WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Murderville, streaming now on Netflix.
There’s nothing TV and movie fans love more than a good cameo. Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett was almost drowning in them at times. Heck, the entire MCU is built on the foundation of a seemingly endless barrage of cameos. But the greatest and most perplexing cameo of all time may have just happened during the first season of the new Netflix series Murderville. Specifically, Jennifer Aniston made an appearance, even though she isn’t in the show.
Part scripted, part improv, Murderville stars Will Arnett as Senior Detective Terry Seattle. This down on his luck, borderline incompetent cop is coming off a messy divorce from his own captain when the series starts. Each episode sees Seattle partnered with a different celebrity who helps him solve a murder. Why celebrities like Marshawn Lynch, Sharon Stone, and Kumail Nanjiani were helping to solve murders was never really explained.
A big part of Seattle’s backstory was the 15-year-old unsolved murder of his former partner, Lori Griffin. She died while investigating a crime that was eventually detailed in Season 1, Episode 6. Terry was so impacted by the sudden loss of his partner that he never even cleaned off her old desk. It sits there, covered in dust and harboring an ancient breakfast burrito. Seattle could have at least fed Griffin’s pet rabbit. That would have been nice.
Despite being a presence looming large over Terry’s life, Griffin never actually appears in the series, not even in flashbacks. But her image was shown a couple of times in the form of a photo on the wall of Terry’s office. And the person in the photo was Jennifer Aniston in a police uniform. That means that someone brought Aniston in to take a single photo to use in the series as the only visual identification of Lori.
Jennifer Aniston has had an amazing career, with successful TV series and films under her belt. That includes the now legendary NBC series Friends. Her decades-long career in comedy has made her one of the most recognizable faces in the entertainment industry. As such, seeing her cameo in Murderville as a photo on a wall was a bit of a surprise for viewers of Season 1, particularly when that was her only tangible contribution to the series.
What’s interesting about this is it perfectly fits the comedy ethos of the series. The guest stars don’t have a script and have no idea what’s about to happen as they move through the investigation. The randomness of a photo of Jennifer Aniston on the wall of Terry’s office actually makes perfect sense within the rules of that world. It’s incredibly absurd but somehow it works as a solid sight gag.
On the other hand, it’s also kind of impressive that none of the guest stars pointed Aniston’s oddly subtle presence out. Some of them, particularly Ken Jeong, had problems staying in the moment and not laughing too much. It’s hard to blame him, though. Things got pretty ridiculous in his episode. The big question will be if Aniston factors more heavily into Season 2. Who knows? Maybe Lori Griffin will turn out to be alive.
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