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The Campus Lantern

This mystery thriller will keep you laughing

Only Murders in the Building is a comedy-mystery series that follows the unexpectedly intertwined lives of three New Yorkers. All three characters have very distinctive personalities and become randomly connected through their shared love for true crime. Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez), Oliver Putnam (Martin Short), and Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin) are the three protagonists in this series which blends hilarious comedic moments with intense suspense.

When Tim Kono (Julian Cihi) is murdered within their very own building — the Arconia — Oliver, Mabel, and Charles have no choice but to interfere. The series follows the evolution of this unlikely friendship (Mabel is 29, Charles and Oliver are well over 50) as they work to solve their very own murder mystery. The group forms a podcast for viewers to follow along while they uncover clues that eventually lead to the discovery of the murderer.

More and more characters become suspects as the complex whodunit mystery unravels itself. I cannot give too many details as I do not want to spoil the show, but no one is safe from suspicion. Always expect the unexpected from kidnappings and murders to jazz music and multitudes of dip (like hummus, trust me it’s important).

Even Detective Williams (Da’Vine Joy Randolph), the officer on the case, begins to question this so-called suicide after hearing the trio’s podcast. Willaims teams up with the podcasters to solve the murder, after re-inspecting case documents. The suspect list begins to narrow down and lands on a murderer very near and dear to the trio’s hearts. The satisfaction of discovering the murderer does not last long for Oliver, Mabel, and Charles. The season comes to an end with a shocking cliffhanger that leads perfectly to the next season of the show.

The phenomenal comedic timing of all of the actors in Only Murders in the Building is what ensures that every audience will love this show. Set in present-day New York City, the show comes across as extremely current and relevant in today’s society. All three leads have had extensive careers ranging from number-one hits in pop music to acting careers of forty-five-plus years. Their expertise in show business is abundantly clear through the on-screen chemistry among the trio.

The premise of the show revolving around the Arconia provides an opportunity for extremely intentional set design. Each character’s apartment is used to give more information about who they are as a person. For example, Charles has a very sleek and simplistic apartment while Oliver’s apartment perfectly captures his over-the-top personality. Moreover, the evolution of Mabel’s refurbishment of her aunt’s apartment can be used as a useful roadmap for the show.

The ultra-realistic and modern cinematography of the series makes the acting come off with authenticity. Generational differences between the characters add to the comedy in the show, as most jokes are humorous to all because they poke fun at very real aspects of society. The intrigue is what first makes you watch this show, but the comedy is what makes you want to continue. This show is a great watch for a family with teens; however, some of the jokes and jump-scares are too mature for young children.

This series gives a fresh comedic take on a murder mystery surrounding eccentric New Yorkers. The bonds between characters that develop over the season will make you want to move to the big city and share in the experiences (not necessarily the murder). I highly encourage you to grab some popcorn and try out Only Murders in the Building.


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About the Contributor
Georgia O'Connor
Georgia O'Connor, Staff Writer
Georgia is currently a junior at SCH. Outside of school, she can be found playing with her dog, sleeping, or baking chocolate chip cookies.
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