Hulu is betting big on murder mysteries. They already have Only Murders in the Building, currently in production for season two, and now they’re adding a new ensemble murder mystery show to their roster, Career Opportunities in Murder and Mayhem, which will star Mandy Patinkin as “the world’s once greatest detective, Rufus Cotesworth”. It’s about a probably quirky detective solving a murder on a cruise ship where Everyone Is A Suspect. It’s being described as “Knives Out-like”, and, honestly, the rush of murder mystery productions probably has something to do with Knives Out being a blockbuster in 2019. Everyone loves a good mystery, true crime is unabashedly popular right now, and quirky detectives are all the rage. Or maybe we can go even further back and blame this all on Sherlock, for updating Doyle’s Victorian sleuth into a modern man laden with personality quirks which then became a huge phenomenon.
I like the idea of a murder mystery set on a cruise ship because cruise ships are awful, no one should ever go on them, and in real life, they are hotbeds of crime. (Seriously, though, I dated an FBI agent and he really scared me off cruises, never mind that they’re floating environmental disasters and petri dishes.) A cruise ship is a natural setting for a murder mystery, which is why Agatha Christie already did it. But will I watch Mandy Patinkin (quirkily) solve a crime on a cruise ship? Of course I will. Not only is Patinkin always entertaining, but he is especially suited to the “quirky detective” genre.