5 TV shows to watch if you like Only Murders In the Building

The Afterparty season 2 on Apple TV+
The Afterparty season 2 on Apple TV+ /

One of TV’s best new shows has been Only Murders in the Building. It follows a TV actor (Steve Martin), a Broadway producer (Martin Short), and an artist (Selena Gomez) as they investigate a murder and do a podcast on it. The fun is watching these amateur sleuths try to solve a crime and quickly get in over their heads.

This follows a long tradition of TV shows featuring amateur detectives, some of whom work alongside the cops. But the best are the ones on their own who get into trouble. Notably, several recent shows have played on the comedic aspects of a batch of folks getting into hijinks around crime scenes.

From a couple of classic shows to more recent fare, these are five TV shows that Only Murders in the Building fans can enjoy to show a light-hearted take on the amateur sleuth formula.

5 must-watch shows for Only Murders in the Building fans

Murder, She Wrote

Undoubtedly the late great Angela Lansbury’s most famous role, this CBS hit ran for 12 seasons for good reason. Lansbury played Jessica Fletcher, a murder mystery novelist who uses her skills to solve crimes not just in her small town of Cabot Cove but worldwide as well.

Putting aside how unlikely it is that one woman finds herself mixed up in so many murders, Lansbury was delightful in Jessica putting the clues together and often bluffing the killer into a confession. It was a classic series, and Lansbury provided one of television’s best-ever amateur sleuths.

Murder, She Wrote Seasons 1-12 are streaming on Peacock.

Poker Face

Natasha Lyonne recently landed an Emmy nomination for this hit Peacock show that’s a homage to the TV mystery shows of the 1970s. She plays Charlie Cale, a card shark who can always tell when people are lying. Running afoul of a mobster, she goes on the run only to somehow end up in the middle of a murder case.

Each episode shows how the killer pulls off a seemingly perfect crime, only for Charlie to stumble onto things and use her unique skills to solve them. The guest actors are a delight with the show pulling off fun turns, and Lyonne makes for a terrific leading character to pull off this quirky crime comedy well.

Poker Face Season 1 is streaming on Peacock.

The Afterparty

This Apple TV+ series has a unique turn on the classic formula. Season 1 has a high school reunion ending when one famous but loathed classmate ends up dead. Tiffany Haddish is the detective trying to unravel the murder with a couple of the suspects doing their own investigation.

The twist is that each episode has a suspect telling their version of events in a different genre. One is an action movie, another a European drama, another a full-on musical, etc. That’s a fun turn to liven it up before solving the crime. The current Season 2 has Haddish and a couple of Season 1 characters investigating a new murder on an island, with the differing genre viewpoints making this a party to enjoy.

The Afterparty Seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming on Apple TV+.

Search Party

The characters in this TBS/HBO series may not be totally likable, but that’s part of the fun. The first season has a group of self-absorbed 20-somethings searching for a missing friend, with one (Alia Shawkat) becoming obsessed with her in danger. The problem is that the group tries to make this more about themselves than the victim.

The remaining four seasons up the ante from the murder of a billionaire to a media circus trial to Shawkat becoming a cult leader. The satirical tone is fun amid some actually good mysteries, so for a semi-parody of the genre that brings laughs, this is a show to search for.

Search Party Seasons 1-5 are now streaming on Max.

Bored to Death

There are a lot of similarities between Only Murders and this 2009-2011 HBO series. Jason Schwartzman is a crime novelist dumped by his girlfriend, and so decides to become a private eye. He’s aided by his friends Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson, and before long, this trio is causing messes.

The cases can range from run-of-the-mill minor crimes to facing a powerful and corrupt company. The chemistry of the trio is great, as they all think they’re a lot smarter and more capable than they actually are. It only lasted three seasons, but it’s not hard to see how this series may have inspired some of Only Murders’s unique style.

Bored to Death Seasons 1-3 are streaming on Max.

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Only Murders in the Building is currently streaming on Hulu.