Why is Murdoch Mysteries So Addictive?

Just one episode is never enough. Here’s why our second home is Murdoch-land…

Murdoch

IT'S LIKE HANGING OUT WITH FRIENDS

You know what Murdoch Mysteries is? A whodunit, yes. But what it really is, is an extension of your social circle. That may sound a bit crazy, but only to people who aren't Murdoch Mysteries fans. Thanks to the adorable, easy-going chemistry between Murdoch, Julia, Crabtree and Brackenreid (not forgetting the occasional wry comment from Higgins), we feel like we're spending time with our best mates. With all their little foibles and hang-ups and moments of bickering and warmth. It's wonderful.

Murdoch mysteries

IT PUTS A BIG SILLY GRIN ON OUR FACES

Murdoch Mysteries is funny. And not in the perfunctory, "here's a bit of obligatory comic relief" sort of way. It's got wit running through its very veins - and not just whenever Julia is making quips in the dissecting room. The gags are clever, with deadpan references to the far future. Remember when Brackenreid tells Murdoch that an investigation has proved professional wrestling is a sham? "Yes," Murdoch agreed. "I doubt fans will continue to follow it so feverishly once the truth reaches them." And then we have all those moments Crabtree accidentally predicts the future. Indeed, the frequency of Crabtree accidentally predicting the future would make the basis of a very dangerous drinking game...

IT HAS MURDOCH'S LOVELY FACE

One of the major perks of Murdoch Mysteries is it means seeing a lot of William Murdoch's face, which is incredibly lovely. It's not even about him being handsome or attractive, though he obviously is. He's just... lovely. He radiates sweetness and innocence - but sweetness and innocence with excellent bone structure. He's just incredibly, addictively watchable. And his little nervous mannerisms are lovely too.

IT HAS A NERVE-JANGLING ROMANCE

A lot of crime shows have a "will they or won't they" sub-plot involving the lead detectives. But not like this. There's never been a romantic sub-plot like the one between William Murdoch and Julia Ogden. We're dying for them to be together, then they DO get together but reasons of Catholic morality split them up (only in Murdoch Mysteries would that actually be a running theme in a love story). Then they get together again. Then they split up AGAIN. And then she gets accused of murder. Not to mention the time she's buried alive by a psychopath. And that other time they adopted the baby of a criminal couple. Every episode brings fresh tumult and joy and madness and romance for these two, and we're kept constantly guessing (or blubbing into our tissues).

Murdoch and his new inventions

IT'S THE PAST, BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT

The very world of Murdoch Mysteries is addictive, because it's unlike any other depiction of the 19th Century. For long stretches it feels like an accurate costume drama, but then suddenly we get a burst of surreal steampunk, when Murdoch unleashes his ornate gadgets and gizmos, from the Murdochian equivalent of GPS to an early taser gun. It's a show that surprises and delights us when we least expect it, and good luck guessing when the next moment of Victorian weirdness will make baffled Brackenreids of us all.

YOU CAN NEVER TELL WHERE THE TALE WILL TAKE US

Murdoch Mysteries doesn't just hit us with oh-so-clever jokes, romantic hi-jinks and unexpected references to Indiana Jones (it's true, Crabtree dreams up the archaeologist in one episode). It also takes unexpected turns all the time. Like the story where Murdoch was basically bedridden the whole time. Or the time he woke up in Bristol, with total amnesia. Or that odd little digression where Murdoch packed in the policing lark to become a gold prospector. Who could have seen that coming? That's the thing about this show - no matter how much we watch it, it never gets predictable. And we'll never get tired of it.