by Julian Spivey
I never found myself caring as much about who killed Bunny Folger in the second season of Hulu’s comedy-mystery “Only Murders in the Building” as I did about the murderer of Tim Kono in the first season of the show last summer.
That doesn’t mean season two of the show as a whole was disappointing, I just found myself less into the case, even with the I.D. of the murderer being a secret much of the way through the season two finale “I Know Who Did It,” which dropped Tuesday (August 23). Maybe it’s just that the show’s premise isn’t as fresh in season two as it was when it debuted in 2021 taking on the true-crime podcast genre with a mixture of glee and loving parody. It might also be that there didn’t seem to be as much emotion involved with the death not being someone once close to one of the three main characters as Kono was to Mabel (Selena Gomez) in season one. Though the stakes were undoubtedly still high in season two with Mabel serving as the lead suspect in Bunny’s death at the beginning of the season.
So, even though “I Know Who Did It” did a nice job of circulating three potential killers throughout the episode I just never felt as invested as I did last year, potentially because none of the three potential killers were likable. There weren’t very high stakes involved.
What did work for the second season of “Only Murders in the Building” was the primary cast of Steve Martin, Martin Short and Gomez, who are always splendid together on screen and provide frequent laughs whether it’s Short’s zaniness or Gomez’s supreme deadpan. Some of the episodes from the season were particularly good like “Here’s Looking at You,” where Martin’s Charles Haden Savage is reunited with his stepdaughter Lucy (Zoe Margaret Colletti), “The Tell,” where Short’s Oliver Putnam breaks out his ‘Son of Sam’ party game that implicates Mabel’s love interest Alice Banks (Cara Delevingne) and “Flipping the Pieces,” which sees the return of Theo Dimas (James Caverly), one of the guest cast highlights from season one. Caverly should’ve been nominated for an Emmy for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in season one. Maybe this episode in season two will do the trick for the 2023 Emmys?
What’s interesting at the end of season two is we already know there’s going to be a third (potentially final) season of “Only Murders in the Building,” so the show must set up a third season like the reveal of Bunny’s death at the end of season one set up the second season. The idea of murders continuing to happen in this one posh NYC apartment building isn’t realistic, but it is the premise of the series and the podcast the trio hosts within the series. So, either an unlikely scenario must continue to occur, or the show must adjust its premise. The series decides to adjust the premise with the trio still being involved in a murder, but this time not within their apartment building, but the murder of an actor in Oliver’s latest Broadway production. We’ll see next year if this is something that can infuse a bit more excitement into the show or if season one was all the magic we’re going to get and have to settle for something entertaining, but not as great as it once was.
by Julian Spivey
Reservation Dogs: Season 2 – Hulu – Wednesday, August 3
“Reservation Dogs,” an FX production airing only on Hulu, was my fourth favorite show of 2021 when it aired its first season. The show, created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi, is the story of four indigenous teens in small town Oklahoma and the ins and outs of their lives and how they want to escape their circumstances. It’s the first TV series to feature an entire indigenous staff or directors and writers and majority of its cast is as well. It’s a unique look into a life we don’t often see on the small screen (or any screen for that matter).
Lightyear – Disney+ - Wednesday, August 3
If you were interested in seeing the Buzz Lightyear original story “Lightyear,” but didn’t make it out to the cinema in June or July, it’s now available on Disney+ so you can watch from the comfort of your own home. “Lightyear” tells the story of a young Buzz Lightyear, who the future toy of “Toy Story” fame would be created after, who after being marooned on a hostile planet must find his way back home. Chris Evans voices the hero in “Lightyear,” which was the subject of some controversy because Tim Allen had voiced Lightyear in all four ‘Toy Story’ movies, but again this is Lightyear the man and that is Lightyear the toy.
Thirteen Lives – Amazon Prime Video – Friday, August 5
One of the biggest news stories of 2018 was the Thai junior soccer team that was trapped in a northern Thailand cave that was flooding for more than two weeks and the daring rescue mission to save them. “Thirteen Lives,” directed by Ron Howard, is the story of this rescue mission. Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell and Joel Edgerton play the real-life heroes Richard Stanton, John Volanthen and Richard Harris who led the mission.
A League of Their Own: The Series – Amazon Prime Video – Friday, August 12
One of the all-time greatest baseball movies is director Penny Marshall’s 1992 flick “A League of Their Own,” starring Geena Davis and Tom Hanks, which told a fictional account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that formed during World War II when many of Major League Baseball’s finest were serving during wartime. Comedian/actress Abbi Jacobson and producer/director Will Graham have adapted Marshall’s film as a TV series for Amazon Prime Video that will star Jacobson, D'Arcy Carden and Nick Offerman among others. I’m really hoping this one knocks the story out of the park like the movie did.
The Patient – Hulu – Tuesday, August 30
Steve Carell seems to be everywhere over the last few years, especially when it comes to TV series on streaming services having previously done “The Morning Show” for AppleTV+ and “Space Force” for Netflix. Now comes “The Patient” for Hulu, which sees Carell as a psychologist kidnapped and held prisoner by a patient, played by Domhnall Gleeson, who reveals himself to be a serial killer. “The Patient” is a psychological thriller told over 10 episodes.