SNL’s ‘Murder Show’ Pokes Fun at Our True Crime Obsession

I’m 100% guilty of obsessing over true crime series. Drop a multi-part, binge-worthy murder show on Netflix or Hulu, and I’ll gobble it up in a few hours. (And then log onto Reddit to do my own investigating.) It’s an admittedly macabre hobby, but one so many of us share. What attracts us to grisly shows about horrendous crime events? I wish I could explain it, and many have attempted to. It remains a popular genre, as evidenced by all the recent murder shows, like Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel and Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer.

Always one to poke fun at a trend, this week’s Saturday Night Live featured a sketch that mocks our cultural obsession with true crime. In “ Murder Show,” Kate McKinnon, Melissa Villaseñor, Ego Nwodim, and Chloe Fineman play women who watch these shows while they perform other mundane tasks. You know, like folding laundry or FaceTiming mom.

It’s funny because it’s so brutally accurate. I’m sure all of us who fall down true crime spirals are known to do so while performing simple chores or daily activities. I’m guilty of firing up a gruesome podcast while I do the dishes. Or watching a murder show in the bath. The juxtaposition between these things only highlights how bizarre our fixation with true crime is. That we can just casually watch as horrendous details are relayed to us? It’s a weird thing, and this SNL sketch absolutely nails it.

Oh, and the bit about following up a true crime binge watch with a podcast about the exact same subject? Yeah, that’s painfully accurate, too. Murder shows make investigators out of the best of us.

SNL's Chloe Fineman points at her TV screen that says Murder Shows.NBC

Near the end of the sketch, this week’s SNL host Nick Jonas shows up as Fineman’s boyfriend. And he reminds us of an even better option. What’s more bizarre and fascinating and watchable than a murder show? A cult show, duh. Why watch Making a Murderer when you can watch Wild, Wild Country? And true crime enthusiast knows that a fascination with one usually leads to the other.

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