Viewers anticipated the Steve-Martin short series Only Murders in the Building to be a humorous, silly lark. But little did we all know it would provide us with a spiritual awakening steeped in friendship, attachment, and solitude.
The 10-episode Hulu series starring millennial Selena Gomez and septuagenarian legends Martin Short and Steve Martin- was released on August 31st, 2021. Created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman, the comedy-mystery series has already received a fantastic score from many websites and critics online.
Don't know what to watch? Subscribe for a free streaming guide!
Only Murders in the Building is not a crime and investigation show (like Brooklyn Nine-Nine). The Selena Gomez series tackles its various genres and yet manages to grip its viewers with a poetic representation of emotions and a brilliant execution of the plot in an unconventional fashion. There is a heartfelt story of friendship featuring sharp, back-and-forth moments from Martin & Short.
Plot: Only Murders in the Building is a Comfort Food for Thriller Fans
This Comedy mystery series dabbles in a parody of the non-fiction genre. It follows three neighbors- Mabel, Charles, and Oliver- played by Gomez, Short, and Martin, respectively, who share a common obsession with a crime podcast. After a murder in their own building, the three strangers find themselves determined to investigate the murder. But things start getting more interesting as they plan to start a podcast of their own that covers their investigation in real-time.
As the plot unwinds, we find some very predictable yet convincing twists. Yes, it might not be a bit of a stretch to call the Hulu series predictable, but it is still pretty impossible to determine the killer, who presumably never left the building. Though there are some fan theories, we can never be sure of the climax!
Cast- Seemingly Mismatched Yet Brilliant Characters
Decades will pass before we get to know whether the pandemic presented us with a masterpiece- but we can agree that the characters have utilized the time very well.
Selena, who plays the character, Mabel, is a not-so-typical millennial with an intriguing aura. She holds secrets of her own that eventually unfold. Short, who plays a theatre director Oliver and Martin, who plays a forgotten actor Charles, are both looking for the best opportunities to earn their bread and butter. They have successfully provided the show with some of the liveliest jokes.
The murder mystery is a catalyst. But the trio does spin off into their individual lives every once in a while. While Charles is a laid-back individual with attachment issues, Oliver is a surprisingly cheerful and optimistic individual with bittersweet relations with his family.
The dynamic of the actor-director duo with somewhat polar-opposite personalities bring out the best in each other. And yet, when most of the actors might come off third wheel next to Short's controlled absurdity and Martin's bursts of lunacy, Gomez acts as a calming presence.
Apart from the leads- the rest of the characters also add to the plot (instead of just being a set of names associated with the lead characters).
Filming of Only Murders in the Building - A Feast for the Eyes
While claiming the show's location to be a character itself is somewhat a cliché, we can't help but appreciate how a fully realized setting or a city can make or break a series. Needless to mention, the alluring fall costumes have been a cherry on the cake.
Here are a few shots of how beautiful NYC can be:
Also read, Rose Island – Netflix Movie Review
The rightful attention that the directors gave to New York City teleports its viewers there. The clever shots, immaculate design, and monologues from the characters, in the beginning, provide a critical touch to the Selena Gomez series.
The characters happen to live in breathtakingly spacious and classic apartments on the Upper West Side in the Tony building. Added to it is the accuracy and ambition of the flashy action pieces and period tales in the same building that definitely make it more watchable.
Are The Episodes Up To The Mark?
To be very honest, one would barely set a bar of expectations, given the unusual plot and combination of actors. But the beginning of Only Murders in the Building Hulu series might look a bit pushed.
For starters, two of the lead characters are loners- making it somewhat difficult for them to start hanging out. But it all starts to make sense once the flashbacks from their past expose their true personalities. And apart from the unusual idea and clever execution, the cliffhanger at the end of every episode is bound to grip its viewers for long.
Is Only Murders in the Building Renewed or Cancelled for Season 2?
With the episodes releasing weekly, there is still a lot more to watch in season 1. But only after a few episodes, Hulu officially confirmed the news of renewing Only Murders in the Building for season 2. Unfortunately, we have to wait a bit for the official dates of the second season. Till then, we can only guess who killed the neighbor!
Is Only Murders in the Building Based on a Book?
That would be super cool, but no.
As enticing as it may sound, the show has nothing to do with any book. Martin, John Hoffman (Grace and Frankie), and Dan Fogelman (This Is Us) are the original writers and creators of Only Murders in the Building.
Should You Watch It? - Yes, Mostly
Honestly, give it a try.
This series portrays an unconventional trio that plays out surprisingly well. Added to it is the perfect timing of the comedy that contrasts with the gravity of some heavy moments.
While the absorbing scripts and charming casts are good enough to retain the viewers, the Only Murders in the Building Hulu series is pretty lukewarm with its overall execution. The series might be a bit of a bummer for the viewers looking for a mainstream thriller or serious mystery, but this comedy-mystery series is definitely binge-worthy.
Like this Review? Subscribe for more!