Only Reviews in the Building

Jim Marsoobian
Staff Writer

The recent-ish Hulu television show, Only Murders in the Building, has been nominated for the People’s Choice Awards, the Satellite Awards, the Critic’s Choice Television Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the Writers Guild of America Awards. So, I decided to see what all the hype was about.

     Hulu’s hit show, Only Murders in the Building, is becoming more and more popular because of its numerous awards and nominations. Released in 2021, this comedy television show in the form of a murder mystery mixes all of the best ingredients like comedy, mystery, love, suspense, and friendship into a delicious tv-show stew. Well, here’s my overall review.

     Only Murders in the Building takes place in a modern New York City, specifically the high-end Arconia apartment complex. The show follows Charles Haden-Savage, an out-of-work actor who was famous way back in the 90’s, portrayed by Steve Martin. Then there’s Oliver Putnam, Martin Short’s character, a Broadway show director struggling to find a new project. And last but not least, Mabel Mora, played by Selena Gomez, who’s a young artist with a fantastic taste for sarcasm. There are also the dynamic side characters, with some appearances by Sting, Jane Lynch, Nathan Lane, and Tina Fey.

     When Tim Kono, a resident in their building, is killed, true-crime fans Oliver, Charles, and Mabel embark on an adventure filled with secrets, danger, and friendship. They decide to document their time with a true-crime podcast, which they dub Only Murders in the Building (coincidentally, that’s also the name of the tv show). Episode by episode, the team slowly puts together the pieces of the puzzle.

     The show’s writers perfectly balance the suspense of a murder mystery with the emotional bonds between characters, inserting comedic one-liners and events in between. Each well-rounded character, including the side characters, add their unique characteristics to the overall show. Who doesn’t like the “guy unnaturally obsessed with his cat” character?

     Siddhartha Khosla’s soundtrack to the show also adds to the mysterious, quirky, and mildly upbeat tone. Adding suspense to some scenes and deep emotion to others, this soundtrack was wonderfully crafted. It is also very pleasant to listen to when working on homework, reading a book, or obsessively trying to solve the murder before the characters do.

     By restricting the show to (mostly) just the Arconica Building, the viewer’s attention focuses directly on the close connections through brief elevator chats and scenes with the other residents in the building. However, the wildness of New York City compared with the excluded, closed-off, and the almost quiet hum of the Arconia Building resembles how Charles, Oliver, and Mabel fit in with the city.

     Only Murders in the Building received many great reviews. IMDB gave it an 8.1/10 and the Rotten Tomatoes staff rated it 100%. I mean, that’s even better than most of my test scores. Glen Weldon’s NPR review of the show summarized, “In the end, Only Murders in the Building isn’t the wacky farce suggested by its stars and plot, and that’s a good thing. It’s more muted, more real, and it’s shrewdly knowing about who its characters are, and what they want. It’s also very funny, which isn’t particularly surprising.”

     I, personally, would definitely recommend this show because of its exciting plot, frequent laughs, and loveable characters. Only Murders, while it doesn’t seem like a serious show, holds importance in the way that it represents the lives of everyday people. Important themes of loneliness, betrayal, and how looking at things from a different perspective is very beneficial are present throughout the show, further connecting the viewer with the characters. So, what are you waiting for? Go watch it to find out who killed Tim Kono!


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Jim Marsoobian
Jim Marsoobian
Jim Marsoobian is the editor-in-chief for The Diablo Dispatch. Besides writing, she also loves cats, movies, mysteries, collecting, and listening to music! : )

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