Review: Season 2 of “only murders in the building merch” is once again full of magic.
How many murders are possible in this structure? At least two, so far.
Season 2 of Hulu’s generation-spanning comedy “only murders in the building merch” (streaming every other Tuesday) does not reveal its location-specific title: Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez’s characters are presented with a fresh murder to investigate in the same Manhattan apartment complex. In addition, the mystery series maintains the distinctly humorous but tense tone established in its first season.
Combining the skills of Martin, Short, and Gomez was an unconventional but welcome decision, and they continue to be a winning combination in Season 2. In the universe of “Only Murders,” it is still a bleak New York winter, but this programme has an extraordinary capacity to brighten your spirits even as it deals with murder and mayhem.
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Former TV star Charles (Martin), failing Broadway producer Oliver (Short), and artist Mabel (Gomez) are people of interest in the murder of the board president of the Arconia apartment complex, Bunny (Jayne Houdyshell), whom Mabel discovered stabbed to death in her flat. Mabel, Oliver, and Charles restart their true-crime podcast for a second season and investigate what happened to Bunny in an effort to clear their identities while moving on with their lives. The inquiry takes unexpected twists that disclose major mysteries from their pasts, such as Charles’ father’s extramarital affairs and Mabel’s reported history of violence. Lucy (Zoe Colletti), the teenage daughter of one of Charles’ former girlfriends with whom he has reunited, is eager to join the crime-solving team and assists the podcasters.
Only Murders, Season 1 Review: Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez Shine.
Other than the murder, the new season has little novelty. Cara Delevingne joins the ensemble as Mabel’s new love interest Alice; Shirley MacLaine appears in a charming cameo; and Amy Schumer portrays herself similarly to how Sting did in Season 1. The centre trio is more competent at humorous timing, but the new episodes seem less like a fresh chapter and more like a continuation. Similar to rewatching an old ’90s film, its dependable and robust comedy has a reassuring sameness.
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As in Season 1, one episode deviates significantly from the established structure and conventions. Last year, it was “The Boy From 6B,” which mirrored Theo Dimas’ (James Caverly) perspective of the world as a deaf individual. This time, the late-season episode “Hello Darkness” expands the focus to include additional residents of the Arconia, shedding light on the inner lives of more characters, some of whom are potential suspects and others who are simply living ordinary lives in a building frequented by true-crime enthusiasts.
Lucy is one of the most welcome additions since she revitalises the series’ intergenerational comedy. When faced with the Generation Z adolescent, Gomez has a similar sense of ageing. (As a 30-year-old millennial, I appreciate Mabel’s terrified reaction to Lucy’s talk about TikTok trends and other millennial-related topics I no longer comprehend.)
If the finest shows improve with each passing season, then the programmes that excel in consistency are those who reliably, reassuringly provide something just as wonderful as what came before, and do it with remarkable skill. Due to Oliver and other characters’ continuous self-reference in the second season’s episodes, the second season is often disappointing. This is sometimes the case with podcasts and television programmes, but “Only Murders” skillfully avoids a sophomore slump.
But honestly, how many more murders can occur in this building until it’s time to investigate ghosts, conspiracies, gas leaks, or all three? Perhaps some of these residents will consider relocating.