‘Only Murders In The Building: Season Three’ Is a Cozy Damn Delight!

Posted in Disney +, TV, What's Streaming? by - August 08, 2023
‘Only Murders In The Building: Season Three’ Is a Cozy Damn Delight!

Only Murders In The Building premiered in 2021. It was an innovative mystery series and an astute spoof of True Crime podcasts. Created by Steve Martin and John Hoffman, the show tapped into something in the the Zeitgeist of The COVID Era. It gave viewers exactly the kind of familiar actors, New York Real Estate Porn and moderately high (but not too high) stakes we craved. And the secret sauce that made everything so delicious was the chemistry between amateur sleuths/unlikely besties. These besties are Mabel (Selena Gomez), Charles (Steve Martin) and Oliver (Martin Short). Fans couldn’t help but root for the inter-generational rag tag team as they gleefully searched for murder suspects inside The Arconia, the show’s titular apartment building.

A few seasons in, and despite glitzy additions to its cast – including Meryl Streep herself – this once fresh show now feels more like a procedural. And this begs the question, does a series have to be original to justify its continued existence? In the case of Only Murders In The Building, no. But even when the show isn’t groundbreaking, it’s pleasant to watch.

By this point, the Only Murders establishes its formula: someone violently dies in The Arconia’s luxurious orbit. Our three podcaster detectives may feel terror that murder follows them wherever they go. But instead, they will happily start solving the crime. There will be shots of stunning, multimillion dollar Manhattan interiors. And the theoretically cash-strapped Mabel will swan about in an endless supply of cashmere coats. There will be jokes about the disastrous flops Oliver directed thirty years ago, like Splash: The Musical! Charles will make an omelette (yum)! At some point, the trio will suspect one of their lovers of being the murderer, and there will always be a new celebrity living in Sting’s apartment. It’s this formula – now tested with multiple seasons – that makes Only Murders the the excellent comfort watch it is today.

While Only Murders has more or less completed its graceful transition to the category of “Ambient TV,”  it boasts some real highs. Meryl Streep is pure comic gold as Greta Derkin, a terminally unsuccessful actress with a mysterious past. As the series describes Greta, “The near miss has become your life.” In reality, Streep has more Oscars than Trump has indictments; however, she’s very convincing as an unappreciated performer who can’t catch a break. When Oliver casts Greta in his new musical, everyone’s favourite fictional theatre director finally receives a worthy love interest! Plus, Greta’s attempt at a Scottish accent is the stuff of legends!

Grey’s Anatomy‘s Jesse Williams is also a standout as the inexplicably named Tobert. Tobert is an ambitious documentarian who is filming a vanity piece about Ben (Paul Rudd). Ben, by the way, is the mediocre action star who dies during a performance of Oliver’s play in the finale of Season Two. Tobert mostly just walks around being handsome (which Williams is very good at). However, when called upon to participate in crime-solving high-jinks, he rises to the occasion. For his part, Paul Rudd is also amusing as an untalented superstar/megalomaniac. After Ben cruelly dismisses our beloved Greta as a “stinkaroonie” at the play’s table read, you can see how others might genuinely want him dead…

You may find yourself pining for the wholesome pleasures of fall during these frightfully hot summer months. If you are, you won’t be disappointed by Only Murders In The Building. Its third season is the TV putting on your favourite apple shirt to go apple-picking on a sunny October morning. It’s a cozy damn delight!

This post was written by
Sarah Sahagian is a feminist writer based in Toronto. Her byline has appeared in such publications as The Washington Post, Refinery29, Elle Canada, Flare, The Toronto Star, and The National Post. She is also the co-founder of The ProfessionElle Society. Sarah holds a master’s degree in Gender Studies from The London School of Economics. You can find her on Twitter, where she posts about parenting, politics, and The Bachelor.
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