Only Murders in the Building
|Only Murders in the Building|
|Music by||Siddhartha Khosla|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Running time||26–35 minutes|
|Distributor||Disney Platform Distribution|
|Original release||August 31, 2021 –|
Only Murders in the Building is an American mystery-comedy television series created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman. The series, consisting of ten episodes, premiered on Hulu on August 31, 2021. The show follows three strangers played by Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez who share an obsession with a true crime podcast. After a murder in their affluent Upper West Side apartment building, the three neighbors decide to start their own program covering their investigation of the murder.
Only Murders in the Building has received largely positive reviews from critics, with particular praise for the comedic approach to crime fiction and the lead actors' performances. In September 2021, the series was renewed for a second season.
Cast and characters
- Steve Martin as Charles-Haden Savage, a semi-retired actor who was the star of the popular 1990s detective drama TV series Brazzos. He lives in the Arconia.
- Martin Short as Oliver Putnam, a financially struggling Broadway director who spawns the idea of the podcast, and becomes its director. He lives in the Arconia.
- Selena Gomez as Mabel Mora, a young woman who lives in an unfinished apartment in the Arconia she claims to be renovating for her aunt, and who was friends with Tim Kono (the murder victim) years ago.
- Aaron Dominguez as Oscar, a former friend of Mabel and Tim who was convicted of the murder of their friend Zoe.
- Amy Ryan as Jan, a professional bassoonist who also lives in the Arconia and starts dating Charles.
- Vanessa Aspillaga as Ursula, the Arconia building manager.
- Ryan Broussard as Will Putnam, Oliver's son.
- Julian Cihi as Tim Kono, a resident in the Arconia building who dies in the first episode. The mysterious circumstances surrounding Tim's death spurs Charles, Oliver, and Mabel to do their own investigation.
- Tina Fey as Cinda Canning, the host of a true crime podcast called All is Not OK in Oklahoma.
- Jackie Hoffman as Uma Heller, a neighbor in the Arconia.
- Jayne Houdyshell as Bunny, the iron-fisted lead board member of the Arconia.
- Da'Vine Joy Randolph as Detective Williams, a detective on the Kono murder who initially closed the case but becomes interested once again when her wife starts listening to the podcast.
- Nathan Lane as Teddy Dimas, an Arconia resident, deli chain owner, and old friend and patron of Oliver's, who agrees to sponsor the podcast.
- James Caverly as Theo Dimas, Teddy Dimas' deaf son.
- Michael Cyril Creighton as Howard Morris, a resident of the Arconia whose cat Evelyn died the same night as Tim Kono.
- Zainab Jah as Ndidi Idoko, Tim Kono's next door neighbor who looks forward to annexing his apartment.
- Russell G. Jones as Dr. Grover Stanley, a therapist who lives at the Arconia.
- Maulik Pancholy as Arnav, Charles's next door neighbor.
- Sting as a fictionalized version of himself, a resident of the Arconia.
- Adriane Lenox as Roberta, Oliver's ex-wife.
- Jimmy Fallon as himself.
- Roy Wood Jr. as Vaughn.
- Jaboukie Young-White as Sam, Only Murders in the Building podcast enthusiast.
- Jane Lynch as Sazz Pataki, Charles's former stunt double.
|No.||Title ||Directed by||Written by ||Original release date ||Prod.|
|1||"True Crime"||Jamie Babbit||Steve Martin & John Hoffman||August 31, 2021||1DWB01|
Charles-Haden Savage, a misanthropic former television actor; Oliver Putnam, a struggling Broadway director; and Mabel Mora, an apartment renovator, live in the Arconia. By chance, the three of them meet on an elevator, joined by Tim Kono on the phone. Later, after evacuating the building for an alarm, they bond over their shared love of a certain crime podcast. They learn that there was a murder in the Arconia, and sneak back inside, where they see Tim, dead. The investigators believe it was suicide, but the three think otherwise; they find more and more evidence to the contrary, such as Tim's frantic phone call on the elevator, and a package addressed to him that contained an engagement ring. Meanwhile, Oliver struggles with his relationship with his son, Charles discusses his need for solitude, and Mabel expresses her fear of getting personal with people. They start a podcast titled "Only Murders in the Building" as they continue to investigate. An old photo is shown of Mabel and the friends she dubbed "My Hardy Boys", which unexpectedly includes Tim.The episode begins with a flashforward set two months after the trio's first meeting in which Charles and Oliver find Mabel kneeling over a dead body.
