In the very popular first season of Only Murders In The Building, an unlikely trio of Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez– all loners and fans of true crime podcasts– find themselves in the thick of things when there is a murder in The Arconia, the posh New York building where they live. They merrily interfere in the police investigation, solve the murder, make their own podcast and by the end of the series, are accused of murder themselves.
Charles Haden-Savage (Steve Martin), used to be the star of popular cop show, Brazzos, in his youth, and has not quite accepted that he is a has-been; Oliver Putman (Martin Short) was a Broadway director in his heyday, but now unemployed and broke. Mabel (Selena Gomez), wearing a permanently put-upon expression because of the antics of the two seniors, is an artist with a troubled past.
The murdered woman, Bunny Folger (Jayne Houdyshell) was the building board’s president, bent on evicting the three for non-payment of rent. At the end of Season 1, she is found dead in Mabel’s apartment, stabbed with her knitting needle. They have to prove their innocence by finding the real killer. All this happens when their new-found fame as The Arconia’s ace detectives has given them a glimmer of hope for the future.
Everything seems to hinge around a priceless painting—described as “porno” by Oliver– that has gone missing from Bunny’s apartment. As it turns out the male nude in the painting was Charles’s father, and the woman was Bunny’s batty mother Leonora (Shirley MacLaine, believe it or not!). There is also a foul-mouthed talking parrot, bequeathed to Oliver, who claims to know who did it.
The three musketeers of Arconia have to deal with their eccentric neighbours and hostile cops as they run about the maze of corridors, break into apartments, and find secret passages built by the peeping tom architect of The Arconia. In the first two episodes, there is also a potted history of the building, and a look into Charles’s past and how his father ended up in the painting by a famous artist, Rose Cooper.
The show is so funny because it is unpredictable, the lines delivered with the spontaneity of improvisation are hilarious and the actors brilliantly riotous. Martin Short brings a manic energy to his role, and the care-a-damn attitude of one who knows what is going to happen cannot be worse than what he has already lived through. It is also so gorgeous to look at—the lush interiors of The Arconia, and the beauty of New York shot with love. Like in the first season, there are stars making guest appearances in this one too—Amy Schumer, Cara Delevingne and of course, Shirley MacLaine.
The first two episodes are out, and the rest will drop at the rate of one a week, which is actually cruel to fans who have to count the days for the next episode.
Only Murders In The Building – Season 2
Created by John Hoffman & Steve Martin
Cast: Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez and others