Everyone seemed to love the Hulu series “Only Murders in the Building” starring Steve Martin, his good friend and comedy partner Martin Short, and former Disney star Selena Gomez.
It was recently nominated in the Outstanding New Program category by the Television Critics Association, of which I am a member, and is sure to earn Emmy nominations.
I was only mildly amused when Season 1 of the comedy crime series premiered in late August 2021 as two of the “Three Amigos” in the classic 1986 film teamed up with a third younger amigo, Selena Gomez.
My review of the parody — by Martin, “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman and John Hoffman — of all the noise crime podcasts across the country was positive, but not exactly a rave.
Here are examples of what I wrote about Season 1:
“I just wish I had as much fun watching the eight episodes made available for review as Short and Martin seemed to have had doing.”
People also read…
“Episodes are often fun and clever, but never hilarious, as they poke fun at the podcast’s practice of ending each episode with a dramatic cliffhanger and dealing with the crazed fans that podcasts attract.”
Looking back, I misjudged the viewing climate.
“Murders” came at the perfect time for lighthearted entertainment featuring two comic book icons who toured the country with an act they brought to Buffalo in 2018 and can be seen on Netflix in “An Evening that you will forget for the rest of your life”. .”
Season 1 was a distraction from world events. Starting Tuesday, it will be a test of whether the climate of Three Amigos season two is quite the same.
Considering that world events have only gotten worse over the past year, “Murders” is likely to once again become a welcome relief.
You don’t need to have seen season 1 to enjoy the new season. You might even enjoy it more if you haven’t seen the first season. This way it can look cooler this time around.
Hulu has again made eight of the series’ 10 episodes available for review, along with a notice of spoilers that cannot be revealed. Two episodes premiere Tuesday, with episodes arriving weekly thereafter.
I laughed at being warned not to reveal spoilers.
The thing about the “Murders” is that solving the crime – in this case, which killed Bunny (Jayne Houdyshell), the annoying chairman of the board of directors of the Arconia building – is secondary to the antics of Short, Martin and Gomez and the Secondary Characters.
Bunny isn’t so bad. Turns out she’s a New York Knicks fan.
After eight episodes, I have no idea who the killer is and I don’t care. It’s not Agatha Christie, which is probably why I didn’t like Season 1 as much as a lot of other people.
Martin stars as Charles, a former detective TV star who failed to learn how to spot a one-way mirror during interrogation. Short is Oliver, an over-the-top theater manager with fragile finances whose philosophy is “I’d rather be dead than boring”. Gomez is Mabel, a podcast fan who would rather have “a life away from death,” than try to solve a second murder in the Manhattan building where they live. She is nicknamed “Bloody Mabel” this season as she is a person of interest in the case after she was discovered with blood on her shirt and a knife in her hand while standing next to a dead rabbit.
It was much more fun meeting the trio in season one than seeing how little they changed in season two.
Tina Fey plays an obnoxious, unscrupulous rival podcast host. Amy Schumer, Michael Rapoport and Shirley MacLaine are also in the game this time. Nathan Lane returns as the theater producer who financed Oliver’s biggest flop on Broadway. There is also a surprise returnee that I am unable to reveal. One of the trio’s podcast fans who basically sound like balcony critics Statler and Waldorf on “The Muppets” has a slightly larger role.
I expected more from Schumer, whose best line is at the expense of writer-producer Judd Apatow, who directed his 2015 film “Trainwreck.” Schumer appears to be playing Sting, the celebrity who lived in the apartment building the last season.
When MacLaine appeared in Episode 2, my first reaction was, “Is that Shirley MacLaine?” It’s been 62 years since she starred in the classic movie “The Apartment.”
At 30 to 35 minutes, the surprises and evasions of the episodes involving a parrot, a stolen painting and a secret passage pass quickly. There are plenty of celebrity names that drop (Vanilla Ice, Judy Dench, Judy Garland, Orson Welles, Suzanne Somers, Katharine Graham, Darth Vader) and plenty of fun references inside baseball TV, including this nugget from Oliver (Short): “Second seasons are tough.
There are family issues and romance that don’t add much, but the comedic discussions between Oliver and Charles about their knee issues in episode eight should resonate with older viewers.
Guess I’ll be in the minority again.
Oliver is right. The second seasons are difficult. “Only Murders” remains fun, but as easy to overlook as sequels to summer movie hits that fall short of the original but are bankable due to name recognition.