Only Murders In The Building: A Review

Here are my thoughts on Hulu’s Only Murders In the Building.

Only Murders In The Building: A Review

 Only Murders In the Building is one of the best shows of the year, and one of my favorites that I’ve recently watched. Released in the fall of 2021, the show has found huge success. It found a massive audience, and critical acclaim, leading to an abundance of awards and nominations, as well as a renewal for season two.

What’s it about?

Only Murders in the Building stars Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez. The show centers around three strangers living in the swanky Arconia in New York City. The strangers in question are Charles, a washed-out actor famous for playing a sitcom detective (Martin), Oliver, a Broadway director famous for his flopped shows (Short), and Mabel, a mysterious woman in her mid-twenties (Gomez). When the fire alarm rings and they have to evacuate the building, the three bond over their shared love of a true-crime podcast. When they discover there’s been a murder in the building, they decide to investigate and start their own podcast.

What makes the show good?

The Cast

The chemistry between the three stars is astounding and makes watching the amateur detectives all the more compelling. Martin and Short have been working together for years, co-starring in a plethora of movies across the decades. They are known for their comedic chemistry, and it makes them endlessly fun to watch together. And, while it may seem like an odd pairing, Selena Gomez is a perfect addition to their group. Throughout the series, she proved that not only could she hold her own against her seasoned castmates, but provide a welcome perspective and humor. As we watch their characters bond and grow closer to one another, the three stars’ chemistry shines.

The Vibes

Another standout aspect of the show is the aesthetic it created. The costumes worn by each of the characters look gorgeous and help create the vintage, elegant, and mysterious aesthetic the show has.  However, they also provide some insight into each character. Mabel dresses in lots of layers that costume designer Dana Covarrubias intended to be armor-like. Oliver wears a lot of elaborate prints, and dramatic coats and scarves. His wardrobe helps to establish his flair for the dramatic. Charles has very steady silhouettes and looks that haven’t changed in decades. This helps the audience understand Charles’ struggles with moving on, and how he tends to live in his past. If you want to read more about the thought put behind the costumes, I highly recommend this interview with Covarrubias.

The score for the show, composed by Siddhartha Khosla, is another one of my favorite parts. The score, much like the costumes, is another one of the pieces that come together to create a very specific look and feel for the show. The eerie, classy, and rich theme song matches perfectly with the elegant sets and elaborate costumes.

The Plot

While the show’s story may not be the most original of concepts, the execution is nearly flawless. The ten-episode seasons spins a web of deceit, murder, and human connection that is the perfect blend to make the central mystery engaging. One of the things I love about Only Murders In the Building is its ability to completely envelop you in the world it’s created. Throughout the series, I felt myself getting more and more invested in these characters and their race to solve the overarching mystery of who killed Tim Kono. Frankly, I think that’s the best part of the show. Especially in a mystery, you want to be 100% invested in every aspect of the story, and Only Murders accomplishes this. It’s truly a fantastic show, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.