Whodunnit?

Common Sense Media says

Reality take on the murder mystery is unique but gory.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Contestants are ostensibly trying to bring a criminal to justice, but that message gets lost in suspense and violence. Manufactured drama between contestants.

Positive role models

All of the contestants are professionals in various careers who use their special knowledge to solve crimes, making careers like insurance investigators and journalists seem pretty glamorous. The cast is racially diverse.

Violence

A (staged) death occurs on each show, and viewers will see many disturbing accidents, including car accidents, shootings, stabbings, falls from a horse, etc. Supposed dead bodies are examined on slabs in a "morgue" and we see gruesome injuries such as glass protruding from a woman's forehead. Some sound effects make injuries even more icky. There is a sexually suggestive angle to some of the "murders," as when one victim is menaced while in the shower.

Sex

In one scene viewers see a woman remove her clothing before a shower and then wash herself sensually as a frightening stranger watches from outside the stall. She is later fake murdered.

Language

A few "hecks."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Contestants drink wine and champagne at house parties; one guest breaks a glass and giggles that she's had enough champagne.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Whodunnit? is a unique reality game show in which guests attempt to solve a series of staged murders. Viewers see graphic staged deaths onscreen, including self-immolation, stabbings, shootings, electrocution, along with bloody wounds, bones protruding from the skin, bullets being dug from a "dead" body with a wet, sucking sound. Even more disturbing are the moments when the violence has a sexual edge, as when one victim is watched by a menacing stranger who later "kills" her. Every week, one contestant is fake murdered, and we see the supposed dead bodies of people we've grown to known and sympathize with. Tension is amped up with dramatic music and alarming camera angles; it may all prove traumatic to younger viewers, though perhaps fun for older teens and adults.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Created by the minds who brought you the CSI franchise, WHODUNNIT? blends together a murder mystery and a reality show, with 13 contestants gathered together at creepy Rue Manor to find out who keeps bumping them off. Each week, one or more contestants will meet their untimely ends, while the remaining players try to work out who did the deed. A murder begins each episode; contestants are then allowed to examine either the scene of the crime, the victim's last known whereabouts, or the victim's body in the morgue. Afterwards, they repair to discuss the case -- or to craftily withhold information from each other, which they may or may not reveal in solo behind-the-scenes interviews. Next, contestants tell creepy butler Giles how they think the crime occurred, and who the murderer was. If they're correct or close, they're allowed to proceed to the next week's murder. If they're too far off, they may become the next to die. The last person standing wins $250,000.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There's a reason the board game Clue has been sold and played for decades (and is a cult favorite film and TV show): It's fun to try to figure out Whodunnit. That gives Whodunnit? a fun little spark lacking from other reality outings. All of the contestants have connections to crime or to sleuthing (one's a journalist, one's an insurance investigator, and so on), so it's fun to watch them busily gathering clues and making deductions in classic Miss Marple fashion.

What's not as fun: The ludicrously exaggerated sense of danger. C'mon, we know these people aren't really dying; stop with the scenes of contestants exclaiming "I'm terrified I'll be next!" Terrified, really? When the only real danger is not winning $250,000? In addition, the gore is a bit surprisingly over-the-top for a television outing, which isn't strictly necessary. Whodunnit? would be better leaning on suspense than gore. We could also do without the tired manufactured tension between contestants, where every offhand comment is dissected in behind the scenes interviews. Ugh, we don't care what Adrianna said about Sasha, let's get back to the mystery.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why it's interesting and/or enjoyable to watch regular people being menaced, hurt, or killed. Why are there so many crime shows on television? What's so interesting about crime and murder?

  • Watch a show that takes a fictionalized approach to murders, such as Harper's Island. Are the camera angles, dialogue, settings, and other aspects of the production similar to Whodunnit? Or different? 

  • Murder mysteries in which one victim after another die are often called "stalk-and-slash" shows. What does this mean? Why is this a television trope?

TV details

Cast:Gildart Jackson
Network:ABC
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Whodunnit? was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byseal128 July 19, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

I love it!

Personally, I love this show because of the thriller aspect of it. Although I have to admit, I'm a 13 year old girl who loves roller-coasters. Sure they may show too many graphic effects, but that is what gets you jumping out of your seat! My favorite part of the show is trying to figure out the clues, to try to find out who the killer is. In all, unless you don't like investigating real-life crimes, you'll love this show!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byDaAmazingPo-Po-Pony July 10, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Hilarious&Staged

Completely ignore the other reviews about how violent it is; no one is killed, they are made up to look hurt and they sit still, no joke. Now at the end of each episode the person whose 'murder' was investigated is asked on their opinions of their 'death.' So no problem with violence, though I am, I'll admit, a fan of macabre and horror. I find this show to be hilarious in the aspect of how obviously staged EVERYTHING is. It's really funny. As for the Commonsense review saying that the scene with the woman in the shower--- It is in no way perverted! The Killer is a killer for crying out loud! He/she is there to KILL. Not to creep on women. All in all if you have a strong stomach and are looking for a macabre laugh, this is awesome!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old July 21, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

whatch it with a adult or dont watch it at all

First of all I love this show and I'm 12. However its VARY graphic with the 'murders' like the second episode a guy is on fire running then you see him at the morgue and it looks REALY realistic. Its one of those shows were you need to watch with a adult if your younger then 14. But its a really good show because its full of suspense mysteries and MURDER!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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