What Are You Watching? ‘Only Murders in the Building’


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The world is obsessed with true crime podcasts. I have never stopped to think about how strange it is to be intrigued by a topic that is so very serious. But no matter how terrified I become while listening to people talk about grisly murders, I continue to go on my daily walks — albeit with a lot of glances behind me — with headphones plugged in, listening to my podcasts.

Recently, no one has done it better than Steve Martin and John Hoffman, with their show, “Only Murders in the Building.” A commentary on the national obsession with true crime, it incorporates humor into a whodunnit. They make crime funny. 

“Only Murders in the Building” is a mystery-comedy television show streaming on Hulu, and it keeps me laughing. 

Season 1 follows Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin), Oliver Putnam (Martin Short), and Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez) — originally strangers — who share an obsession with true crime podcasts. Residing in an affluent Upper West Side apartment building, the three neighbors turned friends see their obsession morph into reality when one of their other neighbors winds up dead. The three start their own investigation, creating a true crime podcast in the process. 

The dynamic between Martin, Gomez, and Short is fantastic, as their friendship cuts through generations. Oliver Putnam’s eccentricity and drive to succeed, combined with Charles-Haden Savage’s isolating social anxiety, combined with Mabel Mora’s air of mystery as a struggling artist, creates a wonderfully weird friendship among the three. 

The show is wise, witty, and serious when it needs to be. Comedy icons Short and Martin are entertaining to watch, with Gomez adding a humorous, millennial perspective. Season one also boasts a great cast, with recurring cameos by Nathan Lane and Tina Fey. 

My only complaint would be the massive cliffhanger at the end of the season finale, but that is normally the case with most mystery shows. With one season in the books, I am excited to see how Season 2 plays out. Let’s leave it up to our favorite podcasting, murder-investigating trio to tell the story.