Even with countless weekly shows, it’s rare to find a full-blown TV show like There are only murders in the building. Hulu’s humorous crime/murder mystery podcast spoof has emerged with an obvious identity from the first minute: a popular comedy duo starring Steve Martin and Martin Short; a third wheel full of surprises and fun with the addition of Selena Gomez; The art direction inspired by the covers of The New Yorker magazine was brought to life by composer Siddhartha Khosla with a playful soundtrack; and the target for its loving satire in podcasts about true crime and the people who listen to them. But most formidable is the ability to conjure the world out of a single building, and it’s pleasant to live in that world for 30 minutes at a time.
There are only murders in the building set in Arconia, an apartment building in the affluent Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan. Its inhabitants draw from the archetypes of Old New York – international celebrities with spacious apartments and well-stocked trolleys, an interest in highbrow art and an expectation that their own style is cultivated. Their good fortune will be accepted by all. That’s where the presence of Fran Lebowitz, who built a career as an author before turning pro New Yorker, is both an important world-builder and a highly targeted joke.
In the first season, There are only murders in the building follows passed actor Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin), disgraced theater director Oliver Putnam (Martin Short) and sub-tenant Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez) as they bond over suspicions that a dead resident’s suicide was actually a murder – and started a podcast to document their amateur investigation. Over the course of 10 episodes, the series offers a dual mandate, both gently defeating genuine crime fanatics, and building a gripping mystery in its own right, making jokes and conspiracies to the highest degree. Equal.
It’s charm with a bit of an edge; Oliver, Charles and Mabel are true crime fans who have put themselves in a classic real crime case. So even though there are hijinks where the unlikely trio will come to a conclusion (a solution they’ve encountered more than found), There are only murders in the building can also be read as a story related to them. Their fandom inspires other fans, and their need to build a compelling story around the death of another leads to a lot of turmoil for the inhabitants of Arconia.
This was emphasized in the final part of the season which brought a satisfying conclusion and led directly to again murder mystery to dive into season 2, something that might not have happened if it weren’t for the intervention of its heroes.
That second corpse brings a change There are only murders in the buildingSecond season: This time, the heroes are the main suspects. It’s a classic twist to a show like this, one that ends with a bit of super-fictional flair, since Oliver, Charles, and Mabel are also true crime podcast stars, who who are currently broadcasting their way through a murder they are framed in – literally posting through it. A few super-fictional jokes (their podcast reviews are surprisingly “cozy” mirroring actual reviews of the show’s first season) suggest that it’s possible that the authors of There are only murders in the building a little also enamored with their show to maintain the mildly satirical edge that makes the core New Yorker aesthetic acceptable, but thankfully, this isn’t the show’s most compelling thing.
There are only murders in the building not a pleasure to watch because of it Clue– adjacent approach to a murder mystery – that’s because Arconia is a fully realized setting. One of the hallmarks of a good TV show is how well it covers the world around it. Simply put: Can the show sustain an entire episode about a character that only appears in the background of another character? An apartment building is perfect for this, a building where countless people live close to each other but who often remain a mystery, where the real building hides many of the same stories as its inhabitants – as Charlie, Oliver and Mabel find out as they uncover all the hidden passages in Arconia in season 2.
Above Only murders, a surprising number of background characters are noticed and they are all equally engaging. This is arguably the coolest thing New York City has about this Old New York show – you never forget that everyone comes from somewhere, that every person you meet has a family and agenda. history and learning more about them will almost always surprise you. Through these people and their stories, you learn how the city has changed and where it might go, who is allowed in the neighborhood and who is kept private. Mabel, as a young Latina outsider, provided the series with some much-needed perspective in season 1, one that contrasts with the new season’s new focus on history and the kind of people who flock to the Upper West Side of the city – what they may be looking for, or hiding.
In the second season, Arconia continues to be a portal to much larger worlds, as Oliver and Charles work through relationships with their estranged children and their personal hists , the history of Arconia, other tenants who lived there before them, and what it was like. may all intersect with a nude painting of Charles’ father that is constantly being changed hands for most of the episode. It’s weird, it’s weird, and it’s a little sad sometimes. But hey: It’s New York.
There are only murders in the building‘S Season two premieres Tuesdays on Hulu, with new episodes weekly.