REVIEW: ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Season 2 is a Welcomed Return

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Only Murders in the Building Season 2 - But Why Tho

Only Murders in the Building was a surprising phenomenon back in the Fall of 2021. The series gained much recognition for combining an unlikely trio in the form of Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez while also boasting a compelling story that parodies a group of true-crime podcast fanatics thrown into the middle of a mysterious murder investigation that took place in their building. Now it’s time once more to return to Only Murders in the Building Season 2 as Charles, Oliver, and Mabel are the prime suspects in the death of their neighbor Bunny Folger (Jayne Houdyshell).

Season 1 was so perfectly described by my colleague as the “television equivalent of snuggling up with a cozy cup of tea,” and reached number 11 in the But Why Tho Top TV Series of 2021. During the conclusion of the previous season, Mabel is found by Oliver and Charles haunched over the lifeless body of their building president Bunny in a shocking cliffhanger, which sends the second series in a whole new direction.

The show continues to focus on Mabel, Charles, and Oliver who truly are the foundation of the story and what made the prior season such a strong entry. This contrasting collection of characters shouldn’t work, as there are far more differences that exist between them than there are similarities. Yet, that shared connection they have, that drive to solve the puzzle in front of them, is such a driving force in bringing them together and creating a found family. I could quite happily watch Martin, Short, and Gomez solve mysteries in any number of stories because the end product is so darn enchanting.

The dynamic between the three continues very successfully and it’s evident that the roots of their friendship have strengthened over time. What the show does brilliantly, however, is continue to delve deeper into the trio’s backgrounds in a way that not only adds a fascinating level of character depth but connects with the larger story too.

The tone of the season still has that familiar awkward comedic warmth about it utilizing the talents of both Short and Martin to their full potential. It’s quite impressive really. Some comedians and comedy actors land for a while but after their height can never return to those glory days. Martin and Short, however, seem born to be entertainers and while their gags feel similar, they still land with a timeless charm.

Gomez is a grounding force that contrasts against her two very campy and silly counterparts. Mabel’s story adds a more serious thread as the show does such a wonderful job of blending humor with emotionally charged drama through her traumatic experiences. What Gomez adds comedy-wise shouldn’t be understated either bringing a dry wit that dampens the goofy antics of Martin, and Short.

The second season also adds a few new unnamed characters as we see Cara Delevingne, Amy Schumer, Michael Rappaport, and Zoe Margaret Colletti enter the fray. Frankly speaking, and without revealing any actual detail, Schumer adds nothing of value and her involvement detracts from the quality and authenticity of the show. Thankfully she has a very minor role in the series, so it’s minimal at best. Rappaport delivers a typical performance, and I love his overt brashness and in-your-face style as it really works with his character. Colletti brings a youthful energy that puts even Mabel in her place resulting in some fantastic dialogue between the two. Delevingne is just there, she’s not terrible, but not quite impressive either.

At its core though, regardless of the new characters or the featured cameos, the series still recognizes that the essence of the show lies with Martin, Short, and Gomez and how these three interact. They embody the comedy, the best character depth lies with them, and these characters have become just as large as the plot itself.

Second seasons can be a terrifying prospect, especially off the back of such a successful debut installment. Fans of Only Murders in the Building can breathe a sigh of relief though as Steve Martin and John Hoffman have knocked it outside the park again. Season 2 reinforces this murder mystery comedy as a worthy contender for the title “a must-watch” series. It’s a timeless comedic joy that balances tense drama while building in gripping character development.

The first two episodes for Only Murders in the Building Season 2  will be available exclusively on HULU on June, 28th with the remaining season moving to a weekly release schedule.


Only Murders in the Building Season 2
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Second seasons can be a terrifying prospect, especially off the back of such a successful debut installment. Fans of Only Murders in the Building can breathe a sigh of relief though as Steve Martin and John Hoffman have knocked it outside the park again. Season 2 reinforces this murder mystery comedy as a worthy contender for the title “a must-watch” series. It’s a timeless comedic joy that balances tense drama while building in gripping character development.