only murders in the building review

Reagan Reilly '24

‘Only Murders in the building’ is a show that I very much recommend to anyone who is a fan of a fast paced comedic mystery. Mabel, played by Selena Gomez, is the character that you will most likely end up staying for but she carries the show enough on her own that it is worth it. Of course, I am only two episodes into a 10-episode season, so there is plenty of time for the show to improve in the areas that it is currently lacking in. I am so excited to finish this show and to uncover the mystery as the characters do. If you haven’t put this show on your fall watch list, it should definitely be in your must-watch category!


When watching the first two episodes of ‘Only Murders in the Building’ I was immediately drawn in due to the unique character dynamics and the addicting mystery investigation that creates the show’s plot. It opens with a flash forward scene that somewhat incriminates one of the charming main characters, launching the mystery element of the show that zones the audience in. Early on in the episode, we are introduced to the main characters: Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez), Oliver Putnam (Martin Short), and Charles Haden-Savage (Steve Martin). They all live in the same apartment building and are brought together to investigate when someone in the building unexpectedly dies. Unlike many fast paced shows that I’ve watched, we get to see the characters in their natural elements before the plot takes off. 


We meet Mabel and it is immediately clear that she is the strong, smart, female character that is very needed in a show that could have easily been dominated by its male counterparts. Selan Gomez’s character steals the show from the very beginning and I'm sure that she will be the main focus of the audience as the show goes on. In the first couple of episodes we get a detailed look at her childhood and background which we find heavily relates to the plot. Selena Gomez’s character is the biggest mystery that the show has and discovering her past, as well as who she is, is what is keeping me interested in the show. 


Then, there is Charles Haden (Steve Martin) who is a reserved and boring man that I personally do not see contributing to the show in a unique or important way. There is nothing about him or his personality that draws me in and leaves me wanting to see more of him. But, Martin Short’s character, Oliver Putnam makes up for Steve Martin’s lack of personality. This character seems to have a little more depth when it comes to characteristics, and gives a lighthearted feel to the show that Mabel and Charles do not exhibit. He is the comedic relief that every show should have, and the trio would not have the chemistry it does without him. 


This show brings three unlikely friends/frenemies together to work towards a common goal: solving the mystery of who killed Tim Kono. These three friends meet briefly before the crime is committed and find out that they all have a love for crime podcasts. After Tim Kono dies, the death is ruled a suicide but the three characters do not accept this outcome. They launch an investigation into his past to find out who he was, leading to plot twists that I didn't see coming. As the show progresses, the characters grow closer but more suspicious and distrusting of each other, which creates a more interesting plot.


 What surprised me most after finishing the episodes I watched was that I am genuinely invested in the mystery aspect of the show. My biggest worry was that the show’s plot would be too predictable, but after two episodes I am confident that the show will lead to a thrilling mystery that will keep viewers on their toes. It is true that the plot is, at times, unrealistic, but what comedic-mystery show isn’t? The charm and chemistry that the characters together have makes up for this.


So far, I hope the other characters, besides Mabel, contribute more in the next episodes to solving the mystery. As we learn early on, Mabel is connected to the investigation in ways that the other two main characters aren’t, but at this point, it seems that she could solve the mystery by herself without the unnecessary ‘help’ of Oliver and Charles, who have no idea what they are doing in terms of investigating. But what I like a lot about this show in general is the dynamic between the characters. They are brought together by unlikely circumstances making a fun trio that viewers hopefully enjoy watching as much as I did.