I was very excited to watch the second season of Only Murders in the Building. The Season One finale left off with Mabel Moira (Selena Gomez), one of the three main protagonists, as a lead suspect for the murder of Bunny -the head of the board of the Arconia- (the podcast’s trio’s co-op building). So this season we delve even further into Mabel’s troubled past, and her current life. The audience learns even more about her when artist, Alice (Cara Delevigne), messages Mabel asking to have her artwork as part of her gallery. There was immediately a flirtatious vibe from the reputation of direct messages. After all, people my age frequently use the term “sliding into their DMS” to refer to trying to hook up with somebody.
But from all my experience with queerbaiting, I was expecting Mabel and Alice’s relationship to be queercoded, but nothing more. So I was not ready for Alice to start being even more flirtatious and for Mabel to flirt back. I was not ready for their mutual kiss, but I was happy to see it. I was overjoyed to see this coming from openly queer actress Cara Delevingne. I suppose given that it was Delevingne playing Alice, I should not have been so surprised. She does have a history of playing queer characters, like pansexual Vignette Stonemoss in Amazon’s Carnival Row. Did I mention that she’s also a model and really hot? Definitely giving the sapphic women (me) everything they want.
Mabel mentions her relationship with Anne to her friends and podcast partners, Charles and Oliver when they are at a diner together. They seem momentarily surprised, but then Oliver says that “It’s very hip to be bisexual these days.” Honestly, I did find this to be a bit offensive given the biphobic ideas that bisexuality is just a “phase” or a “trend”. But coming from Oliver who is rather old and not very “woke”, it wasn’t surprising. I wish Mabel had clapped back at that a bit though especially since she’s a witty person. Maybe she could have mentioned that for centuries it’s been very hip to be straight. Still, her coming out moment could have been worse.
All in all, though, season two of Only Murders in the Building is remarkably queer. It’s no surprise that Howard Morris, aka the cat-obsessed man who’s lives in the Arconia, is gay. He was already queercoded, but again season two brings this coding into the canon. Howards ends up meeting another man who lives in the Arconia during another power-outage. They hit it off, but then Howard discovers that the other man is allergic to cats.
There’s also the appearance of Charles’s daughter figure, Lucy. She’s a zoomer, so she is part of the most openly LGBTQ+ generation to date. Lucy remarks that Charles and Oliver had an exchange that seemed “queercoded”. This is pointing out something that many young fans have noticed about Charles and Oliver’s relationship. She also says that she wishes that Charles would have raised her, and forget when she “inevitably changes her pronouns”. Again, this is not necessarily overtly queer because pronouns do not necessarily reflect one’s gender identity. But changing pronouns is frequently part of the transgender experience. Lucy is able to reflect the more casual attitude towards queerness that young people often feel, having grown up in a somewhat more accepting time.
In conclusion, if you watched Only Murders in the Building and enjoyed it, but wished that it was more LGBTQ+ I would highly recommend season two. It continues with a similar sense of humor to season one. A sense of humor that I find hilarious, especially in Steve Martin’s performance. Martin Short also did a good job making me laugh. The mystery was also very intriguing and suspenseful. There was enough foreshadowing that I was able to figure out who the murderer was a little bit early, but not long before the final episode. Which is just how I like my mysteries.
Only Murders in the Building. Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez. Rhode Island Ave. Productions, Another Hoffman Story Productions, 40 Share Productions, 20th Television. Hulu and Disney+.