I Did It

By | August 19, 2013

whodunnitSo Whodunnit? finished in the US last night and certainly it was an odd little show for a number of reasons. I ended up quite enjoying it but the set-up was far from perfect.

For a start it never seemed quite comfortable believing its own fiction, and the last ten minutes of the final proved this right up until the end. Contestants who are murdered except aren’t being murdered, and a murderer led off by police car at the end when really if there were murders happening you’d think someone would have called the police right at the start. It didn’t help that people thought the contestants were really getting murdered and they had to point out that they weren’t, which spoilt the surprise of the final shot a bit.

The title is hugely misleading – working out who did anything was in fact the least important aspect of the entire show – you never had anything to figure it out from other than who you thought looked a bit funny, they had no real agency throughout the entire run and the reveal at the end – that it must be you because it isn’t me – I think it was meant to be dramatic but actually felt rather embarrassing, especially when they started rhyming unconvincingly. It actually would have been far better if Giles had done it, or at least it would have been better if they treated it as a series of procedurals with the murderer being a known but outside force to be revealed in the finale then the end would carry rather more impact. Or if its going to be one of them at least give the murderer something to do!

Everyone goes on about “ooh, it’s like The Mole,” well it’s only like The Mole in so much as its got some puzzles in it. Many of these were fairly entertaining to be fair and I’m glad they got a bit more interesting than the opening week. It’s a shame the only way to find the murder weapon was to successfully complete a riddle based treasure hunt, like in real life. I could take or leave the information sharing aspect but accept that splitting the evidence in such a way that you had to collaborate to work out the full story is quite clever.

It was nicely shot, and it would be a shame not to see Giles again (how unlucky would you have to be to sign up to work for another mystery murderer at the same house?), but the numbers aren’t looking good for another season.

4 thoughts on “I Did It

  1. Nico W.

    I want no other American reality show to come back as much as I want this to come back in a different way than it was now. You’ve perfectly pointed out all the flaws, but it was a great show anyway. At least I was entertained and wanted to watch every episode as quickly as possible. I’d just want them to admit, that they didn’t know who the murderer was at the beginning themselves, I just don’t buy their story right now. However I hope it will get another chance because of the way it was treated in the social media and therefore it might have better ratings next year. And since the ratings were pretty constant I hope for a return! (by the way: there was almost nothing like the mole except for a written exam….)

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  2. David B

    Yeah, it was all a bit ho-hum. Calling the show ‘Whodunnit?’ when there’s virtually no way of solving it at home (the two scraps they tried to feed us were painfully thin) is a non-starter that someone, somewhere really should’ve picked up on.

    The ‘are they dead or not’ dilemma neatly demonstrates the knots you can get into when you mash up a game show with fictional elements. I don’t particularly mind the corpses coming back to life to wish the winner ‘well done’ at the end, but maybe during the riddle they could’ve just been corpses repositioned in the correct places rather than being ‘alive’.

    The riddles weren’t so great, because they’re the hardest for people to join in with at home and they were SO wordy (why can’t US puzzle writers do precis?)

    Dramatically, I think it would’ve worked better if the killer had tried to get away (with maybe Giles saving the day at the end) rather than going ‘it’s a fair cop, gov’; seemed a rather weak ending.

    I liked it as far as it went, but it’s disappointing that some of my worst fears came true.

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  3. Brig Bother Post author

    It’s always fun to go back to shows at the beginning to see what you thought of it to see if your opinions of the show changed between then and now, this is what I wrote when news of it broke:

    “Whodunnit? starts in the US on June 23rd. I’m looking forward to this, especially if they don’t take it too seriously (the show’s being hosted by the estate’s butler, which is a good sign). Something doesn’t quite add for me about the premise – there’s a murder mystery each week, but one of the contestants is also the murderer but a different murderer murdering the contestants and they’ll be unmasked at the end of the series which sounds a little silly, but I’m hoping I’ve missed some important plot point and that it’s an enjoyable reversioning of Mole-der in Small Town X.”

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  4. Kit

    I really enjoyed Whodunnit, although agree with many of the flaws pointed out by others. The main issue for me though (cos I have been willing to overlook most of the flaws though the season) was that out of the two people that could of won, the one who knew who the killer was didnt win; and the one who got the killer wrong did win! That seemed to make the ending even more odd and strange, and once more showed that Whodunnit isn’t the best title.

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