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  • Writer's pictureSusannah Powers Stengel

Only Weirdos in the Building

REC Spoilers For: Dead Bodies, Red Herrings, and Theories Episodes 1-4.


Murder, She Wrote MEETS "My Favorite Murder" Podcast MEETS The Hardy Boys MEETS An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life MEETS Wilfred

A trifecta of talent graces the Hulu original stage and finds surreal, suspenseful, silly harmony.

Only Murders in the Building is the wannabe-detective-paranoid-avoidant-weirdo comedy you've been waiting for.

Show: Only Murders in the Building

Platform: A Hulu Original

Premiere: August 31st, 2021

I Watched It Because: I absolutely adore the goofs of Steve Martin and Martin Short and I've loved them together since Three Amigos! (1986). (Weirdly sexually attracted to Martin Short. Forget you read that.) Selena Gomez's performances in her music videos has a hypnotic, sugary ease that hypnotizes. I wanted to see her act for real for real.

Premise: When Tim Kono winds up dead in his palatial Manhattan apartment building, The Arconia (based on the real Manhattan 1908 hotel The Belnord), three true crime podcast obsessed oddballs who happen to live in that same building are hot on the case. They alight a trail of clues and mount their own folksy, exuberant (risky) true crime podcast.

Starring a talented multigenerational cast playing likable narcissists:

Salty-compelling Steve Martin as Charles-Haden Savage, a washed up pseudo-Perry Mason era tv detective icon. Electric, heartbreaking Martin Short as zesty, manic, out-of-work Broadway theatre director Oliver Putnam. Slippery, sharp Selena Gomez as the playful enigma Mabel Mora.

Kooky, awkward miscommunication and mutual daring forges their unique rapport.

Waves Of: Moxie, danger, trauma, absurdist extended hypothetical visual sequences, physical comedy, witty word play, and Martin-Short-Gomez synergy.

My Salt: Only the male gaze in the building. My salt is the fact that WE HAD TO HAVE A SHOT OF SELENA GOMEZ'S SIDE BOOB WHILE SHE WAS THINKING IN THE SHOWER. Let's destabilize our reliance on the female body, Hulu. A pound of her flesh doesn't always need to be sacrificed for a "lady of mystery" character to develop. This shower scene took me out of the mystery and out of the rich lives of the ensemble, and into my own patriarchy-cursing, structure-poking lens.

Dive in to Find:

Deduce these clues, Sherlock:

-A tie-dyed sweatshirt on the stairs before the murder during a fire alarm evacuation.

-Piles of jewelry hollowed out in rows of Hardy Boys books in the apartment of Tim Kono.

-Tina Fey as hungry Cinda Canning, running her true crime podcasting empire.

-The reveal that Selena Gomez dated Tim and has known him since their own Hardy Boy adventures in youth, but hasn't seen him in over a decade. There was bad blood.

Mix in some overdue rent, a slew of jilted lovers, a poisoned dog, a dead cat, a bassoon, and a relentlessly fun mix of emotional pathos and suspenseful hijinks and, well, you're hooked.

I'm rejecting our #1 red herring:

Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez) did not kill Tim Kono.

Signature Sting: Unique, zippy, gripping, moody comedy that inspires your inner Nancy Drew.

A REC means we want you to watch it too, and add to our MEET MEETS. Back us, fight us, just join the bloom and write us!



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