Three of them met in the elevator. A decommissioned television procedural actor (Steve Martin), an impoverished Broadway director who feeds almost exclusively on delays from hunger (Martin Short), plus a mysterious young artist with sadness in her eyes (Selena Gomez). They are united by their love for crime podcasts, and then they have a chance to launch their own.
Respectable apartment building “Arkonia”, where the tenants are nice and freaky, suddenly turned into a crime scene: a young man was killed. Rather, the police are sure that there was a suicide, but two old men and one girl are quite reasonably inclined towards an alternative version of events. They will interview witnesses, outline a circle of suspects, spy on neighbors, look for clues – although first they must first find a sponsor whose generosity will help turn the investigation into an audio show. And secondly, to solve the typical problems of novice bloggers, from technical troubles to recruiting subscribers.
However, they are driven not only by the thirst for fame. The melancholic character of Martin, apparently, wants to prove to himself that he is still good for something – as a detective and as a man: parallel to the detective’s interest, a romantic one is maturing in him. The Shorts director, sparkling with ostentatious optimism, has troubled relations with relatives and the landlord. The personal motives of the creative zemer in general are almost more entertaining than the motives of the alleged attacker (wait for flashbacks). Meanwhile, while we figure out who, why and why, the trio is gradually becoming friendly, overcoming the obstacles of comic ageism on the way to touching intergenerational solidarity.
Hence the conclusion about the psychotherapeutic property of podcasts, which, however, does not prevent the authors of “Murders in the same building” to poke fun at those who are obsessed with podcasts. In addition, the genre of true crime gets to, from which there is nowhere to go at all; it is indeed a very witty trolling of current media trends, or, more correctly, the deconstruction of those. It’s a pity, with the situational humor, not everything is smooth. It’s funny, of course, when Sting suddenly turns out to be a potential defendant (yes, the real one), when Amy Ryan plays a bassoonist, when a frozen dead cat is on the list of evidence, but there are clearly fewer sparkling gags here than you would expect from the Martin-Short duo.
There are many reasons to smile, very few reasons to laugh. According to those in the know, the funniest thing about the show is the New York housing issue and the exaggerated Upper West Side setting; let’s say it is so, but for all these entourage fintiflyushki it is better, probably, to turn to Woody Allen. On the other hand, Allen – no matter how much the Hulu project may be compared to his Murder in Manhattan – is still not a great detective master, but in Murders in the Building the detective story, despite the parody flair, is excellent. He does not play giveaways with the audience, and – a rarity in our times – does without vulgar pianos in the bushes, and is stuffed with a bunch of all sorts of curious things.
For example, almost an entire half-hour episode was filmed from the perspective of a deaf-mute voyeur: of course, you won’t hear a sound there. Or someone decides to resort to deduction, which we are shown in the form of surreal theater casting. At such moments, it is difficult not to love the series, and in the course of the matter their concentration grows – accordingly, the closer to the denouement, the more you want to continue. The second season, by the way, has already been announced: judging by the unexpected ending of the first, a more complicated mystery awaits the heroes further. And hopefully more fun.