When we last saw Mabel, she was covered with blood and confusion.
Not to worry. She’s back in the second season of “Only Murders in the Building,” which seems to be even better than the first.
“Only Murders” was a pleasant pandemic surprise – a mini-series assembling mis-matched elements. It was mostly a murder mystery and drama, but added ample humor. It was mostly about old guys – Steve Martin and Martin Short (shown here, left and center), plus guest stars – but also centered on Selena Gomez.
Now the first two episodes of the second season have debuted on Hulu. The other eight will arrive – one per Tuesday – for the rest of the summer.
Gomez is Mabel Mora, a would-be artist who has drifted. She was living in a relative’s Manhattan apartment when the first murder was discovered. That’s how she ended up doing a true-crime podcast with two others in the building – once-successful actor Charles-Haden Savage (Martin) and rarely successful director Oliver Putnam (Martin Short).
They solved the murder and everyone was happy. Except for Charles-Haden, whose lover was the killer. And Mabel, who was found in her apartment, drenched in blood, holding a body; this was a woman she had hated – and who now had Mabel’s knitting needle lodged in her.
So now she’s “Bloody Mabel,” a murder suspect and a pop-culture star. A competing podcaster (Tina Fey) has already dubbed all three as killers.
That might seem like a bad thing, but dormant lives are being revived. Mabel meets a trendy artist (Cara Delevingne) … Charles-Haden sees fresh interest in his acting … and Oliver meets Amy Schumer, playing herself, who has plans that go far beyond a podcast.
As always, “Only Murders” merges styles and genres. It’s bright and jaunty, but one of the key producers is Dan Fogelman, the “This Is Us” creator. It’s about older people – Shirley MacLaine, 88, has a great role as the murder victim’s mother – but also has fun, flashy roles for Gomez and Delevingne, both 29.
It’s a murder-mystery/drama/comedy with clever detours, a fun diversion for a post-pandemic summer.