Categories
Issue 18

Only Murders In The Building : A Must Watch For Every Hardy Boys Fan Out There

Only Murders in the Building, created by Steve Martin & John Hoffman, is for the Hardy Boys, Agatha Christie and true-crime enthusiasts among us. When a murder takes place in the building of the Arconia in New York, three neighbours find each other through their love for true-crime podcasts and vow to find the killer. Relying on their vast knowledge of true crime (derived from their hours of listening to podcasts), the three embark on a journey that is shrouded in intrigue, clues, red herrings and plot twists. Along with the classic case of ‘Whodunit?’, the series has perfectly placed and intimately nuanced comedic dialogue and witty quips — strengthened by the chemistry of the three main characters. 

The three neighbours, Charles Haden-Savage (Steve Martin), Oliver Putnam (Martin Short) and Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez), differ not only in terms of their personality but also age. Charles and Oliver are in their 70s, whereas Mabel is in her 20s. Though the generational gap jokes are plenty (Charles debates on whether to sign off on a text with Warm Regards — a wonderfully polite way of greeting that maybe we could all benefit from), what makes this show unique is its approach to age and the way they embrace it. The three find solace in each other, and realise that their past – regardless of how many years lived – bring them closer together. They are lonely and are all dealing with instances in their life that they have not confronted. The show also breaks the bounds of temporality. Our three crime fanatics are digging around the victim’s past so that they can solve the mystery, however, they are also trying to move forward in their own lives — and break their own monotony. Where there is death, perhaps there is also the birth of a new life for one who is frozen in time. 

The three characters evolve and change over the ten episodes, and each scene gives you an insight into their lives while making you desperately crave for more. The show may first seem like a parody of the age of bingeing, true crime stories, and podcasts – and it occasionally is- but it also serves as a celebration of fan culture and obsessive consumption of entertainment — and mysteries. 

As Oliver asks Mabel,Those are our proverbial onions, raw and peeled. And yours? Care to peel for us?” — Only Murders in the Building peels each layer of the mystery and the subtleties of human emotion and delivers it in a perfect blend of excitement and humour. 

Image credits: The Print

Shree Bhattacharyya is a student of English literature and Media Studies at Ashoka University.

Categories
Issue 15

Get ready for Ruddy: Detective fighting crime in the wild

Rohan Chakravarty, the founder of Green Humour, is a cartoonist who integrates humour and art to draw attention to wildlife and conservation. After being published in magazines such as Sanctuary Asia, Saveur, having newspaper columns for the Hindu and writing books such as Green Humour for a Greying Planet, he is back with another exciting book — Naturalist Ruddy – Adventurer Sleuth Mongoose. This latest project follows the journey of Ruddy taking on the role of a detective to fight crime happening in the wildlife world. In this interview, he discusses how the idea of Ruddy came about, the research that went into it and what readers can expect from his latest creation.

Part of Issue 15 of Open Axis, which focuses on interviews with path breaking Indians responding to climate change challenges.

Video: 15 min

Devanshi Daga is a fourth year undergraduate student at Ashoka University. She has completed her major in Psychology and is currently pursuing her minor in Sociology and Media Studies.

We publish all articles under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noderivatives license. This means any news organisation, blog, website, newspaper or newsletter can republish our pieces for free, provided they attribute the original source (OpenAxis).

Categories
Issue 6

Garden of Feedin’

Every night, around 12:30 AM, I’ve been getting a regular craving for something freud and cheesy. Oh, did I say freud? I meant fried. Silly. 

Well, I used to be a master of self-control a few months ago. I don’t care if you’re hungry, I’d say to myself. I don’t care if you’re hungry; pandemic or no pandemic, you are not gonna late-night-snack. That’s illegal. To be fair, many things were illegal on a personal level back then. I had my private Constitution and life was a law-abiding citizen. Eventually, of course, I snapped. Every day is the same day, and that day is Self-Love Saturday. No more denying myself pleasure! I had to improvise, adapt and overcome, and that began with the Forbidden Food. I chomped down on some grilled cheese sandwiches nightly, and added on a sugary bowl of cornflakes for good measure. Sometimes I’d go a little crazy and down ketchup by the bottle. Call me a rebel, I don’t care.

I was living the hedonistic dream, even with all the resulting acne.

The things I do in the name of self-care, I swear. Sometimes I can’t believe that I’m in this body, because we both seem to have different ideas of The Good. It’s an ethical dilemma. How far can I take my pursuit of umami without crossing the limits of self-care? Is my Midnight Appetite an omen of the degeneracy that’s to come?

I ought to be concerned about the great decline my lifestyle is taking. Surely this is a turn for the worse, and I ought to fix it. And yet, I revel in it. 

A phase of any sort would be well-appreciated in these times. It reminds me that time passes: a thought that has otherwise been a sore point. At age 12, I decided that I was done growing. It was a conscious exercise of agency. However, time was uncooperative, as usual. It paid no heed to me and moved thoughtlessly onward, dragging me along with it. And conversely, it would trudge reluctantly the moment I’d have an uneventful bore of a day. Such lax behavior is what I’ve come to expect from this stupid dimension.

In light of this, it seems awfully odd that 2020, perhaps the most eventful year of my existence, is passing by so slowly. This year, a teenager from Florida masterminded a bitcoin scam and hacked Kanye West, Elon Musk and Bill Gates’ Twitter accounts. Kim Jong Un supposedly died and came back. Unexplained monoliths are sprouting up and disappearing around the world as we speak. If my past habits are anything to go by, I’m supposed to be binge-watching 2020. And yet, here I am, moping on the daily. Am I facing a genuine lack of stimulation even while living in a political-sci-fi-soap opera or am I just a lil brat? 

Perhaps it’s a bit of both. After all, I’m living a lifestyle that’s been meticulously organized into little unhealthy blocks. I spend all my time at home. I social-distance to the point where I can sense people’s auras from a mile away. I schedule designated balcony sunshine hours for myself. I’m really out here taking precautions like a beast. No wonder I’m not experiencing the craziness that is 2020. I’m too busy sanitizing my hands.

Last year I had an A1 cinnamon roll from a little hole-in-the-wall bakery in a town I’d never been to before. I suddenly remembered this spot of heaven during one particular balcony hour and felt a sudden urge to taste a good cinnamon roll. Where I live, this isn’t easily achievable. After a month or so of regularly remembering and putting the thought aside, I finally found a new bakery nearby that sells cinnamon rolls, and placed an order. Walking out of the lobby to the gate of my apartment complex, I was suddenly hit by this incredibly alien feeling. Oh my god. I’m outside. This feels so foreign. There was wind blowing in my hair and wide open space and glaring sunlight all around, for the first time in 6 months. I felt like the whole world could hear me think “Wow, the ground feels different.” I suddenly remembered my cinnamon rolls. Snapped back to reality. Gathered them and hastened back home.

Picture Credit: ISTOCK/YINYANG

Deepti Jayakrishnan is a student of Philosophy and Computer Science at Ashoka University. She likes windy days and judging books by their covers.

We publish all articles under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noderivatives license. This means any news organisation, blog, website, newspaper or newsletter can republish our pieces for free, provided they attribute the original source (OpenAxis).