I have no clue as to just how many good seasons Only Murders in the Building will have, but if they are even half as entertaining, I'll be watching.

Series Review: Only Murders in the Building: Season 2

Film Reviews

Only Murders in the Building: Season 2
Created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman 

Rhode Island Ave. Productions
Premiering on Hulu 06.28

When it comes to murder mysteries and comedies,  the pressure to keep going after Season 1 is fierce, and so is the danger that the material just isn’t there. Only Murders in the Building had such a strong first season that the new, second season has much to live up to..

When last we left the trio of  Charles, Oliver, and Mabel (Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez, respectively), the three neighbors turned amatuer true-crime podcasters had become New York City celebrities by solving their first muder case. Right after that, of course, the dead body of the Arconia building’s tenant’s board president, Bunny Folger (Jayne Houdyshell, Little Women, Garden State), had just been found in Mabel’s apartment. Only Murders in the Building: Season 2 starts off with the two amigos and their sarcastic amiga being declared persons of interest in the murder case, as well as the subject of a new high profile podcast from Cinda Canning (Tina Fey). Our heroes are left with little option but to clear their names by finding out who really killed Bunny, and if that means a second season of their podcast, so be it. 

There are colorful new characters portrayed by Christine Ko (Upload), Cara Delevingne, Michael Rappaport, and Shirley MacLaine, though embargoes prevent me from being too specific about them. I can tell you that Amy Schumer plays herself as the new occupant of Sting‘s old apartment. Meanwhile, the newfound fame from solving the first murder sparks a reboot of Charles’ old detective series, Brazzos, and Oliver finds himself facing a serious identity crisis. It is Mabel, however, who has the most to contend with, as she is no sooner rid of one life-defining murder only to find herself implicated in another, becoming an internet celebrity dubbed “Bloody Mabel.” 

Only Murders in the Building: Season 2 suffers a little from the expected problems that come with a sequel: a more labored and convoluted plot and a few too many characters to keep the story easily focused. What it’s not suffering from, though, is a decline in entertainment value, as the laughs are fresh and frequent, with Martin, Short, and Gomez once again killing it (pun intended, or perhaps not—I have to be careful about spoilers) in the characters they inhabit so perfectly. All three are given a chance to flex their dramatic muscles during short breaks in their comic escapades Gomez is given intriguing and surprisingly heavy new details about Mabel’s past to explore, and Short has a chance to bring a lot more humanity to Oliver. Despite being dead, Houdyshell’s Bunny gets a lot of screentime in flashbacks, and what was largely a one-note character in season one becomes interesting and sympathetic. There’s also a sight gag in episode six that justifies watching the entirety of season two just to fully appreciate it.

Despite an overstuffed plot, the pacing may be even more addictive than ever, and at roughly 30 minutes per episode, it’s such a perfect binge watch that you may feel tempted to wait until it’s time for the finale before you start it. As a critic, I’ve only been allowed to watch eight episodes out of 10, which leaves me on pins and needles through the whole of July and into August waiting to see how this turns out. 

Only Murders in the Building: Season 2 is a lot of fun and will be welcomed with open arms by fans. I have no clue as to just how many good seasons are to be found in this show, but if they stay even half as entertaining, I’ll be keeping a watchful eye. –Patrick Gibbs 

Read more reviews of TV series:
Series Review: Stranger Things: Season 4, Volume 1
Content Shifter: 8 New Summer 2022 Shows to Stream