Modern folks like gender-reveal parties, but it’s time for an older notion – the killer-reveal party.
That’s what “Only Murders in the Building” (shown here with Selena Gomez) does so cleverly in its finale, which arrived today (Tuesday, Aug. 23) on Hulu.
If you haven’t seen the previous nine episodes, please do. (Don’t worry, there aren’t any spoilers here.)
For that matter, catch Hulu in general. It’s on a hot streak, with three types of strong shows:
— Ones that appear first on FX or FXX. There’s the brash comedy “What We Do in the Shadows,” the warm documentary “Welcome to Wrexham” and two animated comedy/adventures, “Archer” and “Little Demon.” Next is the Sept. 15 season-opener of the award-winning “Atlanta.”
— Others that FX produces, but only for Hulu. “Reservation Dogs” is an understated gem; coming Aug. 30 is Steve Carell in an intense drama, “The Patient.”
— And ones that Hulu makes itself. It has two sports mini-series – a documentary on the Los Angeles Lakers and a scripted tale of Mike Tyson (“Mike,” debuting Thursday, Aug. 25). And it has others, from the new “Prey” movie to the delightful “Only Murders.”
The first season is nominated for 17 Emmys, including best comedy series. It has best-actor nods for Steve Martin (also nominated for writing the pilot script with John Hoffman) and Martin Short.
Those two actors, 77 and 72, play long-time apartment owners with little in common except vanity, show-business careers and a passion for true-crime podcasts. In the first season, they linked with a young neighbor (Gomez, 30) to solve a murder … only to be implicated in this new one.
Gomez found the dying woman, whose last words sounded like “14 Savage.” The three colleagues work to solve it, just as a competitor (Tina Fey) focuses on them.
Now we get the “reveal” party and the announcement that “somebody in this room is the killer.” Agatha Christie loved that sort of thing, especially for Hercule Poirot, master detective.
Admittedly, Christie would be appalled that the case leans on two things – an unforced confession of a key fact and the results of a DNA analusis. But “Only Murders” makes up for it with all the twists and surprises in the final minutes.
“Only Murders” is really only a partial comedy. It also works as a drama – especially with the men’s failings as father – and as a murder mystery.
Still, it’s funny in surprising ways. With some comedy masters in the room, the best moments involve a droll monologue from a doorman we’d barely noticed.
“Only Murders” is like that. We’re looking forward to the third season.