Two comedy legends and a next generation star find themselves in a smart true crime comedy.
Steve Martin and Martin Short, two of the best comedy collaborators in the industry, join forces with Selena Gomez on the new made-for-Hulu comedy-crime series “Only Murders in the Building,” co-created by Martin and John Robert Hoffman. They all portray three residents of an Upper West Side apartment building in NYC, who find themselves in a real true crime drama.
Seeing them all together on Hulu is really entertaining with how they thrive on the mysteries, and sneak in the levity to keep us going. As always, Hulu warns us that it’s more mature audiences only. “Viewer Descretion is Advised.” That means we get dark humor and zany intentions.
Martin is a former tv actor named Charles-Haden Savage, Short is a struggling Broadway director named Oliver Putnam, and Gomez is a mysterious young woman named Mabel Mora. They’re all big fans of the podcast mystery series “Everything is Not OK in Oklahoma,” hosted by Tina Fey, and they all become interested in the recent suicide in their building, and begin investigating. This is when they decide to start their own podcast: “Only Murders in the Building.”
By “mysterious,” I mean Mabel says she had her own Hardy Boys, but who were they exactly? She also says she’s renovating her aunt’s apartment. And she stuns Charles-Haden and Oliver with how she examines the clues. Even the latter thinks she’s too slick.
By “struggling,” I mean Oliver can’t score a big show, and lives in his expensive apartment, which is why he’s embarrassed to ask his son for money. His boy tells him to sell the apartment room, but he tells him he can’t.
And by “tv actor,” I mean Charles-Haden was the star of a popular 70s detective series. When we see the “archival footage” of his show, he looks better than Robert De Niro did in his fictional show in “The Comedian.”
So far, three episodes were released on Hulu, while the rest of the first season will premiere weekly. With supporting roles from Amy Ryan, Jackie Hoffman, Nathan Lane, and Sting (as himself who lives in the apartment), “Only Murders in the Building” has a lot of laughs and a lot of clues to keep murder mystery fans wanting more. Sure, some scenes are unnecessary and crass, but it’s mostly fearless and satirical.
Martin and Short are both able to play human characters with a deadpan sense of humor and not as cartoon characters, who are just want to make people laugh. They both have personalities and ambitions, and the same applies to Gomez, who obviously studies the rules of mysterious women, and charms you with her tone and consistency.
Martin and Hoffman both create the show with style, laughs, and charisma, and I can’t wait to see the new weekly episodes. I prefer to review shows if I see a lot of episodes in its first debut, instead of only weekly. I don’t review individual episodes, because they wouldn’t be as examined as movie reviews, so given its’ three-episodes debut, I’m glad “Only Murders in the Building” gave me the opportunity to share my positive feedback.
Streaming on Hulu