This is why you don’t trust random old men.
McGillicuddy and Murder’s Pawn Shop takes place in 1921 after Maude gets herself a diary. Her first few entries are boring because nothing happens to her. And then she acquires a piece of china with an eye on it, gains magic powers, is hunted by a cult, accused of murder, and almost dies a bunch. So her entries get about a thousand times more interesting.
McGillicuddy and Murder’s Pawn Shop is what I want every single narrator show to be. Minerva Sweeney Wren is a fantastic actor who is absolutely captivating even when reading about Maude’s boring pre-magic life. While she doesn’t do character voices in the traditional sense, it’s always clear who is speaking because her inflection changes. This allows for the smooth transition between characters and scenes without being distracting or irritating.
I absolutely adore all of the characters of McGillicuddy and Murder’s Pawn Shop. As you likely know by now, strong, well-rounded characters are my weakness, and McGillicuddy and Murder’s Pawn Shop has more than enough of those to satisfy me. Maude herself is an absolutely fantastic lead. She operates from a place of such kindness, while not being too quick to forgive those who wrong her. “The Twenty-Four Hour Death” is a particularly good Maude episode. You know that picture of a puppy looking in a mirror with the caption “aren’t you tired of being nice? don’t you just want to go apeshit?” That’s Maude in that episode and it’s beautiful. Her two “sidekicks” (I guess? Companions? Sometimes best friends?) (I think they fall more into the category of love interests, but), Ariana and Noble, are both absolutely wonderful and complex characters in their own right, and I can’t wait to see the three of of them have more adventures in season three.
I find that choosing the right length for your episodes is such a difficult balancing act for creators. Too short, and the episode is forgettable and doesn’t advance the plot. Too long, and it drags. McGillicuddy and Murder’s Pawn Shop is exactly the right length. Each episode manages to fit so much into its 10 minutes, but is short enough that I can remember everything that happens. It’s short and snappy, without a single word wasted.
Overall, McGillicuddy and Murder’s Pawn Shop is a beautiful show about staying strong and true to yourself in extraordinary circumstances. I would recommend it to fans of historical fantasy shows like The Infinite Bad or strong single narrator shows like Quid Pro Euro.
cw: violence, death, murder, kidnapping, injury, cults