Emmy-Nominated “Only Murders in the Building,” Dazzles and Complexes with Second Season


Promotional poster for season 2 of Only Murders in this Building.

Hannah Osborne, Managing Editor

Expensive erotic art bearing a striking resemblance to the star of Brazzos, a bird with a vulgar vocabulary, a crooked cop and a slew of secret passages in the walls of the Arconia set the tone. The second season of “Only Murders in the Building” features all of this and more, but did they overshoot on content?

At the conclusion of the Emmy-nominated first season, viewers found Mabel, Charles and Oliver, respectively played by Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short, at the end of a short-lived celebration for the work they accomplished with their podcast “Only Murder in the Building.” In the midst of their celebration, Mabel travels downstairs to her apartment for a bottle of champagne, only to find Bunny Folger (played by Jayne Houdyshell), the disdained board President of the Arconia, had been attacked, leaving Mabel red-handed.

The trio finds themselves back where they had started, caught in the midst of a murder investigation with a resident of the infamous Arconia plagued as the victim. This time podcast ratings aren’t the only thing on the line, as their reputation and innocence become a matter of discussion.

“New York City. Who doesn’t want to become the talk of the town here? I mean make a name for yourself in this city, and it can feel like the most sparkling place on Earth,” Charles says.

The second season sees a clamor of new faces: Amy Schumer has taken up Sting’s former residence, Cara Delevingne stars as Alice Banks, a seemingly charming new love interest and the Arconia finds itself without a board President, leaving Bunny’s successor, Nina Lin (played by Christine Ko) to take charge. 

The incorrigible Cinda Canning, portrayed by Tina Fey, returns in the second season, setting her sights on taking down the three, creating, “Only Murder-ers in the Building.” Cinda is never seen without her faithful assistant Poppy, played by Adina Verson, who is adamant about getting on Cinda’s good side in hopes she will soon be rewarded with her own podcast show on Cinda’s network. Throughout the season, Cinda works tirelessly against Mabel, Charles and Oliver so that she can return to the true crime throne she held after her original success, “All is Not OK in Oklahoma,” before “Only Murders in the Building,” stole her spotlight.

As with most projects following great success, the second season found itself on rocky footing. Mabel, now coined “Bloody Mabel,” finds the tide quickly turns as her new fame turns bitter. In the midst of her questioned innocence, she stumbles into a new relationship with a questionable character. Despite all of the trials Mabel faces, her character felt lackluster in the newest season. 

Charles is repeatedly complexed with new problems as evidence and a face of his past turns up without notice. “Brazzos” is picked up for a revival in which Charles is sourly disappointed when he learns the nature of his role. 

Oliver faces a realization of his own, one that leads him to question his own identity as a father.

Despite a few shortcomings, unpleasant characters and loose ends, the season is still undoubtedly worth the watch. “Only Murders in the Building,” does a fantastic job of misleading expectations and producing twists and turns at every corner. The finale episode provides an exceptionally entertaining performance on all parts and an incredible delivery of the grand reveal. 

Hulu has already picked up a third season of the series. No spoilers, but a former co-star of Gomez’s from “The Fundamentals of Caring,” makes an appearance in the final episode as the scene of next season’s mystery is set.