|2||"Who Is Tim Kono?"||Jamie Babbit||Kirker Butler||August 31, 2021||1DWB02|
|Charles and Oliver try to learn more about who Tim was, and along with Mabel they attend a memorial service for him. It is revealed that he was unpopular with many other residents and had several complaints filed against him, with the most prominent emotion expressed being relief that the death of the asthmatic Tim allows the building to reopen the apartments' fireplaces. The trio go into Tim's apartment to find more clues, but their lack of trust in one another makes things tense. Mabel records a video in private that reveals that she has known Tim since they were children, bonding over The Hardy Boys books and solving pretend mysteries together. As they grew older, they added new friends Oscar and Zoe. One night, 10 years previously, the four attended a New Year's Eve party on the roof of the building, and Zoe was later found dead. As he and Zoe had been arguing earlier in the evening, Oscar was arrested for her murder. However, Tim informed Mabel that he had seen someone else fighting with Zoe before she died, but he failed to disclose this to the police, causing a rift between himself and Mabel. Later on, Mabel revisits Tim's apartment and finds a cache of jewelry and some of her old drawings.|
|3||"How Well Do You Know Your Neighbors?"||Gillian Robespierre||Ben Smith||August 31, 2021||1DWB03|
|Charles, Oliver, and Mabel all think that neighbor Howard is a prime suspect, as they found his cat's pawprints in Tim's blood. Bunny threatens Oliver that she will get him evicted if he doesn't pay his building fees. He goes to his old associate Teddy, begging for money; after initially refusing, Teddy agrees to sponsor the podcast. Later, Oliver sees Sting in the elevator, and thinks he may also be a suspect. Mabel comes across a note from Tim detailing a meeting in one week with somebody identified only as "G.M." Oliver discovers a threatening note on his door and that Winnie, his bulldog, has been poisoned, presumably by the same perpetrator.|
|4||"The Sting"||Gillian Robespierre||Kristin Newman||September 7, 2021||1DWB04|
|Oliver suspects that Sting poisoned Winnie and enlists the help of Charles and Mabel to prove he is responsible for both Winnie's poisoning and Tim's murder. After consulting Cinda Canning, the host of their favorite podcast, the trio present Sting with a turkey and question him about Tim, revealed to be Sting's former stockbroker. Sting guiltily confesses that, after Tim lost a substantial sum of his money, he angrily fired Tim and told him to kill himself, but is relieved when the trio announce that they believe Tim's death was murder instead of suicide. Meanwhile, Charles goes on a date with Jan. It is a disaster, but she agrees to a second date when Charles later shares a personal story with her. Mabel finds a connection to the jewelry she found in Tim's apartment and Oliver's son, Will, reveals that he remembers Mabel from their youth and her connection to Tim. A flash forward to a few months later reveals that Charles, Oliver and Mabel are the subject of Cinda Canning's new podcast, Only Murderers in the Building.|
|5||"Twist"||Don Scardino||Thembi L. Banks||September 14, 2021||1DWB05|
|Mabel is being followed by "Tie Dye Guy", who turns out to be her old friend Oscar, who recently was released from prison for Zoe's murder. He offers to drive her to wherever she's going, which eventually turns out to be Bayport, New York on Long Island. Charles and Oliver see Mabel leaving their apartment building, so they follow her to Bayport. They end up in a tattoo parlor there, where Mabel finally admits that she previously knew Tim. Oscar admits that he is "Tie Dye Guy", but that he didn't murder Tim; he was, however, outside his door when he heard a gunshot.|
|6||"To Protect and Serve"||Don Scardino||Madeleine George & Kim Rosenstock||September 21, 2021||1DWB06|
|Oscar and Mabel appear to have feelings for each other. Mabel's mother doesn't want her involved in Tim's murder investigation, but Mabel asserts her independence on this matter. Detective Williams starts having second thoughts about closing Tim's case too quickly, so she surreptitiously gives Tim's phone to Mabel. Teddy is thrilled that his business is mentioned on Jimmy Fallon's show, and writes Charles and Oliver a check for $50,000. However, Charles notices that the check is drawn from an "Angel" account, which is the name of the person that Tim had been dealing with for jewelry.|
|7||"The Boy from 6B"||Cherien Dabis||Stephen Markley & Ben Philippe||September 28, 2021||1DWB07|
