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Only Murders in the Building is TV's most romantic show

  • "The central thrust of Only Murders in the Building is, of course, a murder, with the odd throuple of Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez as true crime enthusiasts who start their own podcast after a grisly incident in the Arconia, their apartment building, pushes them together," says Karen Han. "The show isn’t breaking the TV mold, but it’s also not trying to—its focus is on its characters, their quirks and eccentricities, the bonds they forge. That is to say, though unraveling the murder proves to be an enterprise full of twists and turns, what’s most surprising—and most wonderful—about the series is the way in which it has distinguished itself as the most romantic show on TV. Despite the zaniness that its casting and premise might suggest, Only Murders in the Building is a surprisingly quiet show. It doesn’t lack for moments in which Martin and Short can showcase their comedic skills, but the ones that make the most impact are the less in-your-face interludes that illustrate their lives outside of the central mystery. Take, for instance, the musical courtship between Charles (Martin) and Jan (Amy Ryan), a bassoonist who lives on the other side of the Arconia’s courtyard. As people pass underneath their windows, they play phrases to each other, Jan on bassoon and Charles on concertina. It’s a lovely, understated exchange (and reminiscent of between Martin and Bernadette Peters), especially as a wide shot of the courtyard briefly dulls the sound of the music, as if to replicate how faintly a passerby might hear it. Their courtship isn’t conducted entirely like this; a big part of their storyline also involves Charles’ emotional ineptitude and Jan’s guileless, pun-filled brand of charm. But it serves as a microcosm of the show’s larger dynamics, which are best in these more thoughtful moments."


    TOPICS: Only Murders In The Building , Hulu