Whodunnit? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 22, 2014
You are in your room when suddenly you hear a huge crash. You rush downstairs to see a woman convulsing on the floor in front of a broken fish tank, surrounded by live wires. You may think you've stumbled upon the set of a horror movie, but in actuality, you're
a contestant on ABC's ­“Whodunnit?”

From “CSI” creator Anthony Zuiker comes this pseudo-­reality competition show where 13 contestants live in the luxurious Rue Manor and attempt to solve a murder each week. The best sleuth will leave with a $250,000 prize. Among the contestants are a bar trivia host, a flight attendant, an engineer, an attorney, and, of course, the murderer. The guests are guided by the butler, Giles (Gildart Jackson), who is also the host. Alliances are made and broken, creating fear and distrust.

The show is part of a unique new genre that Zuiker calls “reality fiction.” It pulled off the idea of a murder mystery game show well for a first season. The series is very suspenseful and the betrayals make for tension and drama. The contestants seem legitimately scared of dying, probably because the producers and makeup artists carefully plan the murders to be as disturbingly gruesome as possible. In fact, many viewers thought that the contestants were actually being murdered. No contestant gets more screen time than the others, allowing viewers to make their own decision about who to root for and who they hope dies a horrible death. “Whodunnit?” does a great job keeping viewers intrigued until the next episode.

However, despite the fact that the show is supposed to be a high-intensity murder mystery, Giles throws in random death-related puns that, although funny, make the murder theme seem playful at inappropriate times. The fact that Rue Manor is located in sunny Beverly Hills lessens the ominous atmosphere as well.

Overall, “Whodunnit?” stands out from other game shows with its diversity of characters and the complexity of murders (one involved a mountain lion and cyanide). The personality clashes between contestants keep the audience mesmerized week after week. A companion book series by Zuiker fictionalizing the events on the show will certainly keep viewers busy as they wait for Season 2.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Caesar123 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 5, 2014 at 11:36 pm
Yeah, I thought this show was great, but when I saw other reviews for it, they were all criticizing it for being to "cheesy". I was kind of surprised really, considering how hooked I was. Here's to hoping that season 2 makes them change their minds!
BraveGirl said...
Feb. 16, 2014 at 7:17 pm
I loved this show!  Great review!
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