Why Only Murders In The Building's Reviews Are So Positive

The new Hulu show Only Murders in the Building is receiving many positive reviews — so what about it is impressing critics and audiences so much? The series premiered on August 31st, 2021, and it follows a murder mystery in a New York-based apartment building that is being investigated by three true-crime enthusiasts who live there. Since its debut, Only Murders in the Building has already received fantastic scores across many critic review websites online.

The murder mystery stars Steve Martin, following his break from acting, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez. It was also created by Martin and John Hoffman and executively produced by all four. The show has a popular cast with excellent chemistry, helping sell the murder-mystery-comedy premise.

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Only Murders in the Building is a welcome inclusion to the streaming world as it unites popular actors from different generations allowing the show to have a wider target audience. Its 100% on Rotten Tomatoes after 40 reviews is an exceptional start, and the show is bound to receive more positive reviews as it finishes off its ten-episode first season. The Metacritic Metascore is at a respectable 76 with no negative reviews thus far, while the Metacritic user score sits at a whopping 9.9 after 123 positive reviews. These are immense numbers for any brand new TV show, let alone a streaming service original. Here's what some of the positive Only Murders in the Building reviews are saying:

"'Only Murders' may have less slapstick humor than fans are expecting, but it is still light and airy despite its dark subject. The central trio embodies their odd, age-spanning friendship with few hiccups."

"It's bold but calm, terrifying but comforting, sad but silly, satirical but empathetic — and it's all of these things served to you by chefs who trust you, because you trust them."

The Hollywood Reporter:

"The pleasures in Only Murders in the Building, if not always the same from episode to episode, should be enough to maintain a grasp on viewers who might be less amused by jokes about podcast sponsors."

Rolling Stone:

"The series soon turns out to be — like The Princess Bride, Galaxy Quest, or Jane the Virgin — that rare and wonderful thing: the parody that also offers a great example of the genuine article."

RogerEbert.com:

"It's just about as funny and charming as one would expect from a murder mystery involving Steve Martin, Martin Short, and an inspired addition to the duo's renowned comic chemistry, Selena Gomez."

Salon:

"Any show can string together a decent whodunnit, but examining loneliness as a universal mystery is the more captivating concept enriching the three-part harmony wrought by Gomez, Martin and Short's combined performances."

These reviews point out the comedic fluency within the show and state that the trio in the main cast works well together. What also stands out is the mystery and investigation that the characters partake in. The jokes and stylistic choices within Only Murders in the Building are light-hearted and goofy enough so that the incredibly terrifying murder doesn't scare off the audience. Meanwhile, the investigation is engrossing enough to make audiences want to watch the show the whole way through. Whether the show's viewers will be satisfied with how things turn out by the end of the season is fully dependent on what they think about the three mains — Martin, Short, and Gomez — and the consensus is that the casting for Only Murders in the Building season 1 is excellent. Still, not every review for Only Murders in the Building is fully positive; here are some of the more mixed takes:

Entertainment Weekly:

"Only Murders delivers above-average laughs, a clever mystery, and a starry cast. But it's hard to shake the feeling that the show missed an opportunity to be something special."

"All of those seasoned performers provide moments of pleasure, and the various narrative threads play out with polished proficiency. But 'Only Murders' doesn’t gel into something beyond the ordinary. Part of the problem is the time devoted to the show’s sentimental side [...] That material takes some of the life out of what’s otherwise a slight but charming comedy, and it doesn’t do any favors to Martin, whose performance is a little dour and closed off, or to Gomez, who looks uncomfortable and occasionally terrified."

"'Only Murders in the Building' doesn’t have a particularly sharp bite. It’s more silly than funny. But it takes the time to build its characters, and to place their obsession in a cultural context."

The positive reviews also claim that the show might be a little too silly to be something truly spectacular. It is a hard job for the showrunners to fully sell their vision across to the critics with so many different genres mixed into one season of television. Nevertheless, even the more mixed reviews, as referenced above, show signs of obvious positivity and moments of pleasure within the show that should not go unnoticed. The blending of multiple generations and genres and the comic relief needed to add calmness to the horrific murder mystery makes Only Murders in the Building a remarkable achievement for Hulu and streaming originals in general. It's a show that is likely to garner immense popularity as more episodes are released in the coming weeks.

The scope of the new streaming show might be hard for some to fathom but the general audiences will be pleased with many comedic aspects and story elements present within the ten-episode season, particularly for fans of true crime because there are multiple satirical references at play. It isn't perfect, but it's easy to see why the majority of Only Murders in the Building's reviews are so positive.

New episodes of Only Murders in the Building will be released weekly every Tuesday.

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