Release Date: June 23, 2013 – August 18, 2013
Cast: Gildart Jackson
Creator: Anthony E. Zuiker
A couple days ago, I wrote out my thoughts on the audiobook of Whodunnit? Murder in Mystery Manor by Anthony E. Zuiker. When I first started reading it, I didn’t know that the books were based on the ABC show that aired a couple years ago. Once I was done with the book though, I instantly wanted to watch the show and see how they compared. What I was completely unaware of though was that it was a reality show, so the guests are actually contestants, and the murders were all staged so that there is a grand prize winner at the end of the series.
Cast: Gildart Jackson is basically the only “real” actor in the show, playing Giles, the butler and narrator in the books. While he does a great job as a quiet and serious butler, we don’t get to see and learn much about him while watching the show. In the book we get to see inside his mind and get a real feel for him, while in the show he basically just spits out the rules and walks away. The guests then participate in trying to figure out the murder and basically stay in the game as long as possible.
Plot: The idea is the same as the book: Guests are brought into the manor without any real idea of what they’re about to encounter. In the book, they were lead on fake pretenses, while in the show they are obviously there to win some money. They come in already suspicious and weary about trusting anyone because they aren’t aware of what they’re getting themselves into. When the first murder takes place, they are then told what the rules are and what they need to do in order to win. While it was entertaining, most of the show is cheesy and somewhat funny.
I couldn’t say I got into the murders because at the end of each episode, each victim would give a little speech on how they’re sad they’re out of the contest but liked (or dislike) the way they “died.” I really wish it wasn’t a reality show, and instead had been a fictional show because I would’ve probably gotten a lot more into it. But I still got hooked and finished watching the whole season in a few days.
Verdict: The audiobook was definitely mysterious and creepy, while the show was entertaining and somewhat humorous. They were both pretty different even if the plot was the same, but the “reality tv” element really didn’t do it for me. They were both fun, but in regards to a real mystery, the book definitely wins in on this one.
If I had to pick one…
The book definitely, but mostly because I am a big fan of mysteries and not much of a fan of reality shows. I really did enjoy watching the show though, and the entire season is available to watch for free on YouTube!