Only Murders in the Building is back and gayer than ever.
Warning: This article contains spoilers.
Hulu’s surprise hit Only Murders in the Building has returned for its second season, building on the brilliant comeback that it provided for its three main stars, Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez. This week’s two-episode premiere has added layered, nuanced production to the campy, cheeky charm of the first season, while also providing a superbly gratifying Pride Month moment.
The show’s first season playfully cast hyper-famous celebrities for cameos, and the return continues the practice. The iconic Shirley MacLaine enters as one of the Arconia’s grand dames seeking out her lost erotic art. Amy Schumer has moved into the apartment of Sting (who was hilariously cast as a murder suspect last season), and wants in on the trio’s podcast success. And Cara Delevingne is the leader of a cohort of artists who run a gallery space. Cue the gay intrigue.
As the show sees its heroes framed for Bunny’s murder, and incapable of not podcasting about it, Gomez’s Mabel becomes “Bloody Mabel” on social media and finds a level of stardom that could catapult her art. Delevingne’s character, Alice, sexily slides into Mabel’s DMs to entice her to a party at the gallery, where they need fresh energy. Once there, the sexual tension between the two is obvious, as Alice seems to understand things Mabel doesn’t even understand about herself. Mabel can’t stay away, and returns only to have Alice lead her through a charged session of art therapy that ends in the two kissing to Billie Eilish’s “You Should See Me in a Crown.” Praise the Pride gods.
Delevingne’s Alice is thrillingly magnetic, and Gomez matches it with Mabel’s weird mix of cynicism and sincerity. And while the kiss is an exciting entry point to LGBTQ+ storylines on the show, and a bit of sexiness that it didn’t have before, it also an important blueprint now for other shows adding queerness to characters. OMITB manages to avoid the awkward forced, “Hi, I’m gay,” that a lot of productions feel that a queer character must lead with. Mabel is allowed to be revealed to be bisexual without overwrought attention to it, and Delevingne’s character is allowed to be a temptress without having to be any kind of lesbian stereotype. OMITB did an excellent job of adding queer elements to the show, and we’re excited to see where they’ll go next on this new season that is stellar so far.