Whodunnit’s last three minutes: proof that the show is absurdly fun

ABC’s Whodunnit is far from perfect. It is, after all, a series whose name makes no sense because who committed the fake murders does not matter. But the last three minutes of this week’s episode perfectly illustrate why it’s so watchable and fun, and I don’t just mean the call-back to Clue.

As you can see, there’s strong production design and editing. While the cast members’ isolation has drawn them into the game’s reality, the show obviously requires some suspension of disbelief from them and us. For example, it’s clear there was a hard cut in filming here that made the murder very different in real life than it seems in the broadcast version, which to me is roughly equivalent to the Survivor cast walking toward the jungle with their torches and then getting in vans and being driven to Tribal Council.

However, that doesn’t interrupt the entertainment. And the game play that occurs within the world the producers have created is increasingly smart; this week’s riddle challenge was the most Mole-like challenge yet, and that’s a compliment, while the strategizing has reached new levels. Rewind to the beginning in the video below and watch the whole episode, even if you haven’t watched at all, because each episode pretty much stands alone.

Mostly, as you can see here, there’s a real sense of playfulness–and some fantastic acting by Gildart Jackson as the butler, Giles–that just make it fun to watch.

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In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

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Dick Donato

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Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.