If Cinda Canning (the fictitious podcast host played by Tina Fey in Only Murders In The Building) were to host a podcast about the casting of Steve Martin, Selena Gomez and Martin Short, it would likely be named “Odd Perfection.” It certainly wouldn’t have been “Not All Is Ok” because if it’s in relation to Hulu’s hit show, nothing could be further from the truth.
The murder mystery comedy, which launches its second season today has exploded in popularity and quickly become an obsession. While on the surface, casting two comedy legends with a pop star whose credits include Wizards of Waverly Place seemed peculiar, the end result was perfection. We were lucky enough to speak with Martin, Gomez and Short, as part of the publicity leading up to the 2nd season, where our rapid-fire, four-minute discussion was wide-ranging and a great deal of fun.
The chemistry these three had with one another was striking during the time we were on the zoom together. It was natural and genuine. I can’t imagine how anyone would have been able to pull off this type of show the way Martin, Gomez and Short have. What’s surprising is that the show’s initial premise didn’t call for two old guys and a young woman; according to the New York Times, it was just supposed to be three people. The idea that it would be two older gentlemen and a younger woman didn’t come too much later in the development process. Charles and Oliver without Mabel wouldn’t be a show worth watching.
The truth is that the brilliance of Martin and Short are just ⅔ of the puzzle, and Gomez’s wit and demeanor make Mabel the all-important, final piece. Mix in some clever writing and twists, which Short stated in our interview, “is what draws fans to the show.” Some might think of the show’s success as a kind of renaissance for these three actors, but the concept belittles the quality of Only Murders In The Building. Each of them explained in our conversation that they rarely, if at all, break because they are so focused on their characters and that particular moment they are filming.
While some might say that Martin, Gomez and Short all lean into their strengths as performers, there is no denying they were made for these parts, and together they are one of the best ensembles in television. No mystery about that, and anyone who has seen the show would agree. That case is closed.
The first three episodes of season two of Only Murders in the Building begin streaming today, June 28 on Hulu with new episodes weekly.
Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu