By: Amanda Guarragi
We all love a good murder mystery. We enjoy exploring the situation with the fun characters presented in the world of the whodunnit. In Only Murders in the Building, we follow three strangers, Charles (Steve Martin), Oliver (Martin Short) and Mabel (Selena Gomez), who share an obsession with true crime. After listening to a hit podcast, that is centered on the murders around the city, the trio find themselves in the middle of one. The death occurs in their own building, thus giving them a whole list of suspects, and very fun interrogation scenes. This unlikely trio come together, to solve this murder, while creating their own podcast.
Let’s be honest, knowing that Martin Short and Steve Martin are in the same show puts a smile on anyone’s face. A comedic, murder mystery is exactly what the doctor ordered. Not only is this fun, but it has great character backstories that are explored, while attempting to solve the murder. We already know that Martin and Short have a great dynamic together, but the addition of Selena Gomez, as the modern voice actually fit quite nicely. Her character, Mabel, is more reserved and quiet, but her sharp-tongue gives the other two a run for their money. It is also great to see Gomez back in the acting world because she really shines on-screen.
As the show progresses, there are pieces of information given to the audience so they can solve the puzzle themselves. The new information is presented in interesting ways and will leave you wanting the next episode as soon as possible. It does have it’s slow moments, and it isn’t until episode three where the show hits its stride. We find out who these characters really are, what they have faced in the past, and why they are alone in this building on the Upper West Side. Loneliness can be difficult at times, but when you find people that accept you for who you are, it slowly gets better.
What worked really well for this show was the structure of the podcast being the central focus of each episode. While structuring the episode itself with the murder, they allowed the podcast to be this fun way to assemble the pieces together. They also managed to modernize the murder mystery through podcasting and that is what makes this show unique. They also poke fun in what goes into making a podcast and they try to stay away from the typical set up. There are some great moments shared between Martin, Short and Gomez, that make you realize that their chemistry actually works, and is not forced for the sake of the show.
Only Murders in the Building is a lovely surprise and will have you invested in solving the mystery. The typical dry humor is there, so if you’re a fan of that kind of comedy, then this will have you giggling. It has some fun surprises, great flashbacks, and a solid concept to keep the story going. In some ways, this is a show I didn’t know I needed, but I am very happy that I was able to watch it! Remember, everyone is a suspect, and things happen when you least expect it. After watching a couple of episodes, you’ll have the itch to make your very own podcast.