Teddy's deaf son Theo spies on the trio and breaks in to take photos of their suspect board, relaying to his father that the podcast is onto them, but Teddy dismisses the concerns. Charles and Mabel break into Teddy's apartment and discover a secret room of urns from a funeral home. They narrowly avoid Theo, who later notices a rubber glove they left behind. While Oliver and Mabel leave to investigate the funeral home, Charles has a date with Jan, which leads to their having sex. At the funeral home, the two discover a secret room with jewelry. Theo is working there and stealing items off the bodies, and soon notices Oliver and Mabel. In flashbacks, it is discovered that Theo had a crush on Zoe, who noticed and communicated back in ASL. Soon he let her take a ring, which was noticed by Teddy during the New Year's Eve party. Theo and Zoe have an argument which results in Theo accidentally pushing Zoe off the building. Tim is the only witness, but an implied death threat from Teddy silences him. Back in the present, Theo has kidnapped Oliver and Mabel, driving them to an unknown location, but not before they send texts to Charles telling him the password to Tim's phone might be "THEO".Note: There is no audible dialogue throughout, which includes scenes from Theo's perspective, whose deafness prevents him from hearing anything.
|8||"Fan Fiction"||Cherien Dabis||Matteo Borghese & Rob Turbovsky||October 5, 2021||1DWB08|
|Teddy returns Mabel and Oliver to the Arconia, under the condition that they end the podcast and absolve suspicion around the Dimas family. Back at the building, Mabel and Oliver are swarmed by the “superfans” of the podcast. Detective Williams suggests the trio release all of their evidence to the public. Oscar shares that Tim already had Zoe’s green ring when he died, although its whereabouts are unknown. Desperate for a new perspective on the case, Oliver invites the podcast’s superfans to help the group solve Tim’s murder in time for their abrupt series finale. Charles is distracted by Jan, and Mabel and Oliver force her out of the investigation. Jan returns to her apartment, where she finds a warning note on the door that reads: “I’M WATCHING YOU.” The podcast finale premieres, complete with evidence of the Dimas’ crimes. Williams doubts the Dimas’ involvement in the murder when Tim’s autopsy reveals death by poisoning. Security footage from the fire alarm proves Teddy and Theo were not in the building. Charles visits Jan’s apartment, where he finds her unconscious and bleeding.|
|9||"Double Time"||Jamie Babbit||John Hoffman & Kristin Newman||October 12, 2021||1DWB09|
|The trio issue a retraction over their accusation of Teddy and Theo in Tim's murder. Jan survives her stabbing and Charles helps with her recovery. Charles's former stunt double, Sazz Pataki, shows up and immediately jumps into helping the trio investigate, much to the dismay of Charles and Jan. Later, a building meeting is called to address the podcast and the building votes to evict the trio, even after Charles says the podcast is done. Oliver and Mabel try to locate a new lead to convince Charles to stay on the investigation and they speculate that Tim might have had a secret girlfriend, a theory seemingly confirmed by Tim's neighbor. Charles goes to Jan's concert at Sazz's urging and sees a young female bassoonist who has replaced Jan at first chair. At the same time, Oliver and Mabel find a bassoon cleaner mixed in with Tim's stash of sex toys.|
|10||"Open and Shut"||Jamie Babbit||John Hoffman & Rachel Burger||October 19, 2021||1DWB10|
|The trio discover that Jan is the murderer. She was romantically involved with Tim, but killed him a day after they broke up. As Charles confronts Jan, he realizes she has poisoned him. Mabel and Oliver break into Jan's apartment and find a poison bottle and a box labeled "Jan's Lil' Toxins". Jan tries to gas the whole building via the newly open fireplaces but the trio run to the Arconia basement and stop it. In the basement, they see Jan again, and she has a gun. A scuffle ensues, and Jan gets knocked out by Mabel using the emerald ring. Jan is arrested. Later, as the trio celebrate, Mabel goes to get more champagne, Oliver and Charles receive a mysterious text message telling them to leave the building immediately. The scene that opened the series is repeated, as Oliver and Charles run to Mabel and find her hunched over Bunny's dead body, covered in blood. The trio is led out of the Arconia in handcuffs while the Arconia tenants and others, including Detective Williams, Oscar, and Cinda, watch.|
In January 2020, it was announced Steve Martin and Martin Short would star in an untitled Hulu series, created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman, with Martin, Short, and Hoffman as executive producers, alongside Dan Fogelman, with 20th Television serving as the studio. On September 14, 2021, Hulu renewed the series for a second season.
