So, if you’ve been following our Korean chum Bump. on Twitter you may have gathered there’s a new show called Crime Scene currently airing. In it six Korean celebrities roleplay as suspects in a mocked-up murder (apparently based on an actual real case but with the personal details changed). As is traditional in these things, all the characters have to tell the truth apart from the murderer who can lie, the contestants pick characters and are told their backstories and such like. The innocent celebs need to work as a team because there is real money (in the form of gold coins) on the line if the majority of them can work it out, and if they select the wrong person the murderer will walk away with it. It’s Whodunnit? crossed with Werewolf, essentially.
It looks like each case is two seventy-five minute episodes long, the first one opened with each celeb giving an in-character alibi. This was followed by everyone getting ten minutes to search the scene for clues and evidence (this was surprisingly a bit dull, lots of shots suggesting things were interesting but I think needed a bit more as to *why* they’re interesting) and they’re given a camera to take up to ten images each (everyone does this bit as individuals but they’ll cut between people having a go). That done each one gives a five minute briefing to the other players using the photographic evidence they’ve collected, with lots of accusing and counter-accusing. Then a vote – everyone has a set of handcuffs and they go into a room with a locker for each player. To vote for the accused, they handcuff the cuffs to a pole in the locker and the cuffs slide down so you can’t see what anyone’s vote count is.
At this point we’re not sure what happens (Episode one spoiler – two people come joint top), but with no clear accused there’s a period of free discussion, and occasionally the giant screens will chime in with hints to help or confuse further. Right now that’s where episode one ended so I only feel like I’ve seen half the story to make a judgement on.
It’s very stylish, as Korean shows often are, but it took a long time to get going for me, which seemed to correlate to the point where the celebs get into character and take it a bit more seriously, during the briefing with everyone giving their evidence. Thrillingly there’s also a live interactive audience vote element, and if you voted through the show and it turns out you got it right you stand to win a prize.
Right now my gut says it’s a really cool concept that you could turn into an hour’s show over here with judicious editing pretty easily but right now it lacks The Genius‘ immediacy. I look forward to watching it next week to discover if there’s anything clever about the murder or how it was revealed.
Edit: As it turns out, I thought episode two of this was rather super, by this point everyone is properly into it (although still taking it lightly enough to realise it’s only a game). I did wonder if the hints were too hint-y, I suspect the CCTV was necessary to move the game along at the desired pace, when it did come together it became a really fun game of logic and bluff I thought – I did wonder if the Uncle finding the murder weapon was an elaborate double bluff and the driver did himself no favours with his overly defensive defences.
As a two-and-a-half hour show taken as a whole, a really interesting curio – the forty minutes of exposition in episode one really lets it down I think, but as a whole I thought it was entertaining.
I think this would have a shout working in the West but better minds than I would have to work out how best to get more of the good bits to fit in an hour. Maybe 90 minutes as an occasional special.