The Netflix Murder Mystery That’s Perfect For The Holidays

By Zack Zagranis | Published

If you think a little murder and a whole lot of improv sounds like a fun way to spend the holidays, then have we got the perfect show for you! Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery is a 2022 holiday edition of the popular mystery-improv series Murderville. If Will Arnett trying to figure out who whacked Jolly Old Saint Nick sounds like your plate of cookies and milk, go stream Who Killed Santa? right now on Netflix.

What Is Murderville?

For anyone unfamiliar with the unique format of Murderville, allow us to explain. Every episode involves Will Arnett as Terry Seattle, a detective on the brink of divorce forced to break in with a new partner while trying to solve a murder at the same time. Each episode features a different guest celebrity as Terry’s new rookie partner.The catch? Everyone but the celebrity guest has a script for the episode. Each of Terry’s new “partners” has to completely improvise their part while attempting to solve their episode’s murder mystery. The show’s first and so far only season featured rookie detectives played by Conan O’Brien, Kumail Nanjilani, Annie Murphy, Sharon Stone, Ken Jeong, and Marshawn Lynch.

Jason Bateman, Maya Rudolph And More Cameo

Murderville saved its best guests for Who Killed Santa? However. The Murderville Christmas episode features not one but two unwitting improv partners for Terry: Jason Bateman and Maya Rudolph. The two actors do an outstanding and hilarious job of making up their dialogue as they go along, making Who Killed Santa? a standout among Murderville’s other episodes.Along with Bateman and Rudolph, the Murderville special features cameos from Pete Davidson as himself and Will & Grace star Sean Hayes as Johhny Blaze, a quarterback portraying Santa at the Murderville City Hall. It’s Blaze’s untimely stabbing to death by candy cane that sets the plot of the episode in motion. What, you thought they were going to kill the real Santa? Only Disney is that cruel (looking at you, Tim A


Arrested Development And SNL Reunions

The Murderville Holiday special reunites Will Arnett with Jason Bateman for the first time since Arrested Development. The two actors played siblings Michael and GOB Bluth on the Fox-turned-Netflix sitcom, and it shows. The two faux-brothers display real chemistry in Who Killed Santa?, with Bateman even breaking out a little of Arnett’s chicken dance in one scene.Meanwhile, Maya Rudolph more than holds her own against the denizens of Murderville. The former SNL cast member is no stranger to improv, having once been part of the famous Groundlings improv troupe. Those improvisation skills, mixed with Maya’s natural comedic instincts, make her performance in Who Killed Santa? one for the ages.

Better Than The First?

But it isn’t just the improv performances that make Murderville great. Writers Anna Drezen, Chadd Gindin, Craig Rowin, Jack Kukoda, Marina Cockenberg, Kerry O’Neill, Hannah Levy, and Adriana Robles do their part to make sure the scripted element of the series is just as funny. Who Killed Santa? is no exception.

Director Laura Murphy and Who Killed Santa? writers Owen Burke, Marina Cockenberg, Krister Johnson, and Kerry O’Neill make sure that the special is just as funny, if not more so, than the regular series. From obscure jokes for nerds like Sean Haye’s character’s name—Johnny Blaze is the alter ego of Marvel’s Ghost Rider—to Maya Rudolph going undercover at a high school basketball game wearing a Wildcats uniform from High School Musical, the Murderville Christmas episode is chock full of great gags.

Streaming On Netflix

The special was well received when it premiered last year, earning a 91 percent critics score on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus reads that “Fans of Murderville‘s improvisational hijinks will get a kick out of this festive mystery, with a scene-stealing Maya Rudolph proving to be Santa’s best little helper.” Fans were also happy with the way Who Killed Santa? turned out netting the Holiday outing an 84 percent audience score on RT.From Will Arnett’s lovable but bumbling Terry Seattle to all the celebrity guests giving it their all, Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery deserves a place in your annual Holiday viewing rotation. If you’re sick of the same old Rudolph’s and Frosty’s and you want something holiday-themed that doesn’t star a dancing beagle, Murderville is the place for you. Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery is streaming now on Netflix.