Only Murders in the Building on Hulu is not a great show, more of a pleasant trifle that works for relatively mindless entertainment. But the story of three unlikely friends who meet via a shared love of true crime podcasts and the demise of one of their building's tenants is a pretty great vehicle for Martin Short, who plays a Broadway has-been who convinces his new friends (an aging actor (Steve Martin) and a mysterious much-younger woman (Selena Gomez) to start their own podcast about the murder in their classy New York City building. Short's talent for broad slapstick is well known, but his character here manages to deliver both more subtle humor and some heartfelt drama in ways Short is rarely allowed to do on screen. (DAN NAILEN)
With Halloween on the horizon and tons of spooky media ready for consumption, I found out that Netflix's Korean survival drama, Squid Game, is not for the faint of heart — or weak of stomach. The Kill Bill-esque, nine-part show features financially unstable characters playing grim versions of popular Korean childhood games for cash. It pulls at your heartstrings, all the while making clever commentary on capitalistic systems. Down-on-his-luck main character Gi-hun struggles to support his mother and daughter financially and, as it turns out, will do anything for a cool mil — even if that means participating in a life-or-death game of Red Light, Green Light. (MADISON PEARSON)
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
Noteworthy new music arriving in stores and online Oct 15:
JULIA SHAPIRO, Zorked! Chastity Belt singer/guitarist slows things down for a collection of melancholy Elliott Smith-esque tunes and dark grunge trudges to listen to while thunderbaked.
FINNEAS, Optimist. Billie Eilish's brother/Grammy-winning producer tries to carve out his own niche as the American ginger pop singer-songwriter counterpoint to Ed Sheeran on his first LP.
COLDPLAY, Music of the Spheres. Chris Martin and co.'s ninth studio album is intergalactic-themed. Leave that realm to Muse, chaps. (SETH SOMMERFELD)