Only murderers on the road to Bali — it’s a gas!

I finally wrapped up the second season of ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING last weekend and it’s just as fun as the first season.After cracking last season’s murder, Charles, Oliver and Mabel are riding high, with their success reviving all their careers. Unfortunately there’s the awkward problem of Mabel found over the bleeding body of Arconia co-op president Bunny Folger (Jayne Houdyshell) while holding the apparent murder weapon — because if they’ve gone from murders in the building to murderers in the building their careers are likely to tank as fast as they rose.

Who did the killing? How does someone keep sneaking into their apartments? Will rival podcaster Cynda Canning (Tina Fey) destroy their reputations? Who can they trust? And what does a valuable painting of Charles’ father have to do with anything? If you liked the first season, I think you’ll have fun finding out. S3 will be out some time next year. “My legs haven’t hurt like this since I directed one of Suzanne Sommers’ Thighmaster informercials.”

It says something that I’d have sworned I never caught THE ROAD TO BALI (1952) but checking this blog shows I watched it in 2011. The “Road” movies cast Bob Hope and Bing Crosby as traveling entertainers constantly stumbling into peril and comedy, but this was the tail end of the series (the final film would come a decade later) and the formula is definitely worn down. That said, there are lots of amusing bits in this story of traveling entertainers coping with sexy Indonesian princess Dorothy Lamour and sinister prince Murvyn Vye (there’s a lot of brownface makeup, so be warned) but the plot is too flimsy to support them. “What else can we fight over when we don’t have any money (that’s for Washington)?”

GAS! or It Became Necessary to Destroy the World In Order to Save It (1970) — also known as just plain Gas-s-s! — was the B side of the Wild in the Streets DVD I watched recently, but it’s a much less successful youthsploitation movie. An experimental WMD goes off, wiping out everyone over 25; the hippy protagonists wander around the country encountering a variety of weirdos and dealing with their own wacky issues.

This Roger Corman film isn’t as funny or freewheeling as it tries to be, but it has its interesting points. The developing local cultures they run into — footballers, golfers, car thieves — comes off now like a dry run for TV’s Genesis II or the comics’ Kamandi. It’s also one of several stories that involves an apocalypse without physical destruction, often wiping out only a particular subcategory of humanity — adults over 25 here, men in Y: The Last Man and true godly Christians in Left Behind and other Rapture-based stories. “Now that you are sole heir to our world you will have every opportunity to achieve wickedness.”

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