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Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building Makes Cozy Complicated in Season Two | TV/Streaming

In season two, our three leads, Short’s Oliver, Steve Martin’s Charles, and Selena Gomez’s Mabel, continue to walk that line to great effect. Oliver still gets all of his calories from dips, Charles remains awkward in almost all social situations, and Mabel continues to deadpan her way through life in and out of the apartment building they share, the Arconia. But this being a second season, we all also see more layers to our favorite true-crime podcasters, particularly in how they build or maintain community—via love interests, their families, and of course their friendships with each other.

The show finds humor in this layering of complexity. There’s a moment when Mabel, as the resident young person, is tasked with talking to Charles’ stepdaughter Lucy. She’s supposed to be able to understand the Gen Zer’s language and perspective but quickly gets overwhelmed. It’s a nice touch to the show’s continued cross-generational humor, which mostly pokes fun at its septuagenarian characters (real line: “She hasn’t answered any of my calls or text communications!”) Youth is fleeting and even the hippest of us will get old, the show says, and that’s not tragic, it’s delightful. A cause for a smile and a nod.

Indeed, the show seems designed to make its audience nod along in knowing agreement. The first few episodes are full of lines like Schumer’s. As our three amateur crimefighters embark on their second murder mystery, they wink at each other about what lessons they can apply from their first (podcast? TV?) season. 

“Only Murders in the Building” is careful to bring back the audience’s favorite supporting characters and devices from the first season. Again, we get episodes from different perspectives, dipping in and out of the lives of the Arconia’s residents. The show spends its time with everyone wisely, reminding us why we so enjoyed these characters to begin with and adding layers to our understanding of them. For example, there’s a whole episode dedicated to Bunny, peaking under her tough exterior even as we grow to understand the how and why she so thoroughly inhabits her tough-as-nails New York persona. Even perpetual lonely heart Howard gets a sympathetic reading, expanding beyond the stereotypical cat-owning eccentric.

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