Killer Performances

Short, Martin, Gomez elevate ‘OMITB’ to top of Hulu charts



Only Murders on the Building is a comedy-drama series streaming on Hulu.

Joseph Zuloaga '23, Editor-in-Chief

What do you get when you put Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez together? An unlikely trio of comedic icons
starring in Only Murders in the Building: a New York City comedy-drama production on Hulu.

Debuting in 2021 and set in an Upper West Side apartment building named The Arconia, Only Murders has had two successful seasons, earning the title of Hulu’s #1 comedy, with a third season currently in production.

Martin plays the role of Charles Haden-Savage, Oliver Putnam is played by Short, and Gomez rounds it out playing Mabel Mora.

Season 1 begins with Charles, Oliver, and Mabel all living their own lives before they meet as three “weirdos” on an elevator. After some brief, but awkward banter in the elevator, they all depart to their apartments.  Charles is a retired actor from the 90s, Oliver is a struggling theater director, and Mabel is a young woman looking to renovate both her apartment and the hidden pains and griefs she has suffered in the building and through her life.

I got on the elevator with these two weirdos”

— Mabel, Only Murders in the Building

Their nights are interrupted by a fire alarm, causing them to evacuate and meet up at a diner. They soon discover that they all listen to the same true crime podcast, and the comedic trio is formed.

When they return to The Arconia, they see a swarm of police cars and bright sirens.

Lester, the doorman, reveals that a neighbor, Tim Kono, died. Police indicate a suicide, but the trio’s true crime detective minds begin to spin theories and are determined to find the true motive and solve the crime on their own. The Only Murders in the Building podcast is created and the trio each play roles in narrowing down who Tim Kono’s killer was, by piecing together the chain of events that led to Tim’s death. The trio grow so close that Oliver comes up with the nickname OllyMabel…but the Charles is silent. Season 1 ends with the arrest of the killer and segues into Season 2.

Charles (Steve Martin), Oliver, (Martin Short), and Mabel (Selena Gomez) make up the comedic trio. (Hulu)

The next season picks back up with the murder of Arconia board president Bunny Folger. The trio is determined to find who is the new killer, with a completely new plate of suspects. Charles, Oliver, and Mabel’s personalities are developed further, with viewers learning more about their past and meeting the new folk who will affect their future in the season. It concludes with the discovery of the new killer and gives a teaser of what Season 3 will be like, one year later in the fictional timeline.

Throughout the series, the Arconia is depicted as a majestic but also haunting place, due to the many dark hidden secrets, like death, jealousy, anger, romance, etc. It’s quandaries like these that make it the focal point of the storyline.

… And as hard as it can be to go back sometimes you have nowhere else to go”

— Lucy, Only Murders in the Building

What I personally love about this series is the nuanced angle it brings when portraying New York City: a city where people can ascend from rags to riches, but with dark secrets and twists and turns to daily life. The soundtrack composed by Siddhartha Khosla is melodic and it elegantly connects unwritten metaphors in the character dialogue. It makes viewers reflect on how we act as individuals and how events from our past shape our future.

Quotes uttered by the characters like “Returning some place after a long time can be weird, and I guess how you ended up coming back and why has a lot to do with how weird it gets. And as hard as it can be to go back sometimes you have nowhere else to go” only furthers the interwovenness between the real world and the world of Only Murders and bridges the gaps of humanity’s actions toward others to the actions of the characters.

Despite all of these marvelous aspects of the show, it was snubbed for all of its 17 main Emmy nominations. But regardless of
the lack of awards, Only Murders is a deeply loved series by fans.

Only Murders in the Building is the true crown jewel of our slate…”

— Craig Erwich, President of Hulu Originals

According to Craig Erwich, President of Hulu Originals, “Only Murders in the Building is the true crown jewel of our slate … We are grateful to be able to continue telling the stories of Charles, Oliver, and Mabel to viewers that have consistently shown us they crave more of this story.”

When Season 3 debuts, OllyMabel will continue to dazzle viewers on the screen with their killer performances at The Arconia.