Alongside the initial announcement, it was announced Martin and Short would star in the series. In August 2020, Selena Gomez joined the cast and also serves as an executive producer. In November 2020, Aaron Dominguez joined the cast in a series regular role. In January 2021, Amy Ryan joined the cast in a series regular role. That same month, Nathan Lane joined the cast in a recurring role.
A digital album for the score was released on August 27, 2021, four days before the series' debut.
All music is composed by Siddhartha Khosla.
|2.||"Mission Theme Pt. 1"||1:11|
|3.||"Arconia Elevator Theme"||0:37|
|7.||"All Is Not Okay"||0:39|
|9.||"Who Was Tim Kono"||3:21|
|10.||"Podcast Theme (Punk Version)"||1:24|
|11.||"Romantic Theme Pt. 1"||1:03|
|12.||"Romantic Theme Pt. 2"||1:31|
|13.||"Interrogation Fantasy Pt. 1"||0:56|
|14.||"Interrogation Fantasy Pt. 2"||0:45|
|16.||"Mabel and Tim"||1:55|
|20.||"Mission Theme Pt. 2"||1:02|
Only Murders in the Building premiered on August 31, 2021 on Hulu. Internationally, the series premiered on the same day on Disney+ under the dedicated streaming hub Star, as an original series, and on Star+ in Latin America. Disney+ Hotstar released the series in select territories on September 3, 2021. On Disney+, Disney+ Hotstar, and Star+, Only Murders in the Building episodes are scheduled to debut on a weekly basis.
The series received positive reviews with most critics commending the performances of Martin, Short and Gomez. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval rating with an average rating of 7.90/10, based on 67 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Only Murders in the Building's silly approach to true crime obsessives is at once hilarious and insightful, thanks in large part to its extremely charming central trio." Metacritic gave the first season a weighted average score of 76 out of 100 based on 34 critic reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Kristen Baldwin of Entertainment Weekly gave the series a B and wrote, "Only Murders delivers above-average laughs, a clever mystery, and a starry cast. But it's hard to shake the feeling that the show missed an opportunity to be something special." Reviewing the series for Rolling Stone, Alan Sepinwall gave a rating of four and a half out of five stars and said, "The series soon turns out to be—like The Princess Bride, Galaxy Quest, or Jane the Virgin—that rare and wonderful thing: the parody that also offers a great example of the genuine article."
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- Martin, Steve [@SteveMartinToGo] (December 3, 2020). "Today is the first day of filming our new TV show, "Only Murders in the Building," in Manhattan. Starring the incredible Selena Gomez and the just okay Martin Short" (Tweet). Archived from the original on January 18, 2021. Retrieved December 7, 2020 – via Twitter.
- Martin, Steve [@SteveMartinToGo] (April 15, 2021). "We just wrapped "Only Murders in the Building," a four month shoot with Marty, Selena and me. Protocols protected the crew and cast. Thank you Disney and Hulu for stringent, defensive measures that worked". Twitter. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
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- Disney+ Hotstar ID [@DisneyPlusID] (July 29, 2021). "Tiga orang terobsesi dengan pembunuhan tiba-tiba terlibat dalam sebuah kasus. Apa yang akan terjadi? Only Murders in the Building Premier Ekslusif 3 September di #DisneyPlusHotstarID" [Three people obsessed with true crimes suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one. What will happen? Only Murders in the Building premieres exclusively 3 September on #DisneyPlusHotstarID.] (Tweet) (in Indonesian). Retrieved July 29, 2021 – via Twitter.
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- Baldwin, Kristen (August 23, 2021). "Only Murders in the Building review: A starry caper that settles for broad comedy". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
- Sepinwall, Alan (August 23, 2021). "'Only Murders in the Building': A Podcast Parody That Shoots to Kill". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 27, 2021.