Summer Pilot Season – Watch to Watch?

*sigh*… Summer pilot season on television. For us TV viewers, new shows either captivate our attention or leave us asking, “What the heck are they putting on television these days?” Being a former undergrad student of TV and film, I know how tough it is to conceive ideas good enough to even film a pilot.  It may surprise some people, but the new fiction-reality show: “Whodunnit?” is my recommendation for your Tivos and DVRs.

What is the show about? 

“Whodunnit?” brought you to by the creator of the “CSI:Crime Scene Investigation” franchise (Anthony Zuiker), has invited thirteen crime-solving savvy guests to stay in the lush but deadly Rue Manor Estate.

Giles (Gildart Jackson) acts as the host/butler. He relays the “killer’s” messages and serves as a guide. Like the nostalgic board game, Clue, the murderer is amongst the crowd of guests. They must solve the crimes visiting either the victim’s last known whereabouts, the crime scene, or the morgue. They use deductive reasoning from clues received earlier in the week to take a quiz, and whoever scores the lowest is the next victim killed.

Why Watch The Show? 

Yes, it’s reality TV. Is it campy? To some people… maybe. The show works, because a) people already solve crimes when they watch their favorite cop procedural dramas. b) The cast of characters is so vast and diverse, ranging from a nurse, a lawyer, and  ex-cop, to a former pro cheerleader. You get a spunky bunch together trying to fight for their lives, and you’ll have enough reality-induced drama to last you until next summer. Finally, we all like to feel like we’re smart. We all want to solve the murder fast  so we call it from the start and wait to see if we’re right.

Critics have already claimed the show to be uneventful.

“The cast seems no better, or worse, than any reality TV assemblage, but the clues are delivered to the group in such a way that much of the pilot is spent watching them troop, mostly en masse, from one room to the other. It’s not terribly exciting.”  – Mary Macnamara, LA Times

While the audience doesn’t have that much opportunity to interact, and the reactions to the murders seem over the top, the show still has some level of intrigue.

Nothing’s been done like this before. There have been reality games with duplicity, but giving the chance for audiences to get their own “CSI” experiences is very rare. Plus, you want to see how much more gruesome each killing becomes. Also the challenges/game play aspects in game shows are a favorite of viewers.  They want to see if they can figure out the clues before the person on the screen can.

If you want to challenge your detective skills, and see if you can solve the crimes tune in on Sundays at 10/9 central on ABC.

The First Episode: High Voltage –

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