Friday, April 12, 2024

Did Tina Fey, I Mean Cinda Canning, Really Kill Bunny? “Only Murders” Comes Clean at Midnight


Don’t ask me why, but I’m obsessed with “Only Murders in the Building.”

The Steve Martin-Martin Short-Selena Gomez comedy thriller murder mystery on Hulu is like eating a dessert every Tuesday when it’s on. You almost don’t care whodunit or how the puzzle is pieced together. It’s more about the witty writing, the top notch acting, the incredible apartments everyone lives in.

Tonight at midnight, Hulu drops the final episode of Season 2. Who killed Bunny? I don’t know because I like to watch the show as it unfolds. I didn’t binge watch the press viewings. Too fast. I want to savor the moment.

Last week, it seemed like Tina Fey’s Cinda Canning, a preening self absorbed podcast queen, for some reason might have done it. The week before, the red herring was Michael Rapoport‘s detective. You know, it could still be anyone, even Amy Ryan’s Jan, who’s in jail for committing the season 1 crime. Did they have her back just because everyone loves Amy Ryan? (Maybe.) How about Cara deLevingne‘s art dealer? Why is she always hanging around?

The introduction of secret passages in the Arconia was an inspired idea, that’s for sure. It’s kept our sleuthing trio inside double time in their investigation.

To me, “Only Murders” owes a huge debt to Woody Allen. In many ways, the show echoes Woody’s 1993 hit, “Manhattan Murder Mystery.” Woody and Diane Keaton are convinced there’s been a murder in their building and set out to reveal the culprit. Also, Selena Gomez made a huge acting leap in Woody’s “Rainy Day in New York,” playing a similar character. So there’s that.

“Only Murders” has its shown share of “Easter eggs.” One of them was Steve Martin’s bleeding nose, which seemed like a nod to “Stranger Things.” There have been a few others, too. But that’s part of the charm. It’s always sophisticated asides, and little moments that propel the action along smartly.

No offense to Steve Martin, but I think even he knows Martin Short steals the show. If he doesn’t get the Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Comedy, there will be murders in the TV Academy. Short just makes every scene his own as Oliver, who’s a unique send up every New Yorker on the Upper West Side who’s had something to do with show business in the last 50 years. Oliver’s references are beyond obscure. If you get them, you feel relieved and also a little embarrassed that you even know what he’s talking about.

Thanks to Hulu for such a lovely summer treat. They should always show “Only Murders” on this timetable. It’s so refreshing, it’s the best way to beat the humidity!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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