Calling All Murderinos

My husband and I have very similar tastes in almost everything. We play this game I made up called “Which is Becky’s Favorite?” We’ll be standing in the middle of an art gallery, or kitschy store, or display of lamps at Home Depot and I’ll ask him, “Which is my fave?” More often than not he’ll get it exactly right, because whatever it is will be his favorite too.

We silently study the menu in restaurants and end up ordering the same food. We have the same vacation destinations on our bucket lists. We happily watch movies and TV shows together … up to a point.

Hubs does NOT understand my obsession with murder shows.

I love them all! Just like I read widely over the entire spectrum of crime fiction—cozies, traditional, Icelandic noir, thrillers, suspense, true crime—so too do I stay up past my bedtime watching every murder show streaming on Netflix.

We saw a trailer for something gory and excellently stabby which made me perk up like a coyote in a bone factory. When it was over, hubs said, not noticing how I was drooling with anticipation to binge all four seasons, “Who would be interested in that?”

Um …* raises hand holding remote *

Then on SNL last week was this absolutely perfect skit …

So it got me to thinking. Why do women like murder shows so much?

Partly I think it’s the same reason we like to read mysteries. We like to solve a puzzle. We like good to win out over evil. We enjoy being scared … within reason and within our control. Evil is fascinating.

But it seems there might be more to it, with TV and movies, especially true crime.

When I’m watching true crime, I’m always thinking, would I have done that? Would I have gone there? Would I have dated him? Would I have seen the signs?

I’m collecting tips to stay safe in the world.

When I watch or read a news report of someone arrested for a terrible crime, my first thought is always, “Why? Why would they do that?” And I never find out.

But in murder shows, I get a deep dive into the psyche of the bad guy that often gives me empathy. There are reasons they made the choices they made. It doesn’t mean they were the right choices or they shouldn’t get their comeuppance, but at least I can understand and find answers to my many “why” questions.

One thing I love about murder shows is the study of forensics. I can’t get enough explanation of the science involved in solving murders. My current obsession is the series “Ripper Street.” Ostensibly, it’s about the British police who couldn’t solve the Jack the Ripper murders. But that’s just the jumping off point for the series. There’s an American character on there, a delightful blend of rogue, gambler, addict, ex-Pinkerton detective, and doctor. His main purpose—aside from being a delightful blend of rogue, gambler, addict, ex-Pinkerton detective, and doctor—is to explain the new-fangled forensic techniques that were being learned. Stuff like autopsies, checking stomach contents, determining time of death … things we take completely for granted now. But it fascinates me to watch the advent of that in a well-made series.

And speaking of well-made …. there’s an incredible number of well-made shows for us murderinos on TV these days! If I watched no other channel besides Netflix, and watched nothing except murder shows, I don’t think I’d have to move from my chair until they carted my happy little corpse out.

Are you the same? Do you have a thing for murder shows? Which are your favorites?

47 thoughts on “Calling All Murderinos

  1. I do have that. Also true crime novels. It’s the forbidden, I think, the thrill of the darkness. Also, as you say, there are good illustrations of the types of people we should completely avoid IRL! These things are also useful for gathering material for our own writing. I’m always jotting down things that I might be able to use.

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  2. Ooo, ooo, ooo! I saw this, too. And sure enough, I had friends sending me the clip asking, So, is this YOU? The hilarious thing is, I am the biggest scaredy cat in the world. I never watch horror shows, because I would be damaged for life. But murder shows…for me it’s all about survival (for the rest of us), sick fascination (but *why* did she trust/date/marry such an obvious creep–there were so many signs, right?) and (hopefully) ultimate justice. But I have to share this with y’all, about the young girl in NYC who just found the hidden apartment behind her…medicine cabinet: https://www.intheknow.com/post/secret-room-bathroom-mirror-tiktok/

    Liked by 3 people

    1. SHE CLIMBED THROUGH THE MIRROR?? First, that’s wack. Second, I simply can’t believe there’s a landlord in NYC who had an entire apartment go missing. I call urban legend!

      I don’t like watching horror either, Lisa. Something about those jump cuts annoy me. But give me the slow boil of a season of true crime and I’m shivering with delight!

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  3. Becky,
    I loved the SNL skit! I tend to watch the lighter side of crime/murder (if there is one LOL). One that I want to watch on Netflix is Dangerous Lies. If you haven’t binged it yet, Dead to Me was a great dark comedy.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Becky,
        Dangerous Lies gets only fair reviews, but I’m curious anyway and saving it for a rainy spring day movie. One I recently watched “I Care A Lot” – out on Netflix a few weeks ago, which (no spoiler alert) never had me rooting so much in a movie to have something happen to someone. Some bad language, and mixed reviews, but I liked it.

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  4. Becky, I guess I’m a murderino. When I’m feeling down, hubs will say, “Why don’t you watch a show about somebody getting killed? It’ll cheer you up!”

    I’ve been drawn to the lighter side lately. Last night I watched a Poirot episode with David Suchet.

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    1. That’s hilarious, Vickie! He knows you so well. You know the kind of crime show I absolutely love? The caper! All those twists and weird skills that come together at the end … so satisfying.

