Murder They Hope Review. If you have read previous reviews on avingagiraffe you’ll know our view that characters in sitcoms should have some semblance of believability. That intelligence officers should possess some intelligence (Intelligence); that paramedics should be trained in basic life-saving skills (Bloods). But not so for characters we know to be basically incompetent, characters involved in activities for which they have no quantifiable ability.
In Murder They Hope, Terry Bremmer (Johnny Vegas) and Gemma Draper (Sian Gibson) do not disappoint. As in their previous three series the two stars are brilliant as the hapless couple. After their trip to Middlesbrough turned somewhat more explosive than they thought, the couple finally decide to brush away the ashes of their coach tour business and set out on a new adventure as fledgling private investigators.
Given all their (un)fortunate experience with solving murder cases that mysteriously fall into their laps, the couple are confident that it won’t be long before they get the chance to put their ‘skills’ to the test. Sadly, the cases don’t come rolling in and they find themselves moving in with Gemma’s sister Monica (Sarah Hadland) and hoping business picks up soon.
Their luck appears to be on the up when a rare childhood figurine of a ‘bog-eyed’ rabbit turns out to be more valuable than they could have dreamed possible. Being the only one ever made, in a collection of 100 models, it is sought after by avid collectors the most intense of whom is The Bunnyman, who stops at nothing, including murder, to get his hands on the object.
In the established style of the previous series’ mayhem ensues. As with all our reviews the spoilers stop there, so that you can enjoy the gags first hand; there are plenty to enjoy in Jason Cooks lively script.
Shobna Gulati is the fourth cast regular playing Gemma’s Sister-in-Law, Vicky, a local police officer who holds the wannabe sleuths in contempt. Excellent guest performances by Adrian Scarborough (Gavin & Stacey, Bloods), as the proprietor of an auction house and the superb Janine Duvitski (Benidorm) as The Beast, help to make Murder They Hope enjoyable and fun viewing littered with plenty of laughs.
Two more episode to follow
There are two more stand-alone episodes to follow involving a poisoned pasty scandal in a feud between two rival baking families and a county-wide hunt for a bus-based serial killer.
Guest appearances along the way, including Lee Mack (Not Going Out), Paul Whitehouse (The Fast Show), Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso), Kiell Smith-Bynoe (Ghosts), Jason Barnett (Bridgerton), Layton Williams (Bad Education), Nitin Ganatra (EastEnders), Steve Edge (Benidorm) and comedian Jason Manford.
Also appearing are Gemma Wardle, Ken Collard, Abdul Salis, Paul David-Gough, James Lance, Niall Ransome, George Fouracres, Phil Cornwell, Richard David-Caine, Olivia Nakintu and Ethan Lawrence.a