Thanks to the casting coup of comedic legends Steve Martin and Martin Short, Hulu’s original crime comedy series Only Murders in the Building is one of the most well-received new shows to hit the airwaves in 2021. The show follows a trio of eccentric strangers who converge to investigate a mysterious murder in their apartment building and discuss their progress over a true-crime podcast.
Only Murders in the Building joins a rich tradition of hysterical detective crime comedies on television where the humorous interplay between quirky amateur sleuths and various grisly crime scenes provides endless entertainment.
10 Bored To Death – Stream On HBO Max
Written by acclaimed New York novelist Jonathan Ames, Bored to Death is a hilarious half-hour crime comedy that boasts a similar premise and the same hip, offbeat tone as Only Murder in the Building. Just as self-conscious as well, the show follows Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman), a failing writer who begins moonlighting as an amateur detective along with his bumbling pals, Ray (Zach Galifianakis) and George (Red Danson).
Just as Charles relies on his past experience as an actor on a detective show from the 80s on Only Murders, Jonathan also digs into past crime novels to learns the tricks of the trade on Bored to Death. Both shows prioritize quirky characters over plot and offer fascinating glimpses of life in New York.
9 The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency – Stream On HBO Max
One of the most enchanting detective comedies to watch along with Only Murders in the Building is the highly underrated HBO original series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, the first show ever filmed in Botswana, Africa. The show tracks Precious Ramotswe (Jill Scott), a brilliant and self-empowered woman who opens the country’s first female-owned detective agency. Hilarious, unique, and uplifting, the show is a must-see.
Along with the help of her hilariously frazzled assistant Grace (Anika Noni Rose), Precious solves a slew of wide-ranging crimes from kidnap and illegal smuggling, to mysterious hospital deaths and more. Aside from celebrating female empowerment, the warmth of the characters and colorful setting radiates positive vibrations that not even Steve Martin and Martin Short could eclipse.
8 Castle – Stream On DirecTV
Nathan Fillion gives a comedic tour-de-force as the titular star of Castle, a popular mystery crime novelist who discovers that a serial killer is copying the sadistic plots of his bestselling books. As such, he manages to gain access to the NYPD’s homicide unit to dig up dirt on the assailant with his partner Kate (Stana Katic).
The meta-narrative of Castle’s fictional crime stories coming to life in comedic ways mirrors the self-reflexivity of Only Murders in the Building, where the three leads share an obsession over true-crime podcasts, only to start their very own when a real murder strikes The Arconia.
7 Monk – Stream On Amazon Prime Video