Only Murders in the Building is a 2021 comedy-mystery series from Steve Martin and John Hoffman, streaming as a Hulu original. Following the exploits of three true crime afficionados, the show is a hilarious take on the ominous life of those who listen and indulge into such podcasts. Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez play the protagonists, with Aaron Dominguez and Amy Ryan in supporting roles.
One Murders in the Building is the name of the podcast that Charles Savage, Oliver Putnam and Mabel Mora run, living and based in the posh Arconia apartments in New York City. The death of a tenant of the building triggers the inner true-crime enthusiasts in them, and they end up divulging into the incident. They take matters into their own hands as it is cleared as a suicide; they unpack the case to detect it as a murder.
What we liked
Steve and Martin, both legendary actors and comedic figures, absolutely nailed this amalgamation of crime with comedy, while also maintaining the required suspense. There were ample moments when we had our stomachs in our hands from the jokes, but also the awkwardness. The acting from all 3 of them was on point, and they justified the shortcomings of their characters in their portrayals.
The characters are all from varied arc, joined by the passion to solve mysteries. Each with their own share of personal troubles and backstories, it seems muddled together when put in the same context. The writers have tried to capture what it feels like to be a detective more than an ordinary person, and this beats the purpose of being non-police crime workers.
The colors in the show are noteworthy, and the camera capturing them also shows the finesse that the producers are chasing after. It is the attention given to the angles that really blew our minds, with unconventional, yet fairly pleasant shots in the scene. This can also be articulated for the case of the sound mixing and background score, with Siddhartha Khosla doing a fantastic job putting together appealing scores to bridge the gap between the older Martins and Selena.
The silent 4th actor of Only Murders in the Building would definitely be the building, Arconia. Its tenants are treated as anything but that, rather as suspects, tenants… etc. The narrative is also as a podcast, with the timeline being majorly linear, but jumps back and forth.
Streaming on Disney+Hotstar in India, the first season of the show is still not completed, with 2 more episodes scheduled to launch in coming days. The critical success of the show signaled its confirmation of renewal for a second season next year too.
Why watch Only Murders in the Building?
Podcasts have become the new trend and area of interest, with every one of us busy listening to one or working on releasing one. The series does a great job in maintaining a sense of mystery and suspense, and it does this by using subplots and comedic punchlines. With a couple more episodes to go, and the killer still at large and open, it will surely be worth the wait. A thorough entertainer, Only Murders in the Building is an honest take at obsession, and it is up to you to decide if it is good or not. We also have the romantic-drama series Modern Love, and the slapstick comedy Superbad for your reading pleasure!