” He basically starts the episode in third gear, role-playing an accident at a ketchup factory, and he never slows down from there. But that’s most of the fun and almost entirely the point.
This week’s celebrity guest is Annie Murphy, of Schitt’s Creek fame. And from the jump, she seems the most eager of all the celebrity guests the show has featured so far. You can tell she’s just really happy to be there. I felt an immediate kinship. Of course, that enthusiasm quickly morphed into mild chagrin as she tried to keep up with Arnett’s antics. But through it all, she retained an air of excitement to be investigating a “murder,” and I appreciated her for that.
Murphy may not have been as ready to take the improv off the rails as some (yeah, Conan O’Brien, I’m looking at you), but she approached her task as trainee with just enough seriousness to make me suspect she’s secretly a fan of true crime. Granted, there’s not much “true” to be had in this crime, but it’s still a chance to channel one’s inner Detective Joe Kenda without having to deal with the emotional toll of a real homicide. And who has never wanted to play detective?
But the real highlight of the episode came when Murphy had to go “undercover” to question the third suspect. It wasn’t exactly Goodfellas, but her multiple efforts not to crack culminated in a facial expression that made me choke on my drink. And when Arnett told her to laugh, I half-expected her to say “laugh,” like Tex Richman from The Muppets.
The only thing I liked better than Murphy breaking down the clues that led her to her conclusion was the actors’ reaction to her logical deductions. But she still guessed correctly, and needing to be 100% accurate not just in your solution but in showing your work only matters in…well, grade school.
I know it defeats the point, but I really want Murphy to come back and do another episode someday.
- “To be honest, I’m very erratic.” Truer words were never spoken on this show.
- Murphy wanting to ask the suspect questions but getting sidetracked at wanting to fix their shoddy pastry decorating job may be the most endearing thing I’ve seen on this show yet.
- Arnett’s “ehhh…” and vague hand gesture was hilarious but may get Netflix some hate mail. Not, I’m sure, for the first time.
- “So there’s another man that owned that body?” Murphy is kinda adorably bad at breaking bad news. Even fake bad news. I suspected I knew why she was whiffing the moment so badly, but I still cracked up when I realized I was right.
- The self portraits! Oh. My. God.
- “Let’s talk it out, okay?” Perfect way to end the episode.
Murderville is streaming now on Netflix. Did you enjoy “Murder By Soup?” Let us know in the comments!