Hulu: “Only Murders in the Building,” Season 2 starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez
In 1921, Luigi Pirandello wrote a play called “Six Characters in Search of an Author.” In 2022, Steve Martin conceived of “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu), which is a comedy-murder mystery series in search of a stronger second season.
As Season 1 of OMITB demonstrated, the basic concept is sound: A murder is committed in a legendary Upper West Side apartment building, and three random residents meet and create a podcast where they try to identify the murderer. Happily for us viewers, these aren’t three ordinary tenants: besides Steve Martin, the show stars Martin Short and the incomparable Selena Gomez, whose wit is drier than the Sahara Desert.
Unfortunately, me thinks the shark has been jumped in Season 2. The latest murder victim is the president of the coop board (Jayne Houdyshell) and there’s a long list of suspects stretched over eight episodes. The suspects include a British lesbian gallery owner (Cara Delavigne), a crooked cop (Michael Rappoport), and an odious murder story podcasters (Tina Fey) who is competing with our three podcasters.
Problem for me? There are so many cast members as well as too many stories tangential to the main murder mystery plot. The characters themselves are wondering what will happen next. Pretty meta if you ask me. Pretty thin, too.
Fortunately the spot-on writing in both seasons keeps you watching. You never know what idiocy will pop out of Martin Short’s mouth next.
My take on OMITB? If you haven’t seen the show, stick with Season 1. The insights into coop apartment living in NYC are spot on. And if after watching it, you have any doubts that Selena Gomez is a major talent, you haven’t been paying attention.