ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING: SEASON ONE
Starring: Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez
Creators: John Hoffman and Steve Martin
The first episode of Only Murders in the Building was rough. I don't know... Maybe the charm of Steve-Martin-Short (yes, I did that) is of a bygone era. Plus, Selena Gomez's flat affect is slightly off-putting. Yet, something kept me watching the next episode, then the next, then suddenly binging all the released episodes until I was waiting impatiently for the finale. Turns out an old-fashioned "Whodunit?" is the kind of fun missing from TV. Gomez grows on you too, mixing modern flavor with nostalgic comedy. Add a great season ending stinger. and the mood is set for more murders.
Although it takes an episode or two to get going, Only Murders in the Building easily coasts on the chemistry between Steve Martin and Martin Short. It also playfully mocks the current obsession with true crime podcasts, but in a way that doesn't feel malicious. It's quite charming, actually. The story moves at a solid clip, with several engaging cliffhangers to propel the viewer to the next episode, and the score is delightfully elegant. Selena Gomez doesn't really have the charisma or screen presence to stand toe to toe with the two legends, but it hardly derails the series.