Monday, January 16, 2017

Mr. & Mrs. Murder

Shaun Micallef and Kat Stewart.
Premise:  Husband-and-wife Charlie and Nicola Buchanan operate ToxiClean, an industrial cleaning business that specializes in removing blood stains (and more) from crime scenes. It's the perfect occupation since they also dabble as amateur sleuths. In fact, they frequently help Detective Peter Vinetti solve his homicide cases. Peter harbors a "thing" for Nicola--who looks similar to his ex-wife--leading to a bit of friction with Charlie. Nicola (Kat Stewart) and Charlie (Shaun Micallef) frequently enlist the aid of their niece Jess, who is studying for her MBA.

Running Time: 45 minutes.

Status:  There has only been one season of 13 episodes, which aired in 2013 in Australia. The series can be streamed on Acorn TV and is also available on DVD in the U.S.

Production Notes:  Star Shaun Micallef created Mr. & Mrs. Murder with television producer Jason Stephens. The two worked together earlier in the half-hour Aussie satire Newstopia. Both Micallef and his co-star Kat Stewart have credits as associate producers for Mr. & Mrs. Murder. Although the duo are not yet well-known in the U.S., they have starred in numerous popular television series in their native country.

Our Review:  A modern day Thin Man, Mr. and Mrs. Murder is a lighthearted, witty series with snappy dialogue and two amusing leads. Shaun Micallef and Kat Stewart make a very believable married couple, right down to their inside jokes and never-explained pet names ("Fizzy" for her and "Chuka-Khan" for him). Some of the funniest scenes are the casual banter between them, such as discussing synonyms for "hooker" because Charlie thinks the word is "unpleasant". (Charlie offers up alternatives such as escort, jezebel, concubine, and courtesan, while Nicola opts for floozie because "you can still be a nice person.") As for the mysteries, they range from clever ("Early Checkout") to unexceptional ("En Vogue"). The best episodes are the early ones. By the way, we love the comic book-style opening credits.

Grade: B.

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