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  5. Becky, I love the term “murderinos.” I saw that SNL sketch last week and thought it was hilarious. (Although the one about Zillow porn last week hit home even harder for me.) I don’t watch murder shows – because I’m too busy writing murder! But I need to start. I don’t think my husband will be a fan, though. He’s very sensitive.

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    1. Murderinos was coined by the gals on My Favorite Murder, Ellen. The ones who sign off with “Stay sexy and don’t get murdered.” I heart them!

      I watch a lot of TV—a LOT! I quit work at about 4:30 every day when Nala tells me she thinks it’s her dinner time. Then hubs and I plant ourselves in front of Netflix. If he goes off to read then I dial up one of my murder shows. And of course, if I’m not watching murders shows, I’m reading murder books. I lead a full life, eh?

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  6. I actually am not watching my murder shows on TV these days. My TV watching is mostly superhero shows. I guess I get enough murder on the page.

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  7. Thanks for sharing the hilarious skit, Becky!

    I actually don’t watch murder shows. I’d much rather read books, although I haven’t tried Icelandic noir yet. I think the images on screen stay with me more than from the page, and I’m kind of a scaredy-cat.

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  8. Like Lisa, I’m a total wimp. Won’t watch horror or shows that are said to be “spine tingling,” and I ask Robin to vet many movies for me to make sure they’re not too scary. (After watching The Shining with my sister on VHS lo, these many years ago, I was so scared that I asked if I could spend the night–in bed with her.)

    So, not surprisingly, my TV series murder mystery taste runs toward either the cozy, English village or cerebral how-did-they-do it shows. Never jump-out-of-a-closet-behind-a-medicine-cabinet murders, that’s for sure!

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    1. I like to be scared, but HATE being startled. I don’t find that fun in the least. Before my kids were born I gobbled up all the Stephen King books, but after they came along, I had to set them aside. I guess motherhood was scary enough for a while!

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      1. I just introduced my eldest to King! I felt the same zing of satisfaction watching him finish The Shining as I did watching him take his first steps. Maybe he’s a murderino in the making!

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      2. I think about it every time we drive through the Eisenhower tunnel. But yeah … lotta words. Was that the one where King got it in his mind to redo the “director’s cut” and added back in all the words his editor cut originally? That’s not the one I want to reread, just to be clear!

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    2. I’m with you, Leslie. Although, oddly enough, my parents thought it was totally fine for me to watch horror flicks as a kid. I remember going to watch scary R-rated movies as a family (it probably had something to do with me having an older sibling). I’ve 100% turned that around and go for the cozy stuff now.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. That skit is hilarious. That is The Hubby and I. We watch all kinds of murder shows, from the light to the gritty. In fact, we’re probably about to binge our way through season 3 of “The Sinner” on Netflix (murder show AND Matt Bomer? I’m there!)

    Yes, can’t do horror. Guy who chops up bodies and stores the parts in a freezer? I’m there.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I loved seasons 1 and 3 of The Sinner. My son liked #2 better than 3, but I didn’t. Maybe I just liked looking at the cute guy.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I am a queen in the murderinos! I love all things mystery. Tv, movies, books, games, you name it, I am all over it.whether it is fiction, fact, cozy or procedural. Everything except the horror. And I must admit I sometimes close my eyes if I anticipate too much gore.
    Why do I like it? Heck if I know. I guess I like trying to figure out who done it.
    We are currently on season 11 of NCIS. Hubby gets some great laughs at my expense. I yell at the characters like he does when watching sports. “Here he comes!” “Don’t go there!” “Why in the bleep did you do that?”
    I am getting good at anticipating where a cop or sleuth is headed, who they will interrogate next, seeing clues on the screen before they are mentioned, even sometimes saying what they will say right before they do. I am guessing about 73% of the killers right.
    And I have noticed many genres are stealing the number 1 rule in a cozy. “Let me tell you why I did it, before you arrest me.”
    Way too entertaining to stop.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hestia, I have fun in my Mystery Writer’s Mysteries by having my bad guys explain stuff at the end and letting a character say things like, “bad guys really DO explain things to you!” It makes me laugh, anyway.

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      1. It would actually be a pretty good way to get to know somebody. But maybe don’t start with an art gallery. Maybe the jelly aisle at the grocery store. Or a shoe ad. Or the Starbucks menu.

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  11. I love murder shows! I don’t watch much TV at home, but back when I used to travel a lot I caught up with quite a few of these shows. One channel at the hotel I frequently stayed at used to air Forensics Files pretty much all the time. It was the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Forensic Files … be still my heart. We’ve never had cable TV so I didn’t discover FF until I got snowed in at my moms for a few days. I gobbled that up like chocolate soft-serve.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My hubby actually watches with me now. His last comment about my “shows” was, “now I see why you watch these, they are intriguing.” Thought I’d share this with you all.
    Be Blessed, Christine Sponsler Ink & Chris’ Custom Coaching

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you, B! Great post! Was applauding the SNL skit when it aired, lol.

    Yes, watch murder mystery shows, movies, and true crime documentaries (prefer the ones that identify the guilty party by the end, though! Sometimes they are just open-ended–eek).

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