Only Murders in the Building – Season One Review

Created by: Steve Martin and John Hoffman

Starring: Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez, Aaron Dominguez, and Amy Ryan

Rating: ★★★★

Comedy legend Steve Martin has turned to TV in Only Murders in the Building, which he co-created and stars in. Frequent collaborator Martin Short and Selena Gomez join him to create the main cast of the comedy mystery. The first season has just finished airing on Hulu/Disney+, with a second season already confirmed that can’t come soon enough.

The set up is simple, all three characters live in the Arconia, an apartment building in New York. They don’t know each other, other than random meetings in elevators, but they all have one thing in common; an obsession with true-crime podcasts. After one of their neighbours dies, they start to investigate the death as a possible murder and start their own podcast, named Only Murders in the Building. After receiving threats, urging them to stop the podcast, they realise they are on to something big.

This show is like a warm blanket, right from the start of episode one. We’re in safe hands with Martin and Short, and this is just another example of how well they work off each other. Adding Selena Gomez into the mix and you have three great characters. Once the show sets up their backstory in the opening episode it’s off to a running start. The show is funny and genuinely engaging as a murder mystery. You’ll be guessing who it is right up to the big reveal. While not every joke lands, more than enough do and there’s an upbeat energy throughout that keeps it gripping and easy to watch. The perfect remedy to a long day at work and with each episode being half an hour each, the perfect length as well. Although now that the season is over, you’ll want to binge watch it as quickly as possible.

The mystery is simple, one of the neighbours, who everyone in the building seemed to have a problem with, is murdered. It could be anyone, and the police think its a suicide. There are so many twists and turns throughout, with little clues dotted throughout about who the killer actually is. One of the things the show does really well is plant little seeds that will niggle away at you, and will always go back to it. Questions are raised and you get enough answers that you never feel cheated.

Every episode is great, that will give you more of the mystery, while also just being great entertainment. The show is self-aware with an entire episode spent investigating musician Sting, and then mentioning later about how it couldn’t have been him and it was an episode without stakes (referencing the podcast episode). Little nods to the audience, with a blend of magical realism scattered throughout make this feel like Pushing Daisies or Jane the Virgin. Like those shows, each episode feels like a real treat.

The cast are all fantastic. The main three work perfectly together, and joining them is a great supporting cast filled with fantastic guest starts and recurring characters including Sting, Tina Fey, Nathan Lane, Jimmy Fallon and Jane Lynch. All of the people living in the building are quirky and strange in their own right.

There aren’t many shows that work as both a comedy, with plenty of laugh out loud moments, and a good mystery that will keep you guessing. Only Murders in the Building works as both with great ease. It’s great to see Steve Martin in a show and we can only hope that season two lives up the cliff-hanger we’re left with at the end of the excellent season finale.

Only Murders in the BuildingSeason One is available now on Hulu and Disney+

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About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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